Hans Speidel

Hans Speidel

Hans Speidel

Hans Speidel (born 28 October 1897 in Metzingen, † 28 November 1984 in Bad Honnef) was a German general. He fought in the First World War as a lieutenant in World War II and was Chief of Staff of Army Group B under Erwin Rommel. Speidel from 1957 to 1963 was commander of Allied Land Forces Central Europe in NATO. Speidel in 1944 the coup plans of the 20 July supported. Hans Speidel was the brother of General William Speidel flyer.


World War I

Hans Speidel, the son of the Forestry Council Emil Speidel, volunteered in the First World War as a volunteer. He resigned on 30 November 1914 after a Notabitur as a cadet at the Grenadier Regiment “King Charles” (5 Württemberg) a No. 123 in November 1915 and was promoted to lieutenant. He fought in Flanders, the Somme and Cambrai, reaching the post of regimental adjutant s.

He was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross and the Württemberg Military Merit Medal in gold.

Weimar Republic and the Nazi era

Speidel remained after the war was a professional soldier and as a company and orderly at the 13th (Württ.) Infantry Regiment used in Ludwigsburg.

He studied 1923/24, with the support of his superiors in Berlin, Tübingen and Stuttgart, History and Economics and a PhD on 14 February 1925 with the work 1813-1924: A military-political investigation Dr. phil. magna cum laude. On 1 April 1925 he was promoted to Lieutenant. Speidel, who was also involved in military science union work, including the monograph Au fil de l’épée from Charles de Gaulle, then completed a “leader assistants training” and was moved to its completion in 1930, the Foreign Armies (T 3) of the Truppenamt. On 1 February 1932 he was promoted to captain.

On 1 October 1933 Speidel’s been added as an assistant to the German military attaché in Paris. This was followed by uses as company commander and battalion commander in Ulm, before the end of 1936 he was appointed Head of the Foreign Armies East. In 1937 he was First General Staff Officer (Ia) of the 33 Infantry Division in Mannheim.

World War II

1939 Speidel Division has been used on the West Wall. In 1940 he took over as Ia of the IX. Army Corps at the Battle of France, and was part of the capture of Paris in June, chief of staff of the local military commander’s Alfred von Vollard-Bockelsberg and shortly thereafter Chief of the Command Staff to the Military Commander France. In his environment was formed at that time the so-called “round George” named after their meeting in Paris hotel “George V”, who was, among other things, the then Captain Ernst Jünger. On 1 February 1941 Speidel was promoted to colonel.

In March 1942, Speidel was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Fifth Army Corps on the Eastern Front. In the winter crisis of 1942/43 he served temporarily as chief of staff of the German general in Italy AOK 8, Kurt von Tippelskirch, and then the Army division formed from this rod Lanz (Kempf later). In this position he was now promoted to Major General, participated in the battle of Kharkov, and the company Citadel. In August 1943, a new Department of the Army 8 Placed army under Otto Wöhler, whose chief of staff Speidel remained. On 1 January 1944 was in this position he was promoted to lieutenant general.

In April of the same year he became Chief of Staff of Army Group B under Erwin Rommel, trying to win this for the military resistance against Adolf Hitler. After Rommel’s wounded, he tried the same thing even when Rommel’s successor, Hans Günther von Kluge. Speidel was born on 7 Arrested in September 1944 after Kluge suicide by the Gestapo and charged as an assistant and confidant of the assassination attempt on Hitler. The main courtyard of the Wehrmacht pleaded “not guilty but not free of suspicion”, which Speidel was spared a trial before the People’s Court. But he nevertheless remained in detention in the fortress prison Kuestrin he was also with Ernst Wirmer, brother of the cases provided for by resistance fighters as Reich Minister of Justice Joseph Wirmer, and the commander of the Dutch army, General van Roell, and General Theodor Groppe imprisoned. In April 1945, Speidel organized jointly with the commander of the detention center the flight from pp. With the help of religious prisoners in the SAC Hersberg Castle could submerge in the Lake District and were placed there in the last days of the war by French troops.


Speidel devoted himself after his release from Allied custody again scientific work. Speidel’s older brother, Wilhelm Speidel 1942-1944 was military commander of southern Greece and Greece, and was sentenced in February 1948 in hostage murder trial because of his responsibility for the local hostage killings to 20 years in prison. Hans Speidel 1949 published his book “Invasion 1944″ and was a lecturer at the University of Tübingen.

In October 1950, he cooperated with the secret “Himmeroder memorandum” to the question of German rearmament. After serving as a military advisor to the Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer 1950 Speidel was appointed in January 1951 as an expert witness in the Blank Office (later Federal Ministry of Defense). As part of the intensified discussion of West German rearmament after the outbreak of the Korean War in summer 1950 there was a “package deal” between the “restore the honor of the German soldiers” and the agreement to rearm. High Commissioner John McCloy changed on 31 January 1951 on the recommendation of the “Advisory Board on Clemency for War Criminals” the imprisonment of William Speidel already abgebüßte time around. This was the third Released in February 1951 along with 32 other detainees from the Landsberg prison for war criminals. From 1951 to 1954 Hans Speidel was chief delegate at the conference to form a European Defence Community (EDC).

After the failure of this project Speidel took in 1954/55, the Federal Republic of Germany in the negotiations for entry into NATO. He was born on 22 November 1955 appointed chief of the armed forces in total Department of Defense and Federal re-appointed lieutenant general. On 14 June 1957 was promoted to four-star general. Speidel was from April 1957 to September 1963 as General of the Armed Forces Supreme Commander of the Allied Land Forces Central Europe (COMLANDCENT – Commander Allied Land Forces Central Europe), based in Fontainebleau, France Castle, and made ​​for a smooth integration of the armed forces into NATO. He was an implacable political opponents in General Charles de Gaulle and was replaced at the beginning of September in 1963 under the pressure of NATO.

In March 1964, he was sechsundsechzigjährig into retirement and elected in October of the same year as President of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. Speidel was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with Star and Sash and in 1972 an honorary citizen of his home town of Metzingen. He died on 28 November 1984 in Bad Honnef. According to him, the General-Dr. Speidel has been named the Bundeswehr barracks in Bruchsal.


Iron Cross (1914) Class II and I.

•Golden Württemberg Military Merit Medal on 20 February 1917

Clasp to the Iron Cross II and First Class

•German Cross in Gold on 8 October 1942

•Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross on 1 April 1944

•Federal Cross of Merit with Star and Sash


•1813 to 1924 – a military-political investigation. Dissertation. University of Tübingen in 1925.

•Invasion in 1944. A contribution to Rommel and fate of the empire. Whimsical, Tübingen 1949.

•Time considerations: selected speeches. Mainz in 1969.

•Of our time. Memoirs. In 1977.


•Elmar Krautkraemer: Major General Dr. phil.Hans Speidel. In: Gerd R. Ueberschär (ed.): Hitler’s military elite.68 CVs. 2, revised and updated edition bibliography, WBG, Darmstadt 2011, pp. 516-526, ISBN 978-3-534-23980-1.

•Michael Bertram: The image of the Nazi regime in the memoirs of the leading generals of the Third Reich, Ibidem-Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8382-0034-7

Member of the expert group Himmeroder

Military person (army of the Federal Armed Forces)

General Staff Officer (armed forces)

Military person (NATO)

Military person (Wehrmacht Heer)

General Staff Officer (German Reich)

Military person (Reichswehr)

Person in the First World War (German Reich)

Military person (Württemberg)

Knight of the Grand Cross of Merit with Star and Sash

Winner of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross

Support of the German Cross in Gold

Support the Württemberg Military Merit Medal

Freeman in Baden-Württemberg

Nazi victims

Person (Metzingen)


Born in 1897

Died in 1984


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