Memoirs of a hanged man

Wilhelm Keitel was born on September 22, 1882 to a family of landowners Karl August Wilhelm Keitel and Louis Apollonia Keitel-Vissering. The childhood of the future field marshal was held in a 650-acre family estate Helmsherode, located in the western part of the Duchy of Brunswick. The family was very shy, barely paying for the estate purchased in 1871 by his grandfather Wilhelm Carl Keitel. William was the first child in the family. When he was 6 years old, his brother was born Bodevin Keitel also recognized leader. During the birth, the mother — Apollonia Keitel — died of infection by infectious. Up to 9 years, Wilhelm studied under the supervision of home teachers, hoping to become a farmer, as all his forefathers. But in 1892, his father sent him to the Royal High School Göttingen. Here he first thought of a career military man. So how to keep a horse was very costly, William selects field artillery. After graduating from Göttingen with average grades, first of spring 1901 as a volunteer, he enters the 46th Saxon Artillery Regiment. At that time, his father married a former tutor William — Anne Gregoire.

Hitler (right) with Field-Marshal Keitel (center) and Wilhelm von Leeb (to the right of Hitler behind the scenes, seen in other versions of this image) is studying the map in the process of preparing a plan of attack on the Soviet Union — "Barbarossa". Left in the background of Hitler's adjutant Nicholas von Below

Initially, Wilhelm Keitel as a candidate for the officers serving in the first battery of artillery regiment. But in August 1902, he graduated from military school, was promoted to lieutenant and transferred to the second battery. Third battery at that time ruled Gunther von Kluge, who immediately became the sworn enemy of the young Keitel. Kluge Keitel considered an "absolute zero", and that in response called him "arrogant upstart." In 1905, William graduated from the course Yuterbogskogo artillery and infantry school, then in 1908 the regimental commander von Stolzenberg led to his regimental adjutant. In 1909, Keitel was married to the daughter of a poverty landowner and industrialist Armand Fontaine — Lisa Fontaine. In the future, they have had three daughters and three offspring. All the sons were soldiers. It is worth noting that the family Lisa always played a major role. Despite the never left life Keitel desire to return to his home estate in Helmsherode and settle there, she passionately promoting wife lusted after coming through the ranks. In 1910, Keitel became chief lieutenant.

When the first global war, Keitel with his own family was on vacation in Switzerland. He came to the western front in the 46th Artillery Regiment and participated in the battles before the time, until in September in Flanders shrapnel is not broke his right forearm. For bravery was awarded the steel cross first and second degrees. From the hospital, he returned to his regiment is the captain. In the spring of 1915, Keitel is the purpose of the General Staff and translated into emergency housing. It starts off fast career Keitel. In 1916, he was Operations Chief of Staff of the nineteenth reserve division. In late 1917 William is in Berlin's General Staff, as the Operations Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps in Flanders.

After the war, under the terms of the Versailles peace treaty the German Army General Staff was dissolved. Keitel with the rank of captain in the army enters the Weimar Republic, where an instructor strategy Cavalry School. In 1923, he was promoted to Major, and in 1925 transferred to the Ministry of Defence. In 1927, he enters the second artillery regiment commander of the Eleventh Battalion and in 1929 became Lieutenant-Colonel (LTC). In 1929, Keitel again vorachivaetsya to the Ministry of Defence, but the head of organizational department.

From left to right: Rudolf Hess (Rudolph Hess), Joachim von Ribbentrop (Joachim Von Ribbentrop), Hermann Goering (Hermann Goering), Wilhelm Keitel (Wilhelm Keitel) before internationality military court in Nuremberg

In the summer of 1931, Keitel travels to the Soviet Union with a delegation of the German military. The country is impressive for its size and its abilities. When in 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Keitel was appointed commander of the infantry. In 1934, his father died of William, and he seriously decided to leave the army. But his wife was able to insist on the continuation of the service, and Keitel gave her. In late 1934 he took command of the 22th Infantry Division Bremen. Keitel spent a tremendous job, creating the latest combat-ready divisions, despite the fact that it had a negative impact on his health. By 1935, he became a complete neurotic, a lot of smoke. Continuously treated for thrombophlebitis right foot. Then almost all of the compounds in the development of which he was to have been destroyed at Stalingrad. In 1935, Keitel was asked to lead the management of the armed forces. Without the help of others, he could not venture on it, but again went into action his wife, forcing William to agree. 1938 year was especially lucky for him. In January, the eldest son, a lieutenant of cavalry, made an offer to one of the daughters of German Defense Minister Werner von Blomberg. And in February, Keitel established himself at the head of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW). Why did Hitler entrusted him the job? Most likely, for the fact that William was already able to unconditionally fulfill at least some of its disposal.

General Walter Warlimont later write: "Keitel was sincerely convinced that his mission had ordered him to identify himself with the wishes and instructions of the Supreme Commander, even in those cases where he personally disagrees with them, and tell them to bring to the attention of all subordinate."

The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of Germany Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Reich Minister of the Imperial Ministry of Aviation Hermann Goering, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party Chancellery Chief of Party, Hitler's closest associate of Martin Bormann. Photo made after the most famous assassination attempt on Hitler's life — he rubs his hand in the explosion creased

According to the decision of William OKW was divided into three parts: the operational department of the Alfred Jodl, Department of Intelligence and Counterintelligence or Abwehr Wilhelm Canaris and economics department of George Thomas. All three departments had no competitors in the face of other departments and services of the "Third Reich", such as the army general staff, the management of foreign affairs, security service. RCC has never worked because he wished Keitel. Departments were not reacting together, the number of problems and challenges only grew. The only successfully carried out a military operation, coordinated RCF was "Vezeryubung" — the occupat
ion of Norway and Denmark, which has won 43 day or. After the victory of Germany in the summer of 1940 over France, become generous, Hitler made his field marshal. Whole August Wilhelm Keitel was preparing a plan for the invasion of Britain under the title "Sea Lion", which has not been implemented, since Hitler decided to poruha Russian Alliance. Scared Keitel was a document in which all expressed their objections in this regard and demand his resignation. It is unclear what he said infuriated Hitler, but then Keitel fully and completely trust in Hitler, becoming his dedicated doll. When first in 1941, Hitler decided to complete destruction of the Russian people, well-known issues Keitel orders unquestioning extermination of Russian political workers and the transfer of all power in the occupied East in the hands of Himmler, which was a prelude to genocide. Then Hitler issued a series of orders designed to break the will of our people. For example, for each dead in the rear of the occupied German soldier to be killed from 50 to 100 Russian people. Under each of these documents were signed by Keitel. It is dedicated to the Führer, William was exactly the man whom Hitler had suffered in their own environment. Keitel one hundred percent lost respect of their own fellow soldiers, many of the officers called it "lakeytel." When 20 July 1944 a bomb planted by Colonel Stauffenberg, exploded "Volfsshantse" — "Wolf's Lair", OKW chief was wounded and stunned. But a moment later with clicks: "My Fuhrer! Are you alive? "Hitler had already raised, the victim still less than the others. After conducting an operation to oppression coup Keitel showed no sympathy for the officers who participated in it, many of whom were his friends. In the last days of the war, the battle for Berlin Keitel completely lost sense of reality. He blamed all the princes and refuses to accept the fact that Germany lost the war. But the May 8, 1945 William had to sign the capitulation of Germany. He did this in full uniform, with a marshal's baton in his hand.

Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel goes to the signing of the Act of unquestioning surrender of Germany

After that he went to Flensburg-Myurvik, where after four day or military, was arrested by police in Britain. International Military court in Nuremberg accused him of komplote against the world, committed war crimes and the sins against the people of the land. Keitel answered all the questions right and only agreed that fulfilled the will of Hitler. But the court found him guilty on all Sun. He was denied the shooting. October 16, 1946 immediately after the execution of Ribbentrop Pact William Keitel was hanged.

Without the help of others climbed the scaffold, Keitel said: "I'm all-powerful God to be merciful to the people of Germany. More than 2-million German soldier died for the fatherland before me. I'm going for my siblings — in the name of Germany. "

Of course, Field Marshal naively thought that the last eight years, Radzivil obeying the Fuhrer, he is doing the will of the German people. He's ruined the whole Prussian officer corps, though not exactly so.

Even with a noose around the neck of William shouted: «Deutschland uber alles!» — «Germany above all."

The body of German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel (Wilhelm Bodewin Gustav Keitel, 1882-1946)

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