Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg. 1878 - 1946
Werner von Blomberg. 1878 - 1946.
Born in Pomerania on the the 2nd. of September 1878 was educated in the Cadet Corps, joined the infantry becoming an Officer, and then transferred to the General Staff in 1911. In WW1, he served in that capacity on the Western Front with the 7th. Army.
After the Versailles Treaty decreed that the new German Republic might retain a small professional army limited to 100,000, Blomberg was accepted into the Reichswehr. Here he served from 1927 to 1929 as Chief of the Troop Office, really the disguised small General Staff, and as such made a visit to Russia to study the Red Army.
Blomberg and Major General Kurt von Schleicher, who was chief of the Defence Department ministerial office, for some reason did not get on, perhaps Schleicher who may have wanted the monarchy restored in Germany, considered that Blomberg was just too democratic as a General.
But Blomberg was sent off to East Prussia to be the Commander of the Ist. Infantry Division, and in charge of the military district there. It was an area separated from the Reich by the 1919 peace settlement, perhaps one might call it the German equivalent to Russia's Siberia.
Death of Blomberg's wife Charlotte.
The General suffered a personal blow when his 43 year old wife Charlotte died in 1932, she had been the daughter of an Army Officer, but did not hail from an aristocratic family, like the Blombergs.
League of Nations appointment.
Werner was now sent off to Geneva as head of the German military delegation at the League of Nations, to conduct the disarmament negotiations as required by the Treaty of Versailles.
Offer of Defence Ministry post.
Back in Berlin, Hitler was making his run to become Chancellor of Germany, Schleicher now promoted to be Defence Minister was opposed to Hitler politically. Because Blomberg and Schleicher were enemies, the former was summoned to the German capital to be offered the Defence Ministry post in a Hitler as Chancellor and von Papen as Vice Chancellor run for office.
So it happened, a personal triumph for Werner von Blomberg. Hitler and his Defence Minister got on well together, notwithstanding the growing influence of the SA and the ambitious Roehm.
Promotion to Field Marshal.
On Hitler's 47th. birthday, the 20th. of April 1936, he promoted his Defence Minister to the top Army rank of Field Marshal.
FM Blomberg's Baton
Coronation of King George V1.
The new Field Marshal went off to London to represent Adolf Hitler at the coronation of King George the V1th in June of 1937.
The Field Marshal on amorous pursuits.
At age 60, the War Minister was off chasing after an attractive lady Margarethe Gruhn, whom he called Eva, and wanted to marry her. She apparently had also fallen in love with this high powered gentleman.
In December 1937, Blomberg told General Keitel he wanted to remarry, his love was of humble origins, her mother an ironer and presser, in fact she was a laundress in New Cologne.
The Field Marshal confided in Goring that he wished to remarry but another suitor was on the scene, could Goring please get rid of him? Goring obliged, the man was paid off and disappeared abroad.
Misalliances happen in all types of families including those of the aristocracy, to bolster his position, Blomberg asked both Hitler and Goring to be his wedding witnesses, and so the union took place on the 12th. of January 1938 in the Great Hall of the War Ministry.
Ceremonial Baton, inscribed with von Blomberg, decorated with Nazi swastika's
and German national eagles, on blue velvet covering
After but two weeks disaster struck. The new Frau von Blomborg was known to the vice squad, she had a conviction of dealing with pornographic photographs, something she obviously had not confided to her high ranking husband. This news soon reached Hitler, who was horrified that he had been hoodwinked in this affair, Blomberg had to go, bad health the official reason.
The disgraced Blomberg was shunted off on a world tour, but after half of it was over, he returned to settle in Bad Wiesse. The ex WarMinister tried to curry favour with Hitler and get his old job back by offering to divorce Eva, to no avail.
The former War Minister was arrested by the Allies after the defeat of Germany, and died in internment at Nuremberg on the 14th. of March 1946 after a heart attack. His two Officer sons died in battle, for " Fuhrer, folk and fatherland," a rather sad end for a distinguished Soldier who allowed his heart to rule his head, to pay a high price for his indiscretion.
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