Messenger, a military historian and defense analyst who served as an officer in the UKAEs Royal Tank Regiment, offers a biography of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt
(1875-1953), a German commander during World War II.
Some have placed the blame for the idea upon General von Rundstedt
, but Rundstedt told Major Milton Shulman, a Canadian intelligence officer, after the war that it was not his decision: "My hands were tied by direct orders from Hitler himself....
I found another interesting tidbit while looking at the questions that Weyland had written for intelligence officers to ask captured German field marshal Karl von Rundstedt
. At the bottom of a typed page with questions for von Rundstedt--having to do with the United States Army Air Forces' performance versus the Luftwaffe--Weyland wrote in an undated entry, "Russian AF vs Am.
Meanwhile, an even stronger Army Group South, under Colonel-General Gerd von Rundstedt
, would punch between the larger Polish forces facing it, push east all the way to Lvov, but also assault Warsaw from the west and north.
Manstein's plan, no matter how brilliant, would never have seen the light of day had it not been given a sympathetic hearing not only by Hitler--bold ideas were very much to his liking--but also by Manstein's rather conservative-minded commander, General Gerd von Rundstedt
. Hardly less relevant is that Manstein, Rundstedt, and several other senior commanders embodied the high traditions of the German General Staff.
(Montgomery, Puritan though he was, insisted that his men be taught the French term for 'French letter'.) General Thompson also shows that it was the German High Command, especially von Rundstedt
, and not Hitler, who made their fatal decision to weaken the pursuit of the defeated Allies to Dunkirk.
There are some slips: The Soviet tank was the T-34, not T-4, which refers to the code of the Nazi "euthanasia" campaign; the German Army of World War I was the Kaiserheer, not the Wehrmacht; the German Field Marshal was Gerd von Rundstedt
, not Karl von Rundstet, and so forth.
Uebershar, Vogel, and Goda show that numerous officers (Erich von Manstein, Gerd von Rundstedt
, Gunther von Kluge, and Hans Guderian, to name a few) who later claimed that their sense of duty and honor had precluded their joining the anti-Hitler conspiracy accepted large, covert monetary gifts from the fuhrer.
But only Rommel joins the ranks as a great captain, because von Rundstedt
allowed his personal loyalty to Hitler to override his other soldierly obligations.
Among them was Field Marshal von Rundstedt
, who attended church in Bridgend and sometimes took afternoon tea with the vicar - after, it was said, delivering milk in the town.
Not since Pearl Harbor had the Americans received so rude a shock as when the dawn of December 16, 1944 was broken by the thunder of a thousand German guns, heralding the onslaught of what the Germans called "The von Rundstedt
Offensive," named after their commanding officer on the Western Front.
What happened to the US commanders in Hawaii, General Walter Short and Admiral Husband Kimmel, after they were fired in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor--or, for that matter, General Gerd von Rundstedt
after his failure to fend off the Allied Normandy Invasion?
The front page also recorded that General Von Rundstedt
had been captured by the Allies and that the last `All Clear' had sounded.
When Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt
asked for two armor divisions as reinforcements against the Allied airborne assault, the request was delayed until it could be approved by the Fuhrer himself.
After this episode, Island Farm was upgraded to hold some of Hitler's most senior generals, including a number of SS officers and Field Marshal Gerd Von Rundstedt
, who was behind plans to assassinate the Fuhrer.