Alfred Jodl was born in Wuerzburg, Germany, on May 10, 1890. He attended cadet school and 1910 joined a field military regiment in the German Army.
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Jodl suffered a severe thigh wound. He recovered and saw further action on the Western Front and the Eastern Front. Disillusioned by Germany's defeat he considered leaving the army and becoming a doctor.
In 1935, Jodl was promoted to the rank of general major. After the Anschluss he was sent to Vienna as head of the 44th Artillery Command. He returned to Germany and in September he took part in the invasion of Poland.
A strong supporter of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), Jodl worked closely with Adolf Hitler and, in October 1939, was appointed chief of operations. In January 1944, Jodl was promoted to the rank of Generaloberst.
Jodl was nearly killed when the bomb exploded in the July Plot. He recovered and, in May 1945, signed the unconditional surrender of Germany to the Allies. Soon afterward, he was arrested and charged with war crimes.
At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, Jodl was charged of approving orders that violated the rules of war. Alfred Jodl was found guilty and hanged on October 16, 1946.