(1884 - 1972)
Franz Halder was born in Germany in 1884. He joined the German Army and during the First World War he
was a member of the staff of the Crown Prince of Bavaria.
In 1938, Halder replaced General Ludwig
Beck as Chief of General Staff. Halder organized the offensive against Poland but warned Adolf
Hitler against the Invasion of France. Halder also helped plan the
eventually abandoned Operation Sealion and Operation Barbarossa.
After the resignation of Walther
von Brauchitsch, Halder took over as Commander in Chief of the German
Army. He was replaced by General Kurt Zeitzler in September 1942 after
a disagreement with Adolf Hitler.
Halder was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and accused of being involved in the July
Plot. He was sent to Dachau Concentration Camp and was freed in 1945 by the U.S. Army.
In 1946, Halder gave evidence against leading members of the Nazi
Party at the Nuremberg
War Crimes Trial. His critics have pointed out that Halder's objections
to Hitler were based on military differences rather than a rejection
of Nazi philosophy. For example, he became involved in the July
Plot because he believed that Hitler no longer had the ability to
win the war. Franz Halder died in 1972.