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Guenther Blumentritt

(1892 - 1967)

Guenther Blumentritt was born in Munich, Germany, in 1897. He joined the German Army and during the First World War he served on the Eastern Front in Russia.

Blumentritt and his close friend Erich von Manstein served under Wilhelm Leeb during the 1930s. During the invasion of Poland in September 1939, he served as chief of operation under General Gerd von Rundstedt. He also took part in the invasion of France in May 1940 and, the following year, served under Gunther von Kluge as chief of staff in the 4th Army.

In 1941, Blumentritt took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union before returning to Germany in 1942 as chief of operations. He served in France in 1943.

Blumentritt was associated with several members of the German Army involved in the July Plot against Adolf Hitler and helped German Ambassador Otto Abetz mediate the Army-SS dispute following the coup-related events in Paris. The result was a joint army-SS statement which served to protect as many army officers as possible serving in France from the regime's vengeance.

In September 1944, Blumentritt was sacked from office, but Hitler refused to believe that Blumentritt was guilty and eventually allowed him to return to the front as commander of the 12th SS Corps.

After the Normandy landings, Blumentritt and his troops were driven back by General Brian Horrocks and the 30th Corps. He was then sent to Holland and took command of the 25th Army until returning to Germany as head of the 1st Parachute Army in March 1945.

Guenther Blumentritt died in 1967.

Sources: Spartacus Educational; Joric Center