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Toy soldiers and real battles: Oberkommando der wehrmacht

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Oberkommando der wehrmacht

The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, "High Command of the Armed Forces", literally upper command was the High Command of the Wehrmacht (armed forces) of Nazi Germany during World War II. Created in 1938, the OKW had nominal oversight over the Heer (Army), the Kriegsmarine (Navy), and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). During the war, the OKW, subordinate to Adolf Hitler as Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, acquired more and more operational powers. By 1942, OKW had responsibility for all theaters except for the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union. However, Hitler manipulated the system in order to prevent any one command from taking a dominant role in decision making. During the Nuremberg Trials, the OKW was indicted but acquitted of being a criminal organization like the Waffen-SS. OKW Chiefs - Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging.

 June 1942. At the map table, the Führer speaks-his generals listen. To his left is Friedrich Paulus, a staff officer recently given command of Sixth Army.
1942. Erich von Manstein (left, hands on table) with Hitler discussing the situation of the Eastern Front.

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