Model, Walter

Date of birth:
January 24th, 1891 (Genthin/Saxony-Anhalt, Germany)
Date of death:
April 21st, 1945 (woods near Ratingen/Rhineprovince, Germany)
Buried on:
German War Cemetery Vossenack
Nationality:
German (1933-1945, German Reich)

Biography

Walter Model was one of Hitler's most loyal officers and his loyalty to the Führer never wavered. In 1944, after Hitler survived the bomb plot to kill him, Model was the first commander on the eastern front to send him a telegram, reaffirming his allegiance. Rough, agressive and outspoken, Model's loyalty earned him an advantage not given to many other officers in the Wehrmacht: he was able to ignore the Führer's more impos­sible orders, act first and receive permission afterwards and voice some very unpalatable truths. When Model took over from the displaced Hans Günther von Kluge as commander of Armygroup B in Normandy, the first thing he did was tell Hitler that defeat in France was inevitable; other high ranking officers had been dismissed for less.
Model's fighting experience in the war was considerable, he served in Poland and commanded the 3rd Panzerdivision in Russia as well as taking charge in Normandy in august 1944. In September 1944 he was responsible for the defeat of the Allies during Operation Market Garden.
He became known as Hitler's fireman for his skill in shoring up broken fighting fronts. His luck inevitably ran out at the Westwall. Model directed a ferocious defence of the Mosel section assigned to his Armygroup B but in the end he was forced to yield to the massive Allied on­slaughts. In April 1945, Model's Armygroup B was surrounded in the Ruhr pocket; rather than accept defeat he dissolved his forces and gave them the choice of going home, fighting on with other units or surrendering. Model had always despised Fieldmarshall Von Paulus for his capitulation at Stalingrad in 1943 and had no intention of emulating him. Instead, he shot himself on April 21st because, he had said: "a Fieldmars­hall did not surrender".
"What is left," he once asked, "to a commander in defeat?"

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 22nd, 1939
Details:
Had already received the Iron Cross 2nd Class on 20th September 1914.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 2er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 2nd, 1939
Details:
Had already received the Iron Cross 1st Class on 19th October 1915.
1939 Spange zum Eisernen Kreuzes 1er Klasse 1914
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalleutenant
Unit:
Kommandeur 3.Panzer-Division / XXIV.Panzer-Korps / Panzergruppe 2 / Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on:
July 9th, 1941
Details:
344th Award.
Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
General der Panzertruppe
Unit:
Kommandeur XXXXI.Panzerkorps
Awarded on:
February 17th, 1942
Details:
74th Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 21st, 1942
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generaloberst
Unit:
Oberbefehlshaber 9.Armee
Awarded on:
April 2nd, 1943
Details:
28th Award.
Ritterkreuz mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
September 3rd, 1943
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 5th, 1944
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Generalfeldmarschall
Unit:
Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe Mitte
Awarded on:
August 17th, 1944
Details:
17th Award.
Ritterkreuz, Eichenlaub, Schwertern und Brillanten
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
April 19th, 1945
Wehrmachtbericht
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
August 29th, 1941
Details:
Silver version
Panzerkampfabzeichen (ohne Zahl)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
July 15th, 1942
Medaille
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
March 29th, 1915
IV. Klasse des Militärverdienstordens
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
February 26th, 1917
Ritter des Königlicher Preussischer Hausordens von Hohenzollern
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
November 22nd, 1917
Militärverdienstkreuz III. Klasse
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
November 22nd, 1917
Harp Madalyasi
Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Awarded on:
August 27th, 1918
Verwundetenabzeichen in Schwarz (1918)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
May 25th, 1942
Verwundetenabzeichen 1939 in Gold

Sources

  • Photo: Go2War2.nl
  • - Die Ordensträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht (CD), VMD-Verlag GmbH, Osnabrück, 2002
    - Fellgiebel W.P., Elite of the Third Reich, The recipients of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939-1945: A Reference, Helion & Company Limited, Solihull, 2003, ISBN 1-874622-46-9
    - The wehrmacht at war 1939-1945 the units and commanders, Andris J. Kursietis ISBN 907532338-7
    - BBC Documentary Battlefield