Walter Warlimont

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Walter Warlimont

Walter Warlimont (October 3, 1894 - October 9, 1976) was a German officer known for his role as deputy chief in the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht inner circle. While serving on this military operations planning staff, in early 1939 he assisted in developing some of the German military invasion plans of Poland and later in 1940, he assisted in developing the invasion plans of France. In 1941 he continued to assist in developing invasion operations into Russia. Later, Warlimont was wounded alongside Hitler as a result of the assassination attempt. With the German defeat in May 1945, Warlimont was held as a prisoner-of-war. In October 1948, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, in 1951 his sentence was reduced to 18 years. In 1957 there was an amnesty for certain prisoners, and he was finally released from Landsberg Prison. After the war he engaged in writing various war-historical studies.


  • 1. Political officials and leaders are to be liquidated. 2. Insofar as they are captured by the troops, an officer with authority to impose disciplinary punishment decides whether the given individual must be liquidated. For such a decision the fact suffices that he is a political official. 3. Political leaders in the troops (Red Army) are not recognized as prisoners of war and are to be liquidated at the latest in the prisoner-of-war transit camps.
    • Order issued to the German Army about the occupation of the Soviet Union, May 12th, 1941. Quoted in "The Trial of the Germans" - Page 335 - by Eugene Davidson - History - 1997
  • If one looks back at the short period of time of the Badoglio government, one must remember that the Italian longing and need for peace was no secret to the German command. Since the German retreat at el Alamein in November 1942 and the collapse of the Italian Army on the eastern front, the Italians had repeatedly stated their weariness of battle and had made certain suggestions. In steadily increasing numbers, measures were being taken by the German military command out of fear for the Axis loyalty of Italy. As the course of events showed, the view on betrayal dominated all other German reflections, nourished by the fall of Mussolini and his style of leadership.
    • Quoted in "Forgotten Battles: Italy's War of Liberation, 1943-1945" - Page 50 - by Charles T. O'Reilly - History - 2001
  • This decision is absolutely contrary to my understanding of what the plan was to be in the event of an invasion.
    • Quoted in "The Longest Day: June 6, 1944" - Page 230 - by Cornelius Ryan - History - 1994
  • You must attack as soon as possible.
    • To Hitler, August 3rd. Quoted in "The Battle of the Falaise Gap" - Page 51 - by Eddy Florentin - 1967
  • The Fuhrer has decided to raze the city of St. Petersburg from the face of the earth. After the defeat of Soviet Russia there will be not the slightest reason for the future existence of this large city.
    • Quoted in "The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad" - Page 351 - by Harrison E. Salisbury - History - 2003
  • Hitler's large-scale demands for the Mediterranean meant that...the plans 'Eastern Wall' were overtaken by the increasingly rapid advance of the Red Army.
    • After the end of WWII, quoted in "Inside Hitler's Headquarters, 1939-45" - Page 388 - by Walter Warlimont - 1964


  • Had the 20th of July bomb plot against Hitler succeeded there would have been strikes and civil war within Germany... Already there were fanatic National Socialists in the army with ranks of captain and major; in the air force the doctrine was even at the highest levels, and the SS was entirely a party group - a state within a state. There were even divisions among the people who for 12 years had heard the same party line and had been effected either favorably or unfavorably from the NSDAP. Out of all this chaos there was not a single person who could have brought these factions together and achieve a peace and a democratic government.
    • At subsequent Nuremberg Trials
  • Hitler gave another fateful halt order just when the armoured vanguards of Army Group North had reached the outskirts of Leningrad. Apparently he thereby wanted to avoid the losses of human life and material to be expected from fighting in the streets and squares of this Soviet metropolis against an outraged population, and hoped to gain the same ends by cutting off the city from all lines of supply.
    • 1941

About Warlimont

  • Keitel, Jodl and Warlimont had never been in the war....Their lack of fighting experience tended to make them underrate practical difficulties, and encourage Hitler to believe that things could be done that were quite impossible...
    • Field Marshal von Manstein wrote in an appraisal of General Warlimont's military capabilities
  • Warlimont became renowned, with Keitel and Jodl, as one of the German officers most loyal to Hitler and was accordingly sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment in 1949 as a minor war criminal...
    • Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil War

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