Field Marshal von Rundstedt
Born in 1875 and commissioned into the infantry in 1892, Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt came from the Prussian aristocracy and was a model officer. A graduate of the prestigious Kriegsakademie (War Academy), he served as a staff officer on both the eastern and western fronts, and he rose to the rank of chief of staff of a corps during the First World War. He was twice recommended for the Pour Le Mérite, Prussia’s highest decoration.
After the war he was retained in the Reichswehr, the armed forces of the Weimar Republic, where he’d attained the rank of lieutenant general by the time Hitler came to power in 1933. Though he constantly disparaged the Fuehrer privately, von Rundstedt displayed unwavering support and loyalty to him in the professional sense and, indeed, came to be considered by the dictator as being one of his most trustworthy generals.
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