Kurt Student : Nazi Germany

Kurt Student : Nazi Germany

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Kurt Student was born in Birkhonz, Germany, on 12th May 1890. He joined the German Army and was commissioned in 1912. The following year he moved to the German Army Air Service and during the First World War he piloted reconnaissance and bomber aircraft.

After the war Student remained in the armed forces and in 1934 he joined the Luftwaffe. As a senior adviser he played an important role in creating the new German air force. Promoted to major general he was instructed to form Germany's first parachute battalion in 1938. The 7th Air Division was not used in Poland because Adolf Hitler wanted to keep its existence secret until the Western Offensive.

Student's parachute troops were employed successfully in Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands in 1940. This included the dropping of 4,000 parachutists around Hague and Rotterdam. During the operation Student was shot in the head and he was unable to return to duty until January 1941.

Student was involved with Hitler in planning Operation Sealion but eventually plans to drop parachute units in England and Northern Ireland were abandoned. So also were plans to carry out an airborne invasion of Gibraltar after General Francisco Franco refused to allow support troops to go across Spain.

The airborne assault on Crete between 20th May and 1st June, 1941, was very costly when 4,000 parachutists were killed. Adolf Hitler was shocked by the scale of these losses and decided that no more large-scale airborne operations should be undertaken. The invasion of Malta was cancelled and it was decided that airborne units should be used as ground troops.

Student's troops were used in Italy, Belgium, Holland and France during 1944. After the Normandy landings his 1st Parachute Army attempted to halt the advance of General Bernard Montgomery and his allied troops to the Rhine. Just before he committed suicide, Adolf Hitler named Student to replace Gotthard Heinrici as commander of AG Vistula. Kurt Student died in 1978.

On January 10th a major detailed by me as liaison officer to the and Air Fleet flew from Munster to Bonn to discuss some unimportant details of the plan with the Air Force. He carried with him, however, the complete operational plan for the attack in the West. In icy weather and a strong wind he lost his way over the frozen and snow-covered Rhine, and flew into Belgium, where he had to make a forced landing. He was unable to burn completely the vital document. Important parts of it fell into the hands of the Belgians, and consequently the outline of the whole German plan for the Western offensive. The German Air Attaché in the Hague reported that on the same evening the King of the Belgians had a long telephone conversation with the Queen of Holland.

It was interesting to watch the reactions of this incident on Germany's leading men. While Goering was in a rage. Hitler remained quite calm and self-possessed. At first he wanted to strike immediately, but fortunately refrained and decided to drop the original operational plan entire. This was replaced by the Manstein plan.

Altogether, we had 4,500 trained parachute troops in the spring of 1940. To give the offensive against Holland a fair chance it was necessary to use the bulk of them there. So we allotted five battalions, some 4,000 men, to that task, supplemented by an air-transported division, the 22nd, which comprised 12,000 men.

The limitations of our strength compelled us to concentrate on two objectives - the points which seemed the most essential to the success of the invasion. The main effort, under my own control, was directed against the bridges at Rotterdam, Dordrecht and Moerdijk by which the main route from the south was carried across the mouths of the Rhine. Our task was to capture the bridges before the Dutch could blow them up, and keep them open until the arrival of our mobile ground forces. My force comprised four parachute battalions and one air-transported regiment (of three battalions). We achieved complete success, at a cost of only 180 casualties. We dared not fail, for if we did the whole invasion would have failed.

The secondary attack was made against The Hague. Its aim was to get a hold upon the Dutch capital, and in particular to capture the Government offices and the Service headquarters. The force employed here was commanded by General Graf Sponcck; it consisted of one parachute battalion and two air-transported regiments. This attack did not succeed. Several hundred men were killed and wounded, while as many were taken prisoner.

At first Hitler developed in detail his general views, political and strategical, about how to continue the war against his principal enemy. Herein he also mentioned the issues in the Mediterranean. After that he turned to the question of invading England. Hitler said that during the previous year he could not afford to risk a possible failure; apart from that, he had not wished to provoke the British, as he hoped to arrange peace talks. But as they were unwilling to discuss things, they must face the alternative.

Then a discussion followed about the use of the 11th Air Corps in an invasion of Great Britain. In this respect I expressed my doubts about using the Corps directly on the South coast, to form a bridgehead for the Army - as the area immediately behind the coast was now covered with obstacles. These doubts were accepted by Hitler. I then proposed that, if it proved absolutely necessary to use the 11th Air Corps on the south coast, then airfields in the hinterland (25 to 35 miles distant from the coast) should be captured, and infantry divisions landed on them.

Suddenly Hitler pointed to the Cornwall - Devon Peninsula, and drew a big circle on his map round Taunton and the Blackdown Hills, saying: 'Your airborne troops could be used here as flank protection. This is a strong sector and, besides, this important defile must be opened.' He then pointed to Plymouth and dwelt on the importance of this great harbour for the Germans and for the English. Now I could no longer follow his thought, and I asked at what points on the south coast the landing was to take place. But Hitler kept strictly to his order that operations were to be kept secret, and said: 'I cannot tell you yet'.

Although we succeeded in capturing the island, our casualties were heavy. We lost 4,000 killed and missing, apart from wounded, out of 32,000 men we dropped on the island -14,000 of these were parachute troops and the rest belonged to the Mountain division. Much of the loss was due to bad landings - there were very few suitable spots in Crete, and the prevailing wind blew from the interior towards the sea. For fear of dropping the troops in the sea, the pilots tended to drop them too far inland - some of them actually in the British lines. The weapon containers often fell wide of the troops, which was another handicap that contributed to our excessive casualties. The few British tanks that were there shook us badly at the start - it was lucky there were not more than two dozen. The infantry, mostly New Zealanders, put up a stiff fight, though taken by surprise.

Hitler was very upset by the heavy losses suffered by the parachute units, and came to the conclusion that their surprise value had passed. After that he often said to me: "The day of parachute troops is over.' He would not believe reports that the British and Americans were developing airborne forces. The fact that none were used in the St. Nazaire and Dieppe raids confirmed his opinion. He said to me: 'There, you see! They are not raising such forces. I was right.' He only changed his mind after the Allied conquest of Sicily in 1943. Impressed by the way the Allies had used them

there, he ordered an expansion of our own airborne forces. But that change of mind came too late - because by then you had command of the air, and airborne troops could not be effectively used in face of a superior air force.

When the Allies landed in Sicily, on July loth, I at once proposed to make an immediate airborne counter-attack there with both my divisions. But Hitler turned this down - JodI, in particular, was against it. So the 1st Parachute Division was merely flown (from the South of France) to Italy in the first place - part to Rome and part to Naples - while the 2nd Parachute Division remained at Nimes with me. The 1st Parachute Division, however, was soon sent on to Sicily - for use as ground troops to reinforce the scanty German forces which were there when the Italian troops began to collapse en masse. The division was flown by air, in successive lifts, and dropped behind our front in the eastern sector south of Catania. I had wanted them to be dropped behind the Allied front. The first contingent was dropped about 3 kilometres behind our front, and by a strange coincidence it landed almost simultaneously with the British parachute troops who were dropped behind our front to open the bridge across the Simeto river. It overcame these British parachute troops and rescued the bridge from their hands. This was on July 14th.

Kurt Georg Kiesinger

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Kurt Georg Kiesinger, (born April 6, 1904, Ebingen, Germany—died March 9, 1988, Tübingen, West Germany), conservative politician and chancellor (1966–69) of the Federal Republic of Germany whose “grand coalition” brought the Social Democratic Party (SPD) into the government for the first time since 1930.

Kiesinger was educated at Berlin and Tübingen, after which he began to practice law. He joined the Nazi Party after Adolf Hitler’s accession to power in 1933 but remained largely inactive in it and refused to join the National Socialist lawyers’ guild in 1938. During World War II he served as assistant chief of the radio propaganda department in the foreign ministry. Interned by U.S. forces after the war, Kiesinger was finally cleared by Allied and German denazification courts. He joined Konrad Adenauer’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and began his parliamentary career in the newly formed Federal Republic of Germany (1949). From 1949 to 1958 he was a member of the Bundestag (federal lower house), where he served as chairman of the foreign policy committee and defended Adenauer’s pro-Western foreign policy as well as his conservative domestic course. From 1958 to 1966 he was minister-president of Baden-Württemberg and from 1962 to 1963 Bundesrat (federal upper house) president.

Kiesinger replaced Ludwig Erhard as chancellor on December 1, 1966, after the latter had lost the support of the CDU’s coalition partner in the government, the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Kiesinger was able to deflect hostile publicity about his former membership in the Nazi Party. His government, a grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD, remained in power for nearly three years, during which time the West German economy improved after it had begun to falter under Erhard. Kiesinger continued a pro-Western foreign policy but to some degree eased tensions with the Soviet bloc. His party fared well in the 1969 election, but the SPD formed a coalition with the FDP. On October 20, 1969, Kiesinger was replaced as chancellor by Willy Brandt of the SPD.

Kurt Jooss

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Kurt Jooss, (born Jan. 12, 1901, Wasseralfingen, Ger.—died May 22, 1979, Heilbronn, W.Ger.), German dancer, teacher, and choreographer whose dance dramas combined Expressionistic modern-dance movements with fundamental ballet technique.

Initially a music student, Jooss trained in dance from 1920 to 1924 with Rudolf Laban and then worked as choreographer for the avant-garde Neue Tanzbühne (“New Dance Stage”). After studying ballet in Vienna and Paris, Jooss returned to Germany and established a school (1927) and company (1928). In 1930 he became ballet master at the Essen Opera House, where his own group performed. In 1932 he choreographed The Green Table, which won first prize in the choreographic competition organized by the International Archives of Dance in Paris. Subsequently his group became known as Ballets Jooss and made a world tour during 1933 and 1934. Because Adolf Hitler had come to power, Jooss did not return to Germany but with Sigurd Leeder made his headquarters at Dartington Hall, Devon, Eng., where many students came to study his approach to dance. Jooss returned to Essen in 1949, as a British citizen, and reopened his school. His company was disbanded in 1953 (and he retired as school director in 1968), but he reorganized the company for festivals during 1963 and 1964.

Jooss’s masterpiece, The Green Table, is a caustic satire on the futility of war. His other ballets, which include The Big City (1932) and The Seven Heroes (1933), also have contemporary themes or implications. Jooss retained basic ballet steps and positions in his choreography and made extensive use of expressive gesture but eliminated such displays of virtuosity as the use of points and multiple pirouettes. At his school at Dartington Hall and later at Essen, Jooss formalized his approach by further developing eukinetics, a system originated by Laban and designed to enable a dancer to perform a wide variety of dance styles with expression and control. Through his eclectic choreography and his teaching, Jooss expanded the technical and thematic range of theatrical dance.

Paratroopers and World War Two

Paratroopers were to play a decisive part in World War Two. Paratroopers were vital in the German attack on Crete, the initial attacks by the Allies at D-Day and they played an important role in the Allies failed attack on Arnhem.

Paratroopers developed an elite image on both sides during World War Two. The British paras who fought with such bravery at Arnhem helped to cement this image even in defeat. The German Fallschirmjager’s attack on Crete did the same from the German perspective.

The desire to drop soldiers behind enemy lines dates back centuries.

“Where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defence, so that ten thousand men descending from the clouds might not, in many places, do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?” Benjamin Franklin in 1784

In World War One, Winston Churchill suggested dropping “flying columns” to destroy enemy bridges, factories and sabotage communications. An American officer, Colonel ‘Billy’ Mitchell, devised a plan to actually drop troops by parachute from a British Handley-Page bomber onto the city of Metz. It was cancelled because the Armistice was signed.

Between the wars, all the world’s military powers toyed with the idea of airborne operations. The Russians took an early lead in this field. In 1936, 1,200 men in the Red Army, parachuted during manoeuvres near Kiev. The watching foreign military attaches were suitably impressed. The Russians called these troops ‘locust warriors’. Ironically, despite their pre-war lead in this field, the Russians barely used paratroopers in World War Two. Men destined to lead Russian partisan groups were dropped behind German lines. A legend held by the Red Army told of soldiers who were dropped from a low flying plane without parachutes as they were targeted at a large snow-bank!

As the war approached neither Britain nor America had paratrooper regiments. Both countries put their faith in the movement of complete military units by air – men, supplies, artillery pieces etc. This was known as air-landing. The French had created a battalion of paratroopers in 1939, but it soon disbanded.

It was the Germans who seized on the potential that paratroopers gave. Such troops fitted in perfectly with Guderian’s vision of lightening war – Blitzkrieg.

Göring, as head of the Luftwaffe, formed the first parachute regiments in 1935. During the Spanish Civil War, the Germans had gained experience in air-landings, primarily using the Junkers 52. It was to be this plane that was to be the workhorse of the Fallschirjager – the German paratroopers. A Luftwaffe general, Kurt Student, was given charge of airborne training.

The Germans launched what can be classed as the first airborne ‘attack’ on March 12th, 1938 when German paratroopers seized and captured an airfield at Wagram in Austria during the take-over of Austria.

When the Germans attacked Poland and gave the world its first glimpse of Blitzkrieg in September 1939, paratroopers played no part despite many rumours that areas of Poland had been captured by paratroopers. However, in the attack on Western Europe, German paratroopers were used in the attack on Norway in May 1940 when they captured air bases at Oslo and Stavanger.

In the attack on the Netherlands, German paratroopers played a major role isolating the city of The Hague and in Belgium, they seized vital bridges and took a strategic fort at Eben Emael.

German paratroopers jump from a J-52

One year later, the Germans used paratroopers to attack Crete. This was the first time that paratroopers were given the task of attacking and defeating a complete target. At the time, it was the largest airborne attack in history. Though the island was taken after heavy fighting and the attack passed into military folklore, the Germans took very heavy casualties (25%) and Hitler lost faith in this form of attack. On the orders of Hitler, German paratroopers were sent to Russia where they fought as ground troops. However, the British read more into this battle and with the support of Churchill, Britain soon had an airborne division.

In June 1940, Churchill had written to the head of the military wing of the War Cabinet Secretariat:

“We ought to have a corps of at least 5,000 parachute troops…I hear something is being done already to form such a corps but only, I believe, on a very small scale. Advantage must be taken of the summer to train these forces who can none the less play their part meanwhile as shock troops in home defence.” W Churchill

Major John Rock of the Royal Engineers was given the task of creating a British airborne unit. Unlike the Germans, the British paratroopers were part of the army. Rock’s unit was based at Ringway, Manchester and it had to make do with minimal supplies. Its first planes were Whitley bombers which had the rear gun turret removed so that paratroopers could jump out of the plane (as opposed to jumping out of a side door).

The British made their first demonstration jump in November 1940 when four Whitley bombers dropped 50 paratroopers. In the same month, General ‘Boy’ Browning was appointed General Officer Commanding Airborne Troops. By the end of December 1940, everything was in place to create the British 1st Airborne Division whose distinctive mark was to be the maroon beret and a shoulder patch with Bellerophon astride the winged horse Pegasus.

In America, an airborne brigade was discussed in 1939 by the Chief of Infantry. A parachute test platoon came into being in June 1940 under the control of the Infantry. This platoon was headed by Major William Lee. In the autumn of 1940, a parachute battalion was created in America and a parachute school was founded at Fort Benning in Georgia. The Americans, like the British, experimented with the use of gliders to deliver their men to a drop zone.

Both Britain’s and America’s airborne divisions tended to total about 9,000 men. The tendency was to go for lightly armed men to boost their ability to move around a battlefield. This put them at a disadvantage on the ground if they were confronted by tanks and other armoured vehicles. The damage down to the Germans in Crete taught a lesson to the British and Americans in that any area that was prepared for an airborne attack, would result in heavy losses for the attackers.

Airborne soldiers at D-Day took disproportionately high casualties compared to the beach landings (with the exception of Omaha) while the airborne attack on Arnhem proved to be a failure. The success of the Allies in using parachute regiments to capture airstrips in Burma was only due to the involvement of ground forces as well as airborne troops. In the western sector of Europe, the speed of the Allies advance was such that the time to plan and co-ordinate a massed airborne raid was never available.

Most senior military commanders saw the role of the airborne troops simply as to seize strategic sites (such as bridges in the example at Arnhem) and to hold them until ground troops arrived. In ‘Operation Varsity’, airborne troops held a ridge overlooking the River Rhine to give support to the ground troops who needed to cross the river before moving on. In this example, the paratroopers were also expected to fight off any German attack which would hinder the speed of the crossing of the River Rhine.

On many occasions, paratroopers were used as normal infantrymen. This happened in both the European conflict as well as in the Pacific. During the Battle of the Bulge, Eisenhower used three airborne divisions as infantry units to fight off the German counter-offensives. In the Philippines, the US 11th Airborne Division fought as regular infantrymen.

Kurt Student : Nazi Germany - History

The Fallschirmjager, the German paratroopers of World War 2, made the first airborne infantry assaults in history. When Germany invaded Western Europe in 1940, the German paratroopers parachuted and landed with gliders and captured strategic positions. A year later, in May 1941, in their greatest operation, they invaded and conquered the big island Crete in the Mediterranean solely by airborne troops. Their losses were such that Hitler decided never to do another large airborne operation, so the German paratroopers served the rest of the war as elite infantry.

The military use of paratroopers as airborne infantry is originally a Russian innovation. Since the 1920s the Russian military exercised and demonstrated the use of paratroopers in increasingly larger scale. Some foreign officers were allowed to observe these exercises. One of them was a German Colonel, Kurt Student, who was a fighter pilot and squadron leader in World War 1.

Student was excited by the military potential of paratroopers, but the establishment of the German paratroopers force was delayed until the German military buildup began in 1935. In the meantime Student became an expert with gliders, the other element of his future airborne force (after World War 2 the helicopter replaced the glider as the vehicle of airborne landings).

The German paratroopers force, the Fallschirmjager, was established in January 1936, with the enthusiast Student as its commander. It began as a single battalion of paratroopers and kept growing rapidly, becoming a division in 1938 and later a Corps, including paratroopers, glider troops, and elite infantry. It was a large and independent elite force of selected and very highly trained volunteers. They developed new tactics and techniques which improved their performance, such as the parachute-opening cord tied to the aircraft, which made parachuting safer and enabled them to jump from lower altitude and reduce exposure to enemy fire. The Fallschirmjager force belonged to the German Air Force. The concept was that they will be used to achieve what air bombardment can not, mainly capturing strategic positions behind enemy lines instead of destroying them.

Their transport aircraft were the common Junkers 52, which carried 17 paratroopers, and the DFS 230 glider, which carried over a ton of heavier weapons and equipment, or troops, and could be towed by an empty Junkers 52 and released over the landing zone.

Since 1938 the Fallschirmjager prepared for planned operations in Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Poland, but these were cancelled. Their first assault was in April 1940 in Norway and Denmark, when airborne forces landed in key Norwegian and Danish airfields and captured them to allow safe landing of additional forces. The Junkers 52 was used as a passenger aircraft before the war and many of the German pilots landed in those Norwegian airfields before the war, so the surprise and deception were perfect, and once they landed the Germans quickly overwhelmed the defenders.

Their second operation, which this time included parachuting and glider landings, was a month later in the invasion of Western Europe. They did what paratroopers do best, and captured vital river bridges behind enemy lines which the advancing German armor needed to cross, and a formidable Belgian fortress, Eben Emael, which guarded other key bridges.

Eben Emael was manned by about a thousand Belgian soldiers and was strongly fortified. It was a set of seven large fortified artillery positions, with 18 artillery guns, surrounded by many machine gun positions, mine fields, barbed wire, a moat, and connected via underground bunkers and tunnels.

On May 10, 1940, at dawn, this fortress was attacked by just 78 Fallschirmjager troops which landed on top of it with 10 gliders. They were equipped with light weapons and with several 100 pound armor piercing explosive charges. Before the raid these 78 paratroopers trained on a full size model of the Eben Emael fortress. They landed precisely on the roof of the large fortress in total surprise, and with their far superior fighting skill over the shocked Belgians they were able to quickly take over the roof area and confine the defenders to their fortified bunkers which they cracked one after the other with their special explosive charges. The German losses were just six dead and twenty wounded. A day later, when the paratroopers were joined by German ground forces, the hundreds of remaining Belgian defenders inside the fortress surrendered.

The small elite force of just 78 German paratroopers defeated a greatly larger force in a mighty fortress. It was a great success which remains one of the most daring and successful raids in history, a model of what elite soldiers can achieve in properly planned raids.

Kurt Student himself suffered a severe head injury in the fighting in Holland, but survived. A year later he was back on duty and he and Erwin Rommel proposed a large scale airborne operation.

Operation Mercury - the airborne invasion of Crete

They proposed that an entire Fallschirmjager division will parachute and land with gliders in the large island Crete in the eastern Mediterranean, overcome its allied defenders and occupy it, with the support of reinforcements which would follow by air and by sea. Impressed with the former successes of the Fallschirmjager, Hitler agreed, in condition that the operation in Crete will end before the beginning of the invasion to Russia a month later, but this was much more time than Student needed.

The strategic German goal in taking Crete was to make it a forward German base, mainly for the Luftwaffe, allowing it to more easily locate and attack British warships and convoys in the eastern Mediterranean and by that help Rommel in his North African campaign against the British forces in Egypt.

Crete was held by about 35,000 lightly armed allied and Greek infantry, most of them recently evacuated to Crete from mainland Greece. Thanks to intelligence the attack itself was not a surprise. It was also clear that the attack will be at the long North coast of Crete. The allied forces prepeared for the attack with what they had, and the Royal Navy patrolled in the sea North of Crete.

  • 3 elite infantry divisions (paratroopers division, airborne division, mountain infantry division)
  • 500 Junkers 52 planes and 72 gliders for air transport
  • 300 fighters, 200 Stuka dive bombers, and 30 other bombers for air support
  • Civilian ships for troop transport and a force of torpedo boats for escort

The only flaw in the German preparations was that their intelligence underestimated the British force in Crete at a third of its actual size. This cost them in very heavy casualties during the attack.

In the morning of May 20, 1941, Crete was again heavily bombarded by the Germans, but this time the bombers were followed by large and dense formations of Junkers 52s carrying paratroopers or towing gliders. They attacked in several places but the main attack was in Canea and in nearby Maleme in the West side of Crete's North coast. There was an airport and a harbor there and both were defended.

The 6000 German paratroopers which landed in Canea and nearby Maleme , and also those which landed in the East side of Crete, fought all day, with heavy casualties, but allied defenders held their positions and it seemed that the Germans were going to lose the battle. Furthermore, at night the Germans tried to ship reinforcements by sea but they were intercepted and sunk by the British Navy. The German paratroopers also lost direct radio contact with the operation's command post in Athens which had to rely on pilots' reports to evaluate the situation.

It was clear to Student that he must urgently reinforce his paratroopers on the ground or lose them, but he didn't know if it was possible to land more troops in the airport at Maleme. He ordered Colonel Ramcke which commanded the paratroopers in West Crete and later became one of the most highly decorated German war heroes, to take Maleme at all cost, and then sent a single Junkers 52 to try to land in Maleme and return to report.

The German pilot landed in Maleme at dawn, under fire, stopped the Junkers 52 near some surprised German officers, received an updated situation report from them, and took off again. Once safely airborne again, the pilot immediately reported to Student that landing is possible, and Student immediately ordered the reinforcement force, which were already waiting inside their airplanes, to take off and fly to Maleme.

In the fierce battle of Maleme, the allied side made one critical mistake which greatly helped the Germans at the most critical time. The commander of the allied force which held the hill that covered the Maleme airport with fire, was under continuous pressure by Ramcke's paratroopers. The allied commander and his superiors failed to understand the key importance of preventing the Germans from using the airfield to bring in their reinforcements, so instead of receiving available reinforcements and hold this hill, the allied commander was permitted to abandon it, and it was just before the German Junkers planes began landing in Maleme with reinforcements.

It was a classic example of the importance of holding the higher ground position, which in modern fighting often translates to achieving air superiority, and there, in Maleme, abandoning the higher ground cost The Allies the battle, the island of Crete, and heavy losses which they suffered in the rest of the battle.

With the arrival of more and more reinforcements landing in Maleme airport, the Germans could finally secure their beachhead in West Crete, receive some reinforcements by sea (their total force in Crete reached 17,500), and start pushing the allied defenders. After several more days, the allied commander in Crete realized he was fighting a lost battle and ordered to evacuate his forces from the island, an evacuation which suffered heavy losses in men and ships to German air attacks.

Paratroopers on the ground

The German paratroopers conquered Crete, but at a heavy cost of thousands dead and thousands wounded, mostly of Germany's finest soldiers, and the loss of 170 transport aircraft and dozens of fighters and bombers. These losses were dwarfed just months later by the tremendous German losses in the fighting in Russia which began a month later, but in mid 1941, at the peak of his triumph, Adolf Hitler was shocked by the heavy losses of the paratroopers' invasion of Crete and he decided that there will be no more large scale German airborne operations. In the rest of World War 2, other than a few insignificant small operations, the Fallschirmjager fought on the ground, as elite infantry. They proved themselves again and again as formidable opponents, especially in Monte Cassino (early 1944), in Normandy, and in Holland, where they defeated the British paratroopers in Arnhem. The lessons of large scale operation of paratroopers by the Germans were learned by The Allies, which later during the war made several such operations.

Generaloberst Kurt Student

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009, 15:16

Kurt Student was born in Birkhonz, Germany, on 12th May 1890. He joined the German Army and was commissioned in 1912. The following year he moved to the German Army Air Service and during the First World War he piloted reconnaissance and bomber aircraft.

After the war Student remained in the armed forces and in 1934 he joined the Luftwaffe. As a senior adviser he played an important role in creating the new German air force. Promoted to major general he was instructed to form Germany's first parachute battalion in 1938. The 7th Air Division was not used in Poland because Adolf Hitler wanted to keep its existence secret until the Western Offensive.

Student's parachute troops were employed successfully in Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands in 1940. This included the dropping of 4,000 parachutists around Hague and Rotterdam. During the operation Student was shot in the head and he was unable to return to duty until January 1941.

Student was involved with Hitler in planning Operation Sealion but eventually plans to drop parachute units in England and Northern Ireland were abandoned. So also were plans to carry out an airborne invasion of Gibraltar after General Francisco Franco refused to allow support troops to go across Spain.

The airborne assault on Crete between 20th May and 1st June, 1941, was very costly when 4,000 parachutists were killed. Adolf Hitler was shocked by the scale of these losses and decided that no more large-scale airborne operations should be undertaken. The invasion of Malta was cancelled and it was decided that airborne units should be used as ground troops.

Student's troops were used in Italy, Belgium, Holland and France during 1944. After the Normandy landings his 1st Parachute Army attempted to halt the advance of General Bernard Montgomery and his allied troops to the Rhine. Just before he committed suicide, Adolf Hitler named Student to replace Gotthard Heinrici as commander of AG Vistula. Kurt Student died in 1978.

Re: Generaloberst Kurt Student

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009, 15:19

Kurt Student with Hermann Bernhard Ramcke and Hans Kroh.

Re: Generaloberst Kurt Student

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009, 15:28

Kurt Student inspecting Fallschirmjäger.

Re: Generaloberst Kurt Student

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009, 15:32

Re: Generaloberst Kurt Student

Post by AlifRafikKhan » 21 Jul 2009, 21:26

Promotion of Kurt Student :

# Fähnrich: 3 March 1910 (with effect from 1 March 1910)
# Leutnant: 20 March 1911 (Patent 24 June 1909)
# Oberleutnant: 18 June 1915
# Hauptmann: 20 June 1918 (RDA 5 October 1916)
# Major: 1 January 1930
# Oberstleutnant: 1 January 1934
# Oberst: 20 January 1935
# Generalmajor: 1 April 1938
# Generalleutnant: 1 January 1940
# General der Flieger (later, General der Fallschirmtruppe): 1 August 1940
# Generaloberst: 13 July 1944

* 3 March 1910-1 August 1911: Assigned to Jäger-Bataillon Graf Yorck von Wartenburg (Ostpreußisches) Nr.1, Ortelsburg.
* 1 May 1910-1 March 1911: Detached for pilot training at the Military Flying School Berlin-Johannisthal (pilot's license on 8 August 1913).
* 1 February 1914-31 March 1914: Detached to Flying Station Posen and Flieger-Bataillon 2, Posen.
* 2 June 1914-1 August 1914: Detached as a pilot with Flieger-Bataillon 2, Posen.
* 2 August 1914-9 February 1916: Transferred as a pilot to Feldflieger-Abteilung [Field Flying Detachment] 17.
* 10 February 1916-16 May 1916: Assigned as a pilot to Kampfstaffel 19 / Kampfgeschwader 4 of the Army High Command.
* 17 May 1916-15 October 1916: Assigned as a pilot to Army Fokkerstaffel [Fokker Squadron--equipped with Fokker "eindecker" scouts] of the 3rd Army.
* 7 October 1916-15 October 1916: Assigned as a pilot to Jagdstaffel [Fighter Squadron] 9.
* 16 October 1916-2 May 1917: Commander of Jagdstaffel 9.
* 2 May 1917-11 July 1917: Wounded in aerial combat/in hospital.
* 12 July 1917-24 February 1918: Commander of the Jagdgruppe [Fighter Group] of the 3rd Army.
* 25 February 1918-1 March 1918: Transferred to Fliegerersatz-Abteilung [Flying Replacement Detachment] 3, Gotha.
* 2 March 1918-13 June 1918: Flight leader in Fliegerersatz-Abteilung 3, Gotha.
* 14 June 1918-30 September 1919: Detachment leader for Experiments and Science at Alderhorst in the Command of Flight Masters / Flieger-Abteilung A.
* 1 October 1919-31 March 1920: Transferred to the Abwicklungsstelle in the Inspectorate of Weapons and Equipment / Reich War Ministry.
* 1 April 1920-30 September 1921: Consultant for flight technology in the Inspectorate of Weapons and Equipment / Reich War Ministry.
* 1 October 1921-30 October 1921: Commandant of Troop Training Area Arys and, at the same time, detached to the Army Peace Commission.
* 30 October 1921-30 April 1922: Illness following the crash of a sport glider on a flight attempt - transferred to Kraftfahr-Abteilung [Transport Battalion] 3.
* 1 May 1922-30 November 1922: Transferred to the Inspectorate of Weapons and Equipment / Reich War Ministry.
* 1 December 1922-31 October 1928: Consultant and leader of Group "Flight Technology" in the Inspectorate of Weapons and Equipment / Reich War Ministry.
* 1 November 1928-30 November 1928: On the staff of the Replacement Battalion of Infantry Regiment 2.
* 1 December 1928-31 December 1928: Transferred to the 10. Company of Infantry Regiment 2.
* 1 January 1929-31 January 1931: Company chief in Infantry Regiment 2.
* 1 February 1931-31 January 1933: Commander of I./Infantry Regiment 2.
* 19 May 1931-6 October 1931: Detached to special aviation course in Würzburg.
* 13 November 1932-27 November 1932: Detached to special aviation course in Würzburg.
* 1 February 1933-31 August 1933: Transferred to the Kommandantur Berlin.
* 1 September 1933: Transferred from the Army to the Luftwaffe.
* 1 September 1933-30 September 1933: Officer for special duties to the Reich Aviation Ministry.
* 1 October 1933-31 July 1935: Commander of the Technical Training Schools of the Luftwaffe, Jüterbog.
* 1 August 1935-30 September 1936: Commander of the Test Center for Flying Equipment and Military Airfield Commandant Rechlin.
* 8 September 1935-17 September 1935: Commander of Flieger-Regiment 3 (1935 Reich Party Day in Nürnberg).
* 1 October 1936-28 February 1937: Commander of the Aviation Weapons School and Chief of Staff to the Command of Flying Schools.
* 1 March 1937-30 September 1937: Inspector of Flying Schools.
* 1 October 1937-31 March 1938: Higher Air Commander IV.
* 1 April 1938-3 July 1938: Commander of the 3. Flieger-Division [Air Division].
* 4 July 1938-31 August 1938: Commander of the Parachute Troops and Air Landing Troops.
* 1 September 1938-30 September 1940: Commander of 7. Flieger-Division (Parachute Troops).
* 1 February 1939-31 May 1941: At the same time, Inspector of Parachute Troops and Air Landing Troops.
* 14 May 1940-1 January 1941: Wounded/in hospital/on leave [Student was struck in the head by a stray bullet while in Rotterdam negotiating the Dutch surrender. The bullet was probably fired by troops of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment.].
* 1 January 1941-1 March 1944: Commanding General of the XI. Fliegerkorps. [On 23 May 1941, General Student and his staff flew into Crete to personally supervise the battle.]

* 1 June 1941-28 February 1944: At the same time, Commanding General of the Parachute Troops.
* 1 March 1944-4 November 1944: Commander-in-Chief, 1. Fallschrim-Armee [Parachute Army].
* 27 October 1944-4 November 1944: At the same time, Commander of Army Group Student.
* 7 November 1944-25 January 1945: Commander-in-Chief, Army Group H.
* 25 January 1945-8 May 1945: Commander-in-Chief of the Parachute Troops.
* 28 January 1945-30 March 1945: Führer Reserve Luftwaffe High Command.
* 31 March 1945-10 April 1945: Commander, Army Group Student.
* 10 April 1945-28 April 1945: Commander-in Chief, 1. Fallschrim-Armee.
* 29 April 1945-8 May 1945: Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Weichsel [Vistula]. [On 29 April 1945, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel personally dismissed Generaloberst Gotthard Heinrici from command of Army Group Weichsel for conducting an unauthorized withdrawal. Keitel named Generaloberst Kurt Student as his replacement. However, Student did not arrive from Holland to assume physical command of Army Group Weichsel until 1 May 1945. In the meantime, General der Infanterie Kurt von Tippelskirch had been persuaded by Generalfeldmarschall Keitel and Generaloberst Alfred Jodl to assume acting command of the army group on 29 April 1945 pending Student’s arrival. On 2 May 1945, the day after Student took command, the end was clearly in sight as American tanks overran the Amy Group Weichsel quartermaster section in Schwerin Student narrowly escaped capture.]
* 28 May 1945-1948: Prisoner of war in British captivity.
o 31st March 1946 transferred to LDC (London District Cage) from Island Farm Special Camp 11

* After the war Student was charged with war crimes that allegedly took place in Crete. He was sentenced to 5 years' imprisonment but was released after serving only two years.
o Student was found guilty on three out of eight charges but the finding and sentence was not confirmed by the convening authority (Commander of the 30th Corps District). He was subsequently wanted for extradition to Greece, but was released on medical grounds (the long trip would have further aggravated his brain injury sustained during the invasion of Holland in 1940). (Chris Madsen, Associate Professor Canadian Forces College, Toronto)

* During World War I, Kurt Student scored six confirmed aerial victories (and one unconfirmed Russian aircraft on the Eastern Front) as a fighter pilot on the Western Front.

Number Date Unit Opponent Location
Unconfirmed 30 September 1915 FFA 17 Moraine Galicia
1. 6 July 1916 AOK 3 Nieuport 11 Peronne
2. 1 August 1916 AOK 3 Caudron Vaux
3. 8 August 1916 AOK 3 Nieuport North St.Souplet
4. 16 March 1917 Jasta 9 Nieuport ?
5. 22 August 1917 Jasta 9 Nieuport Hill 304
6. 1 November 1917 Jasta 9 Nieuport South of Ripont

* Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross: 12 May 1940, Generalleutnant, commander of 7. Flieger-Division for action in the Netherlands.
* Oakleaves (No. 305): 27 September 1943, General der Flieger, Commanding General of the XI. Fliegerkorps.
* Prussian Royal Hohenzollern House Order, Knight's Cross with Swords: May 1917.
* Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class (1914): 29 August 1915.
* Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class (1914): 26 September 1914.
* 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 1st Class: 20 September 1939.
* 1939 Bar to the Prussian Iron Cross, 2nd Class: 20 September 1939.
* Saxon Albert Order, Knight 2nd Class with Swords: 15 June 1917.
* Cross of Honor for Combatants 1914-1918: 30 January 1935.
* Armed Forces Long Service Award, 1st Class (25-year Service Cross): 2 October 1936.
* Armed Forces Long Service Award, 3rd Class (12-year Service Medal): 2 October 1936.
* Commemorative Medal of 1 October 1938 with Castle Prague Bar
* Wound Badge in [Silver?] – World War II award.
* German Army Pilot's Badge – Pre-World War I award: 27 February 1914.
* Flyer’s Commemorative Badge: 10 September 1919.
* Military Pilot’s Badge: 21 May 1935.
* Luftwaffe Combined Pilot/Observer Badge in Gold with Diamonds
* "KRETA" Campaign Cuff-Title

International stardom and move to the United States

After the publication of the incompleteness theorem, Gödel became an internationally known intellectual figure. He traveled to the United States several times and lectured extensively at Princeton University in New Jersey, where he met Albert Einstein. This was the beginning of a close friendship that would last until Einstein’s death in 1955.

However, it was also during this period that Gödel’s mental health began to deteriorate. He suffered from bouts of depression, and, after the murder of Moritz Schlick, one of the leaders of the Vienna Circle, by a deranged student, Gödel suffered a nervous breakdown. In the years to come, he suffered several more.

After Nazi Germany annexed Austria on March 12, 1938, Gödel found himself in a rather awkward situation, partly because he had a long history of close associations with various Jewish members of the Vienna Circle (indeed, he had been attacked on the streets of Vienna by youths who thought that he was Jewish) and partly because he was suddenly in danger of being conscripted into the German army. On Sept. 20, 1938, Gödel married Adele Nimbursky (née Porkert), and, when World War II broke out a year later, he fled Europe with his wife, taking the trans-Siberian railway across Asia, sailing across the Pacific Ocean, and then taking another train across the United States to Princeton, N.J., where, with the help of Einstein, he took up a position at the newly formed Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS). He spent the remainder of his life working and teaching at the IAS, from which he retired in 1976. Gödel became a U.S. citizen in 1948. (Einstein attended his hearing because Gödel’s behaviour was rather unpredictable, and Einstein was afraid that Gödel might sabotage his own case.)

In 1940, only months after he arrived in Princeton, Gödel published another classic mathematical paper, “Consistency of the Axiom of Choice and of the Generalized Continuum-Hypothesis with the Axioms of Set Theory,” which proved that the axiom of choice and the continuum hypothesis are consistent with the standard axioms (such as the Zermelo-Fraenkel axioms) of set theory. This established half of a conjecture of Gödel’s—namely, that the continuum hypothesis could not be proven true or false in standard set theories. Gödel’s proof showed that it could not be proven false in those theories. In 1963 American mathematician Paul Cohen demonstrated that it could not be proven true in those theories either, vindicating Gödel’s conjecture.

In 1949 Gödel also made an important contribution to physics, showing that Einstein’s theory of general relativity allows for the possibility of time travel.

An Intimate History of German Soldiers in the First World War

A few weeks after the outbreak of the First World War, German lieutenant Kurt K. began a correspondence with his fiancée, Lotte, that would last through almost four years of combat. After enduring artillery bombardments for endless days and witnessing the death of his closest friend, he wrote to his fiancée: “It’s like I live more in a dream than in reality.” In his intimate expression of these feelings, Kurt K. let down his guard to confess that he may no longer be able to maintain his masculine, iron image of emotional self-control:

I feel so completely alone. The last of my friends went to East Prussia, because he had to take care of his step mother. But his brother was killed. Don’t think I’m soft. But think about it this way: if suddenly all your female friends, with whom you had shared joy and pain, were killed off, wouldn’t you also have such thoughts?

Such a willingness to expose his vulnerability, and to express his fear that Lotte would think he was ‘soft,’ marked a decisive moment for Kurt K., who wrestled with the pressures of a masculine ideal to which men were expected to conform in 1914. The dominant masculine ideal stressed emotional self-control, abstinence, and toughness. The image of the steel-nerved front soldier became ubiquitous in popular media. It was a cornerstone of postwar myths of the rugged ‘New Man’ who emerged out of the horrors of war. Further, effeminate behavior and homosexual men were denounced as threats to this militarized ideal of masculinity. During the war, however, front soldiers would modify masculine ideals to reflect their experiences with modern warfare. The officially-sanctioned ideal of an emotionally controlled, sexually abstinent warrior seemed increasingly condescending and inhumane to men who had to deal with the hardship of the front, where men sought sexual outlets and expressed emotions such as fear, anxiety, and love more openly as the war broke down inhibitions and traditional social structures.

Perceptions of masculinity constructed by enlisted men and officers at the front were much more ambiguous than prevailing media and military ideals suggested. Soldiers’ narratives of the war experience in front newspapers, letters home, and diaries reveal the complex ways soldiers on the Western and Eastern fronts perceived ideals of masculinity, expressed love, found intimacy, and experienced sex. In my book, An Intimate History of the Front: Masculinity, Sexuality, and German Soldiers in the First World War, I analyze how German soldiers in the Great War actively negotiated, bolstered, and challenged prevailing masculine ideals in an effort to survive the traumatic experience of modern war.

In their front newspapers and letters, many men criticized the masculine image of the self-controlled, emotionally disciplined warrior. As a result, men searched, often desperately, for emotional support and intimacy, which included confessions of vulnerability and hunger for nurturing and compassion. They began to incorporate these ‘feminine’ emotions into their conceptions of idealized masculinity. Some sought, with mixed success, greater intimacy with women. Others craved intimacy with other men under the guise of comradeship. For soldiers in the First World War, comradeship was essential for surviving psychological stress. It provided an acceptable way for men to express emotional support and compassion, and it gave them a sense of familial bonds and belonging that was crucial for survival as men felt both isolated and distant from their traditional social structures. However, ‘comradeship’ was not defined homogeneously. It was contested and appropriated by different social and political groups, and it was used as a basis for exclusion, especially by the political right, and later, by the National Socialists, who defined political and racial ‘enemies’ as outsiders to the ‘national community.’

At the same time, ‘comradeship’ became an umbrella concept under which both heterosexual and homosexual men with different perceptions of emotional and sexual norms found inclusion, at least from their point view, as ‘real men.’ Soldiers who saw themselves as ‘real men’ and ‘good comrades’ sometimes fantasized about adopting feminine characteristics, or even experimented with homosexual love. This normalization of ‘feminine’ emotions of compassion and nurturing created a safer space for men to express love, allowing for experimentation with different emotional and sexual paradigms. The brutality of war made some men feel repulsed by what they saw as innately masculine characteristics, and they envied the ‘softer’ characteristics of the ‘other sex.’ ‘Feminine’ emotions, once condemned as ‘soft’ and weak, were now seen as essential to providing emotional support to comrades under stress. For example, in a 1918 poem titled “We poor men!” in the front newspaper Der Flieger (The Flyer), a sergeant turned poet named Nitsche longed for an existence without bombs, trenches, and horrifying front-line conditions. Lamenting the images of bombed-out landscapes and the tedium of military drill, Nitsche envied women’s “sweet smiles” and beauty. He refrained: “We poor, poor men are so completely wicked. I wish I were a girl. I wish I weren’t a man!” Nitsche fantasized that he could transform into a woman. He dreamt of cooking wonderful meals and gracefully moving about: “My breasts would arch themselves as I waltz about in high heels,” and he ended the poem with: “For a long time I could kiss the entire company, and I would certainly not absorb the fragrances that come out of the frying pan – Oh, if I only were a girl, why am I a man!” Nitsche’s poem pushed emotional transgression to its logical conclusion, as it exhibited a soldier’s fantasy, in the safe zone of humor, about actually changing his gender in order to escape the expectations of being a “wicked” man. He fantasized that he could be a better comrade as a woman, providing love and comfort to men who needed it.

A German postcard depicting the masculine ideal, the emotionally controlled Warrior, published sometime before 1916. (From the personal collection of Jason Crouthamel)

The desperate need for ‘feminine emotions’ of love and nurturing provided a space for men to express their desires. While the correspondence between many couples revealed a widening gulf between traumatized men and women, other couples grew closer as they turned their letters into a kind of secret world where they could explore intimacy. Many men, such as the aforementioned Kurt K., confessed feelings of vulnerability, emotional dependence, fear, and love that may have been otherwise taboo in the confines of the heroic ideal. In the case of Fritz N. and his girlfriend, Hilde, letters became a medium for developing an emotionally-rich and sexually-charged fantasy life. For example, in one letter, Fritz advised Hilde on how to sneak into his trench at night:

I must explain to you how you can find me! We could meet in a shack in a deep-cut trench. You must be quiet, very quiet, because there are so many people everywhere. Radio operators, telephone specialists and other soldiers – I’m not alone in my bedroom: the captain lies next to me and he’s such a light sleeper!! And it’s so terribly cold! You must firmly cuddle me.

Other times, soldiers’ search for intimacy translated into homosexual desire. Similar to their heterosexual comrades, homosexual activists glorified the nurturing ‘feminine’ side of comradeship, as long as there was no ambiguity that they were indeed ‘real men.’ In the booklet Male Heroes and Comrade-Love in War, front veteran Georg Pfeiffer, a member of one of the earliest homosexual rights organizations, the ‘Community of the Self-Owned’, argued that “physiological friendship” was always the foundation for heroism, courage, and sacrifice displayed in war. “Friend-love” promoted by the ancient Greeks, he argued, “was the equivalent of modern ‘camaraderie’,” and it bonded the soldier to the nation:

Only the super-virile ‘superman,’ whose nature it is to also possess female characteristics and above all the drive toward physiological friendship, the love for a friend, towers so high above the masses […] We only wanted to prove that comrade-love and male heroism were the most valuable driving forces in all wars, which effected the complete devotion of one’s own person to leader and friend, to the fatherland!

Pfeiffer also compared the Confederate States of America during the U.S. Civil War to the German Army in 1914-1918, arguing that both were “united by the true spirit of comrade-love,” a pure, noble value that had much greater spiritual meaning and was considered more manly than what he saw as the hollow heterosexual relationships with women on the home front.

Homosexual men found comradeship to be an ideal prism through which to define their emotions and sexuality. Many homosexual veterans embraced martial masculinity and contested the exclusively heterosexual image of the warrior male. The war experience emboldened homosexual men to contest Paragraph 175, the German law that criminalized sex between men, and combat stereotypes of homosexuals as ‘deviant’ outsiders. Further, the front experience triggered debates between already disparate homosexual rights organizations over whether homosexual men were a partially ‘effeminate’ third sex, as homosexual rights pioneer and sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld theorized, or whether the war proved that ‘masculine’ homosexual men were the ideal warriors for civil rights and postwar integration. As a result of their experiences of the war, homosexual men found a new language and image to combat marginalization and redefine themselves as ‘normal,’ or as some even saw it, more masculine than their heterosexual comrades, within a framework of militarized masculinity. As one front veteran writing for the homosexual rights newspaper, Die Freundschaft, asked in 1921: “Are we enemies of the state? Answer: no, because we want to be loyal national comrades, who want to have an extensive share of the blood in the reconstruction of Germany.”

Between 1914-1918, men encountered a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences that demand further historical analysis. The war triggered fundamental changes in how men imagined the warrior image. It also profoundly changed how they perceived and expressed emotions and desires. The meanings of these new emotions, and conceptions of masculinity and sexuality, would be fought over by social and political groups after the war ended. But for many ‘ordinary men,’ the effects of the war eluded categorization and were more complex than political, medical, and military authorities imagined.

Jason Crouthamel is an associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He has published on the history of psychological trauma, memory and masculinity in Germany during the age of total war. He is the author of An Intimate History of the Front: Masculinity, Sexuality and German Soldiers in the First World War (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and The Great War and German Memory: Society, Politics and Psychological Trauma, 1914-1945 (Liverpool University Press, 2009). He is also the co-editor, with Peter Leese, of the companion collected volumes Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War and Traumatic Memories of World War Two and After (both with Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

Kurt von Schleicher

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Kurt von Schleicher, (born April 7, 1882, Brandenburg, Ger.—died June 30, 1934, Berlin), German army officer, last chancellor of the Weimar Republic, an opponent of Adolf Hitler in 1932–33.

Joining the German military in 1900, Schleicher attached himself to the newly created Reichswehr in 1919 and by 1929 was a major general in charge of an office in the Reichswehr ministry. For the next three years, Schleicher—with Wilhelm Groener, minister of defense, Chancellor Heinrich Brüning, and Pres. Paul von Hindenburg—was one of the determining forces in the Weimar Republic. Schleicher came into sharp conflict with Brüning and Hindenburg his intrigues contributed to Brüning’s downfall (May 1932) and helped bring about the appointment of Franz von Papen as chancellor in June 1932. Schleicher was appointed defense minister, and when Papen was forced to resign (Dec. 1, 1932), Schleicher became chancellor as well. He sought to prevent Nazi violation of the laws and constitution by keeping the Nazis under Reichswehr control. To this end, he intrigued with Adolf Hitler, offering to participate in a government with Hitler as chancellor provided that he, Schleicher, remained in charge of the Reichswehr. Hitler refused. From that time on, he regarded Schleicher as his chief enemy. In January 1933 Hindenburg dismissed Schleicher and made Hitler chancellor. A year and a half later, on the “night of the long knives,” Schleicher was murdered by Hitler’s SS (Schutzstaffel) in his Berlin flat.