Buhle, Walter, born 26-10-1894 in Heilbronn, was an Infantry General in the German army, who was the Chief of the Army Staff of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht from 1942 and Chief of Armaments for the Army in 1945. Buhle joined the Army as a Cadet in July 1913, age 18. During World War I he was an officer in the infantry and in the summer of 1915 he was wounded in battle. Buhle is awarded with the Knight’s Cross and the Königlichen Preussischen Hausorden . Between the wars he served on the General Staff of the Reichswehr and the infantry and cavalry and by the outbreak of World War II, he had reached the rank of Oberst in the Wehrmacht and was appointed Chief of the organizations section of the Oberkommando des Heeres as senior officer to Oberst der Kavallerie, Graf Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg
He became the Chief of the Army Staff and promoted to Generalleutnant, on 01-04-1942. Buhle was injured in 1944 by the 20 July plot bomb planted by von Stauffenberg at the Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia. He entered the conference room with von Stauffenberg and when a point was raised that von Stauffenberg might have been expected to answer, Buhle was perplexed that he was no longer present and looked for him in the corridor. A telephonist said he had left the building so he returned to the conference.
In the meanwhile General Heinz Brandt, also a resistance man, wanted to get a better look at a map on the table and moved the briefcase to the other side of a thick table leg. Seven minutes later the bomb exploded and blew one of Brandt’s legs off. He died two days later on 22-07-1945, age 37, in Rastenburg hospital and was posthumously promoted to Generalmajor by Hitler. Ironical on 13-03-1943 Generalmajor Henning Tresckow asked Brandt to carry a package containing bottles of what he claimed was cognac onto Hitler’s Condor plane for delivery to Oberst Helmuth Stieff as payment for a lost bet. The package in fact contained a primed bomb which in the event failed to detonate. In May 1943 Brandt was promoted to Oberst. Stieff was sentenced to death 08-08-1944 and executed the same day in Plötzensee prison in Berlin.
Three other people also died as a result of the explosion. General der Flieger Günther Korten , Heinrich Berger (civilian stenographer) en Generalleutnant Rudolf Schmundt It was later concluded that its exact positioning next to a leg of the map table was a crucial factor in determining who in the room survived. Hitler survived, as did everyone else who was shielded from the blast by the conference table leg. His trousers were singed and tattered and he suffered from a perforated eardrum, as did most of the other 24 people in the room. Buhle recovered from his injuries and in the last days of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler (did you know) pointed him Chief of Armaments for the Army. On 01-02-1945 he is assigned to Chief of the Wehrmacht Armament and lands in Allied captivity until 1947.
Death and burial ground of Buhle, Walter.
Released Buhle lived in Stuttgart and died at the age of 65, on 28-12-1959. Walter von Buhle is buried on the Prayer cemetery in Stuttgart and only steps away from the graves of Generalmajor der Infanterie, Dr. Hans Speidel,
adjutant of Generalfeldmarschall der Panzertruppe, Erwin Rommel,
Oberst Fritz Jaeger, a 20 July Plot member and his brother Franz, the Generaloberarzt Fritz Jaeger, Generalleutnant der Pioniere, Kommandeur des Ersatzheeres, Hans von Donat and Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin,
alas the gravestone of von Buhle is removed.