Heusinger, Adolf Bruno, born 04-08-1897 in Holzminden. He entered the Imperial German Army on 17-06-1915, age 17 and with the 7th Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 96, an infantry regiment raised in the Thuringia region of Germany. He was promoted to Fähnrich on 31-03-1916, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on 04-07-1917. He was wounded several times in combat at Verdun and in Flanders, and was taken prisoner by the British on 31-07-1917.
During World War I, he was decorated with the Prussian Iron Cross 2nd Class and Iron Cross 1st Class, Brunswick’s War Merit Cross 2nd Class, the Reuss Silver Merit Medal with Swords, the Reuss Honor Cross 3rd Class with Swords and the Wound Badge in Black.
After World War I, and upon being freed from British captivity, Heusinger returned to Germany and entered the new Reichswehr , the small 100,000-man army Germany was permitted to keep under the Treaty of Versailles. He entered the Reichswehr on New Year’s Day 1920 as a second leutnant in the 15th Infantry Regiment, in Kassel. From 1927 to 1930 he was enrolled in the leadership assistant course . He served in a variety of infantry and staff assignments until October 1931, when he was assigned to the operations staff of the Troop Office in the Reichswehr Ministry Reichswehrministerium. Promotions were slow in the small Reichswehr; Heusinger was promoted to Oberleutnant in April 1925 and Hauptmann on 01-10-1932. Adolf Heusinger served in Berlin with the Troop Office until August 1934, and then returned to troop assignments. He was made Chief Operations officer of the 11th Infantrie Division in October 1935, where he served until August 1937. In the meantime he was promoted to major 16-03-1936. With the rise of the Nazis in Germany and Adolf Hitler’s assumption of power, the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles were ended and the German General Staff was officially re-established. In August 1937, Heusinger was assigned to the Operations Staff of the Army General Staff as a general staff officer. He served there, being promoted to Oberstleutnant on 20-03-1939, and remained in that position until 15-10-1940, when he became its chief. With the outbreak of the World War II, the German Army High Command or OKH, assumed its wartime organization. Heusinger accompanied the field staff and assisted in the planning of operations in Poland, Denmark, Norway, and France and the Low Countries, Belgium Holland and Luxembourg. He was promoted to Oberst on 01-08-1940 and, as noted above, became Chief of the Operationsabteilung in October 1940, making him number three in the Army planning hierarchy, after the Chief of the General Staff, General Franz Halder, and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff/Chief Quartermaster General Friedrich von Paulus. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, the OKH became primarily responsible for planning operations in that theater, while the Armed Forces High Command or OKW was responsible for other theatres. Halder was replaced as Chief of the General Staff in September 1942 by General Kurt Zeitzler . Paulus left the OKH in December 1941 and was succeeded in January 1942 by General Günther Blumentritt, who held the Oberquartiermeister I position until September 1942 when it was abolished.
Heusinger remained Chief of the Operationsabteilung and was promoted to Generalmajor on 01-01-1942 and to Generalleutnant on 01-01-1943. In June 1944, General Zeitzler became ill, and on June 10, Heusinger temporarily assumed his office as Chief of the General Staff of the Army. In this capacity, he attended the meeting at Adolf Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair” on July 20, 1944 and was standing next to Hitler when the bomb planted by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg exploded. Adolf Heusinger was hospitalized for his injuries in the explosion, and was arrested and interrogated by the Gestapo to determine his role, if any, in the July Plot. Although there was evidence that Heusinger had contact with many of the conspirators, there was insufficient evidence to directly connect him to the plot, and he was freed in October 1944. However, he was placed into the “Führer-Reserve” and was not assigned to another position until March 25-03-1945, when he was made Chief of Armed Forces mapping matters. He was taken prisoner by the Western Allies in May 1945. until 1947, and Heusinger testified during the Nuremberg Trials.
According to documents released by the Bundesnachrichtendienst in 2014, Heusinger may have been part of the Schnez-Truppe, The “Schnez-Truppe” was an illegal clandestine army put together in Germany from 1949 by veterans of the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS under the leadership of Albert Schnez, that intended to fight against the Soviet Union. It has been reported as having had around 2.000 officers, with a total strength of up to 40.000 members. In 1950, he became an advisor on military matters to the new German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the Chancellor of West Germany. With the establishment of the Bundeswehr in 1955, Heusinger returned to military service. He was appointed a Generalleutnant on 12-11-1955. in the Bundeswehr and chairman of the Military Leadership Council. In March 1957, he succeeded Hans Speidel former adjutant of Erwin Rommel as Chief of the Bundeswehr‘s all-armed forces department. Shortly thereafter, in June 1957, Heusinger was promoted to full general and named the first Inspector General of the Bundeswehr and served in that capacity until March 1961.
In April 1961, he was appointed Chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Washington, D.C., where he served until 1964, when he retired. He was according to news reports, wanted by the Russians in the early 1960s in respect of organizing the Koriukivka massacre.
Death and burial ground of Heusinger, Adolf Bruno.
Living in Cologne, Adolf Bruno Heusinger died at the very old age of 85 on 30-11-1982 and is buried with his wife Gerda, who died two years later, age 77 on 30-10-1984, on the cemetery of Oppenheim am Rhein, Section 3.
Cemetery location of Heusinger, Adolf Bruno.