Speidel, Dr. Hans Emil.

Back to all people

- Medals


Speidel, Dr. Hans Emil, born 28-10-1897 in Metzingen , in the state of Baden-Württemberg. His father, Dr. Emil Speidel was an upper level Forestry Council member and professor. Hans volunteered for World War I service in 1914 when he was 17 years old. In November, 1915 he was promoted to Leutnant, fighting in Flanders, the Somme and Cambrai. Between the wars he remained in the German Army, studying history and economics in Berlin, Tuebingen and Stuttgart. Joseph Goebbels   (did you know) was the Gauleiter of Berlin. In 1925 he was awarded a Ph.D and in 1932 was promoted to Hauptmann. By the start of World War II, he was a staff officer in the 33rd Infantry Division    under command of Generalleutnant der Artillerie, Hermann Ritter von Speck,    von Speck was killed on 15-06-1940, age 51, in Pont sur Yonne, France. Quickly promoted, Speidel served in various staff positions. During the Western Offensive he served as Chief of Staff to Generalfieldmarshall der Artillerie, Georg von Küchler  of the 18th Army. In this position he received two French officers who came under a flag of true early on 14-06-1940 to surrender Paris. Speidel remained in France until March 1942 when Speidel was sent to the Soviet Union where he served under General Gunther von Kluge, he committed suicide age 61, on 17-08-1944, to avoid a arrest by the Gestapo, Günther Kluge  and Generalfieldmarshal, Fedor von Bock  He saw action at Vyasma and Kharkov. During the campaign to capture Stalingrad Speidel was a member of Army Group B under command of Generaloberst Maximillian von Weichs.  Speidel remained on the Eastern Front until he was appointed as Chief of Staff to General Erwin Rommel in April 1944. After the suicide of Rommel he retained the post under Generalfieldmarshal, Gunther von Kluge and Generalfieldmarshal, Walther Model. It was later claimed that Speidel was credited in playing a major role in sabotaging Adolf Hitler´s  (did you know) orders for the demolition of Paris, which he had cautiously begun to do prior to Erwin Rommel‘s

injury in a Canadian strafing attack on 17-07-1944, by Squadron Leader Johannes  Jacobus Le Roux, DFC, an ace with 23½ destroyed enemy airplanes Ultimately, however, like several other truly great fighter pilots, Le Roux was not destroyed by enemy gunfire, but by the unfortunate circumstances surrounding a fateful cross-channel flight on 29 August 1944. It seems that he had taken off from France and was attempting to make his way through appalling weather taking alcohol back to his squadron at Tangmere. He, age 23, never reached the coast and crashed into the Channel.


  In 1944 Speidel was promoted again, to Generalleutnant and was made Chief of Staff of Erwin Rommel’s Army Group B, headquartered in La Roche-Guyon, where he was serving on June 6, 1944, D-Day.

 Speidel was involved in the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and was attempting and possibly had involved Erwin Rommel in the plot.  The 20 July threaten for Hitler at the Bendlerblock in Berlin was saved by Major Otto Ernst Remer

commander of the Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland  who refused to arrest Joseph Goebbels after talking to an unhurt Hitler in the Wolfschanze by phone. He was arrested but not tried. He escaped and went into hiding until freed by French troops in 1945. After the war, he served as military adviser to Konrad Adenauer   and published a book, “Invasion 1944: Rommel and the Normandy Campaign.”  In addition to his native German, Speidel spoke fluent English and French. When West Germany became part of NATO, Speidel achieved four-star rank and from 1957 to 1963, served as Commander in Chief, Allied Land Forces, Central Europe.

Death and burial ground of Speidel, Dr. Hans Emil.

  Charles De Gaulle  could never accept a former Wehrmacht officer in NATO and because of this, Speidel was finally replaced. He was awarded the German Cross and Knight’s Cross. Hans Speidel had a brother, General Wilhelm Karl Friedrich Max Walter Speidel , who survived the war too and died age 74 on 03-06-1970, age 74 in Nurtingen. Hans Speidel, living in Bad Honnef, died at the old age of 87, on 28-11-1984, unexpected and is buried with his wife Ruth, born Stahl , who died old age 86, on 07-05-1990, on the Prager Cemetery of Stuttgart and only steps away of the grave of Graf Ferdinand Zeppelin 

    , Generalmajor of the Artillerie, Kommandeur Ersatz V Heergruppe, Kurt Adam, General der Infanterie, Kommandeur der Wehrmachtwaffe, OKWWalter Buhle, who survived the attack on Hitler in July 1944

and Oberst der Infanterie, Fritz Jaeger, a 20 July Plot member and his brother Franz, the Generaloberarzt Fritz Jaeger.

Speidel’s son, Hans Helmut Speidel , followed in his father’s inglorious footsteps as Brigadier General of the Bundeswehr. As the bearer of oak leaves Bruno Kahl in the summer of 1996, among others visited Berlin with General Guderian and stayed in the Tegel barracks as a guest of a youth camp, Speidel refused to address the youths with a greeting.


Share on :