Leeb, Wilhelm, Ritter von

BORN 5 Sep 1876, Landsberg am Lech, Bayern - DIED 29 Apr 1956, Füssen: Hohenschwangau
CAUSE OF DEATH heart attack
GRAVE LOCATION München, Bayern: Waldfriedhof Solln (17-W-2)

Wilhelm Leeb was the son of the Bavarian officer Adolf Leeb. He joined the Bavarian army in 1895 as a volunteer. From 1907 to 1909 he attended the Bavarian War Academy. During the First World War he was a member of the General Staff of the Bavarian 1st Army Corps. In 1916 he was transferred to the Eastern Front and he received the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph.

After the war he was a member of the Reichswehr. In 1923 he helped putting down the nazi putsch in Munich. Hitler didn't like Leeb and in 1938 he was forced to retire from the army. But soon he was called back to service and in 1940 he commanded the Heeresgruppe C that broke through the Maginot Line of the French. He was promoted to Field Marshal and Hitler trusted him now.

In 1942 he failed to capture Leningrad and he was forced to hand over the command to Küchler. Although he didn't think much of Hitler and his circle in 1944 he accepted a property as a gift for his services, thus enabling the nazis to use his popularity in their propaganda. After the war he was tried and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Because he had already been imprisoned for over three years he was released immediately. The last years of his life he spent with his family in Füssen.


The grave of Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb at the Waldfriedhof Solln, Munich.
Picture by Androom (19 Aug 2012)


Biografisch Worterbuch zur Deutsche Geschichte, Francke Verlag, München, 1975
Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb - Wikipedia

Leech, John

Published: 08 Nov 2015
Last update: 31 Dec 2022