Jodl, General Alfried, 1890-1946

Jodl originally was a Bavarian artillery officer. In 1938 he became Head of the Operations Section of OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht), the organization which replaced the War Ministry and the High Command. In 1939 he became Chief of Staff to KEITEL, Chief of OKW. In this position Jodl directed all the Nazi campaigns except the Russian campaign as Keitel was a somewhat weak and ineffectual leader leaving all policy decisions to the dynamic and talented Jodl. Jodl attended the twice-daily conferences over which HITLER presided and turned Hitler’s strategy into concrete tactical operations. In 1944 Jodl was promoted to Colonel General. On 7 May 1945 only one week after Hitler’s suicide, Jodl signed the surrender of the German Army at Rheims. He was tried at Nuremberg for war crimes and pleaded ‘soldier’s obedience’ as his defense for his actions but he was convicted and hanged.

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