Olbricht, General Friedrich, 1886-1944

Olbricht was the Head of the Supply Section of the Reserve Army and personal Deputy to FROMM. He was above all an administrator and prepared the detailed planning for Operation Valkyrie—to disrupt communications of the Third Reich under cover of an operation to put down a foreign worker uprising. On the day STAUFFENBERG’s bomb exploded at Rastenburg, 20 July 1944, HOPNER and Olbricht were ready to take over the War Office and put Valkyrie into motion; however the message that the bomb had exploded did not come through. Olbricht vacillated and did not launch the operation until 1600 hours by which time communications with HITLER’s entourage had been re-established. Olbricht arrested Fromm whom he could not win over, but when news that Hitler was alive reached him he lost his nerve. Fromm was able to reassert his authority and he arrested Olbricht. Fromm had Olbricht, Stauffenberg and the other conspirators shot in the courtyard on that day.

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