Günther von Kluge

Rank: Field Marshal
Fate: Committed suicide 1944, aged 61
Von Kluge served on the German General Staff during the First World War, and between the wars commanded an artillery regiment and served as Inspector of Signals Troops. When war began he led the German 4th Army during the invasion of Poland, France, and then the Soviet Union. Hitler admired von Kluge’s grasp of mobile warfare, and after he sacked von Bock as commander of Army Group Centre in December 1941 for failing to capture Moscow, he made von Kluge his replacement.
As commander of Army Group Centre, von Kluge oversaw the German defence of the Rzhev salient in a series of brutal battles that lasted through much of 1942. In 1943 his forces, primarily Model’s 9th Army, formed the northern pincer of the Kursk Offensive.
Von Kluge had frequent doubts about Hitler’s conduct of the war and about Nazi genocidal policies in the east. His Chief of Staff at Army Group Centre, General Von Tresckow, was the ringleader of an anti-Hitler conspiracy that brought von Kluge into its confidence. But although von Kluge sympathised with their aims, he believed his honour as an officer was incompatible with joining a plot to assassinate the head of state.
In October 1943 von Kluge was involved in a serious car accident. After he’d recovered he took command of German forces in France. There, in July 1944, he received news that an attempt to assassinate Hitler in his bunker with a briefcase bomb had failed. Von Kluge, although not an active conspirator, was deeply implicated in this plot. When Hitler asked him to fly to Berlin, von Kluge instead killed himself with a cyanide capsule.