Fedor Von Bock

Fedor Von Bock

German military officer, field marshal general
Date of Birth: 03.12.1880
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Fedor von Bock
  2. Early Life and Military Career
  3. The Kursk Battle and Downfall
  4. Later Years and Death

Biography of Fedor von Bock

Fedor von Bock was a German military officer and a field marshal. He was a staunch monarchist and had a reputation for speaking his mind. Despite his views, he did not involve himself in politics and did not support any plots against the Fuhrer. It should be noted that von Bock was given the freedom to speak his mind whenever and wherever he pleased due to his military achievements, a privilege granted by Adolf Hitler himself.

Early Life and Military Career

Fedor von Bock was born in Kustrin, Germany (now Küstrin, Poland). His unusual name was a result of his Russian roots. Von Bock is best known as the commander of Operation Typhoon, the failed attempt to capture Moscow during the winter of 1941. The advancement of the German troops was halted by the determined resistance of Soviet forces near Mozhaysk and the harsh winter conditions. The extreme cold proved to be a significant challenge for the German soldiers, causing more casualties than enemy bullets. Eventually, the Germans were forced to retreat, and von Bock, who had advocated for a retreat at an earlier stage, was relieved of his command by Hitler himself.

The Kursk Battle and Downfall

On June 28, 1942, von Bock's troops split the Russian front at Kursk. He planned to annihilate one of the Soviet groups commanded by Nikolai Fedorovich Vatutin. However, Hitler was more focused on organizing an attack on Stalingrad and did not approve of von Bock's plans. Following this, Hitler blamed von Bock for the failure of the second phase of the German offensive, known as Operation Braunschweig. Soon after, von Bock was retired from active duty, and the command of Army Group South was transferred to Maximilian von Weichs. Von Bock openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the war crimes committed against Soviet civilians but only voiced his protest once. His nephew, Henning von Tresckow, tried to persuade him to participate in a plot against Hitler, but von Bock did not join the cause and even prevented an attack on Hitler by his staff officers.

Later Years and Death

Even in retirement, von Bock became the scapegoat for the German failures at Stalingrad. He was approached by conspirators, but he believed that any revolt would be futile without the support of Heinrich Himmler. Fedor von Bock died on May 4, 1945, when the car he was traveling in with his wife and daughter was struck by a British bomber. At the time, the Russians were already closing in on Berlin. Von Bock had learned that a new government led by Karl Dönitz was being formed in Hamburg and decided to join it. Interestingly, von Bock became the only one among Hitler's field marshals to die from enemy fire.