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Item: G0040



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Original WWII period large photo and original ink signature, 11X17cm, of Maximilian Maria Joseph Karl Gabriel Lamoral Reichsfreiherr von Weichs zu Glon (12 November 1881 - 27 September 1954). Von Weich was a German Generalfeldmarschall and a military leader in World War II. He was born into a noble family at Dessau, a son of an Army colonel. He entered the Bavarian Cavalry in 1901 and with them came into the World War I, from 1915 until 1918 he served with the General Staff of the 3rd Bavarian Army Corps. After the war he remained in the newly created Reichswehr where he worked at a number of General Staff positions and later served as an instructor. In October 1937, he became the commander of the 13th Army Corps, that later served in the 1938 German occupation of Sudetenland, for the German invasion of Poland he was appointed head of his own Army Corps "Weichs". After the Polish surrender, and in preparation for the invasion of France, he was made Commander in Chief of the 2nd Army, a part of Rundstedt?s Army Group A in the West. For his successes in the French campaign he was awarded the Knight's Cross and promoted into a Colonel General. Leading his corps, Weichs later took part in the Balkans Campaign, and in preparation for Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, he was assigned to lead the 2nd Army as a part of Fedor von Bock?s Army Group Centre which he led in 1941 through the Battle of Kiev and the Battle of Smolensk and then on to Vyazma and Bryansk. In 1942, for Fall Blau, Weichs was assigned to lead the newly created Army Group B, composed of the 2nd Army, Hermann Hoth?s 4th Panzer Army, the 2nd Hungarian and the 8th Italian armies and also the 6th Army under Friedrich Paulus, assigned to take the city of Stalingrad and cover approximately 800 kilometers of front. Weichs warned about his lines being stretched too thinly, but Hitler ignored this, and Weich?s fears materialized when the successful Soviet Operation Uranus, smashed the Italian, Hungarian and Romanian armies on flanks, cutting off the 6th Army inside Stalingrad. Suggesting retreats, Weichs fell out of Hitler?s favor. Consequently, parts of Army Group B were taken away from Weichs command and incorporated into a new Army Group Don, led by Erich von Manstein, later in February the remaining part merged with the Don Group into a newly reinstated Army Group South, also led by Manstein. Weichs was put in leader reserve. As the German situation was starting to become more dire, in August of 1943 Weichs was appointed the commander of the Army Group F in the Balkans defending from possible Allied invasion in what was seen as Germany?s weak underbelly and fighting off local partisan groups that were gaining strength. In late 1944, he oversaw the German retreat from Greece and most of Yugoslavia. As the Nazi Germany fell apart, Weichs was finally retired on March 25, 1945 and was arrested by American troops in May. During the Nuremberg Trials, Weichs was found implicated in the war crimes committed while suppressing the partisans, however, he was removed from the Hostages Trial due to medical reasons without having been judged or sentenced. He died at Burg R?sberg near Bonn. Photo in very fine condition.
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