Blomberg file photo [7680]

Werner von Blomberg

Given NameWerner
Born2 Sep 1878
Died14 Mar 1946


ww2dbaseWerner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg was born in Stargard, Pomerania, Prussia of the German Empire. He enrolled in the military academy in 1904 and completed the studies in 1907. He served with the General Staff in 1908. During WW1, he served in combat, and was awarded the Pour le Mérite. In 1920, he was made the Chief of Staff of the Döberitz Brigade. In 1921, he was made Chief of Staff of the Stuttgart Army Area. In 1925, he was made Chief of Army Training by General Hans von Seeckt. In 1927, at the rank of major general, he headed the Troop Office. After a disagreement with the influential General Kurt von Schleicher, he was transferred out of the spotlight in 1929 to East Prussia. In 1933, he was appointed the Minister of Defense under Adolf Hitler, whom he became fiercely loyal to; in fact, Hitler's rise to power could not have been successful without the support of top German Army leadership, and that was accomplished much to Blomberg's credit. He was promoted to the rank of colonel general later that year. In 1934, he played a major role in the planning and operations of the Night of the Long Knives in which Hitler purged the Nazi Party against potential political enemies, namely Ernst Röhm and other top leaders of the SA organization. Later in 1934, when Hitler took absolute power over Germany, Blomberg ordered the German Army to pledge loyalty not to Germany, but to Hitler instead. In 1935, the Ministry of Defense was renamed the Ministry of War. In 1936, he was made a Field Marshal, the first person to receive such a title from Hitler. Beginning around that time, however, Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler conspired to remove him from influence. Göring and Himmler got their chance in Jan 1938 when Blomberg's newly wedded wife Erna Gruhn was discovered to have a criminal record for having posed for pornographic photographs, and she also grew up in a suspected house of prostitution. Göring reported it to Hitler, who ordered Blomberg to annul the marriage to avoid a political scandal, which Blomberg refused; Hitler thus dismissed Blomberg from service, though told him that he might call upon him again should Germany require his service (as it would turn out, Hitler would not make good on that promise even after the European War had begun). Göring threatened Blomberg to resign or he would make public his wife's record. On 27 Jan, Blomberg departed Berlin and returned to his honeymoon on Capri, Italy, never returning to power again. He played no further role in German leadership. After the war, he was arrested by the Allied authorities, and gave testimonies at the Nuremberg Trials. Blomberg passed away while in detention at Nuremberg in 1946.

William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Last Major Revision: Apr 2009

Werner von Blomberg Interactive Map


Erich Raeder and Werner von Blomberg inspecting German sailors at Kiel, Germany, 1933Adolf HitlerAdolf HitlerGerman President Paul von Hindenburg, War Minister Werner von Blomberg, and Chancellor Adolf Hitler at Potsdam, Germany, 21 Mar 1933
See all 29 photographs of Werner von Blomberg

Werner von Blomberg Timeline

2 Sep 1878 Werner von Blomberg was born.
13 Mar 1897 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Leutnant.
18 May 1907 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant.
20 Mar 1911 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Hauptmann.
22 Mar 1916 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Major.
20 Dec 1920 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant.
1 Apr 1925 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Oberst.
1 Apr 1928 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Generalmajor.
1 Oct 1929 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant.
30 Jan 1933 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie.
31 Aug 1933 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Generaloberst.
3 Jul 1934 In his Order of the Day, German Minister of War Werner von Blomberg praised Adolf Hitler's soldierly decision and the exemplary courage used to wipe out traitors and mutineers of the Nazi Party SA organization.
20 Apr 1936 Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall.
24 Jun 1936 German Field Marshal Werner von Blomberg drew up Case Green as a hypothetical campaign against Czechoslovakia.
12 Jan 1938 Werner von Blomberg married Erna Gruhn, who was previously his stenographer.
20 Jan 1938 Werner von Blomberg took a break from his honeymoon in Capri, Italy and returned to his office in Berlin, Germany.
25 Jan 1938 Hermann Göring informed Adolf Hitler the shady past of Werner von Blomberg's new wife; Hitler dismissed Blomberg immediately but told him that he would call on him again if the country ever needed his service.
27 Jan 1938 Werner von Blomberg returned to his honeymoon in Capri, Italy. On the same day, he forced to resign and sent into exile by an infuriated Adolf Hitler following the revelation that his new wife had previously posed for pornographic photographs.
14 Mar 1946 Werner von Blomberg passed away.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Hossbach Conference
» Annexation of Austria
» Nuremberg Trials and Other Trials Against Germany

Werner von Blomberg Photo Gallery
Erich Raeder and Werner von Blomberg inspecting German sailors at Kiel, Germany, 1933
See all 29 photographs of Werner von Blomberg

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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