Esteban Infantes file photo [9402]

Emilio Esteban Infantes

SurnameEsteban Infantes
Given NameEmilio
Born18 May 1892
Died6 Sep 1962


ww2dbaseEmilio Esteban Infantes y Mart├şn was born in Toledo, Spain into a traditional military family. He enrolled in the Toledo Military Infantry Academy in 1907 and graduated in 1910. Serving in the Spanish African Army, he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1912 amidst the Rif War. In 1928, he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In late 1928, he was appointed a professor at the Zaragoza Military Academy by the academy's new commandant, former Toledo classmate General Francisco Franco. In 1932, his family was implicated in a coup d'├ętat against the Republican government and was thrown out of the army. On 17 Jul 1936, he was in Madrid, Spain when the Nationalist uprising began. He joined the Nationalist forces in Burgos, Spain and was sentenced to death, in absentia, by the Republican government. During the civil war, he was the Chief of General Staff of the Castillian Army Corps during its Brunete offensive of Jul 1937 and the Battle of Teruel between Dec 1937 and Feb 1938. He then served as the commanding officer of the Navarre 5th Division. Despite his units' successes during the Spanish Civil War, he was viewed as a distant commander who rarely visited the front lines, and that leadership style and reputation would follow him into WW2. In May 1940, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and was given the responsibility of the Army General Staff of Morocco and IV Military District. When Germany invaded Russia in Jun 1941, a large number of fiercely anti-communist Spaniards were organized into Divisi├│n Azul, or Blue Division, and sent to serve under the German Army banner as the German 250th Infantry Division. On 12 Dec 1942, Esteban Infantes was given command of this division as it fought on the Eastern Front; he was personally inducted into the German Army by Adolf Hitler, and he held the German rank of major general. In Feb 1943, Russia attempted to break the siege at Leningrad, Russia. Russian 55th Army attacked the 250th Infantry Division at the Battle of Krasny Bor, and the Spaniards were able to hold ground against a numerically superior force; this victory established the reputation of Esteban Infantes, and the commander of the German 18th Army, Colonel General Georg Lindemann, personally came to congratulate him on the victory. This victory also led to his promotion in the German Army for the rank of lieutenant general, as well as winning a German Gold Cross. In Sep 1943, pressure from the United States caused Franco to recall most of the Blue Division troops, leaving only a small contingent behind, known as the Blue Legion; Esteban Infantes remained to organize the Blue Legion before he returned to Spain. On 3 Oct 1943, amidst his work to establish the Blue Legion, he was awarded the Knight's Cross. He returned to Spain in Dec 1943; upon his return, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and was given command of IX Military District. After the European War, he served in various posts such as the President of the Supreme Council of Military Justice, Commander of the VII Military District, and the Chief of Central General Staff. He published his memoirs in 1958 under the title Blue Division: Spanish Volunteers in the Eastern Front. He was also an active in lobbying for special privileges for Blue Division veterans. Esteban Infantes passed away in 1962.

ww2dbaseSources: Blue Division Soldier 1941-45, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Feb 2010


Spanish Army General Esteban Infantes shaking hands with Adolf Hitler, date unknownSpanish Army General Esteban Infantes, commanding officer of the German 250th Infantry Division

Emilio Esteban Infantes Timeline

18 May 1892 Emilio Esteban Infantes was born.
12 Dec 1942 Spanish General Mu├▒oz Grandes passed the command of the German 250th Infantry Division of Spanish volunteers to General Esteban-Infantes; Mu├▒oz Grandes was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves upon his departure.
6 Sep 1962 Emilio Esteban Infantes passed away to illness in his home in Gij├│n, Spain.

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
8 Nov 2018 02:24:21 PM

Hello this site is awesome
2. Anonymous says:
10 Nov 2018 12:14:12 PM

did Emilio Esteban Infantes dye yet

All visitor submitted comments are opinions of those making the submissions and do not reflect views of WW2DB.

Posting Your Comments on this Topic

Your Name
Your Email
 Your email will not be published
Comment Type
Your Comments


1. We hope that visitor conversations at WW2DB will be constructive and thought-provoking. Please refrain from using strong language. HTML tags are not allowed. Your IP address will be tracked even if you remain anonymous. WW2DB site administrators reserve the right to moderate, censor, and/or remove any comment. All comment submissions will become the property of WW2DB.

2. For inquiries about military records for members of the World War II armed forces, please see our FAQ.

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
More on Emilio Esteban Infantes
Event(s) Participated:
» The Spanish Civil War
» Siege of Leningrad

Related Books:
» Blue Division Soldier 1941-45

Emilio Esteban Infantes Photo Gallery
Spanish Army General Esteban Infantes shaking hands with Adolf Hitler, date unknown
See all 2 photographs of Emilio Esteban Infantes

Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!