Generalfeldmarschall Gerd Von Rundstedt…Continued…

Several months after the war had ended, certain prisoners were allowed to be escorted out of the camp to work in the surrounding areas. Rundstedt was allowed the privilege of being escorted to Bridgend. The shopping crowds in Nolton street and Caroline Street took no notice of the ageing man but would most certainly have done had he not been dressed in civilian clothes.

Some people remembered, though, how in certain shops he would jostle his way to the front of the queue and demand preferential treatment which left many customers angry.

Von Rundstedt was allowed to go to church in Bridgend.  The guards used to escort him to Nolton Church and on certain occasions he went to Merthyr Mawr Church .

Von Rundstedt appreciated the fellowship that he received at St Mary's Nolton for, on his departure back to Germany he sent the following note:



Click To Enlarge Pictures:
Modern Day Pictures Of Nolton Church (St Mary's)

Front Of Church

Rear/Side Profile Of Church

10.5.48

Dear Mrs Lees !
I thank you sincerely
for your kindness to send
me the delicious food-
parcel ! I hope that I

can send the 2 tinned
cans to my grand-chil
dren in Germany.  The
eggs I have very en-
joyed !

With compliments
Yours very sincerely


Von Rundstedt

- Field Marshal

In February 2005, I corresponded with one of the grand-children mentioned in the above letter. Paul von Rundstedt told me: I believe that the tins contained fruits and some drinking chocolate. They did not go far seeing as there were 5 grand children, but we were very grateful, "However, the selfish swine kept the eggs for himself!".



Regarded by both Eisenhower and Montgomery as the best of the German commanders, Rundstedt was, in truth, well past his prime by 1942. Never an original thinker, as he was the first to admit, he was a pragmatist, possessed of much common sense, and a believer in decentralised command. His strength lay in his adherence to the Prussian military code of duty, honour, and loyalty, which also made him incapable of actively opposing Hitler and his regime.

Decorations & Awards:

NOTE: In The Last Prussian: A Biography of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, 1875-1953, author Charles Messenger lists the Prussian Red Eagle Order 4th Class among von Rundstedt’s decorations. However, this decoration does not appear in the 1 May 1926 or 1 May 1930 editions of the Rangliste des Deutschen Reichsheeres. Messenger also caveats von Rundstedt’s World War II (1939-1945) list of decorations with the statement, “And, possibly, Rumanian, Hungarian, Slovak and Italian decorations.”

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Shoulder Board
Close-up of centre
Photos courtesy of Al Holland

Movie Portrayals:

Sources:


[3] All four generals were held for varying amounts of time at Island Farm Special Camp 11 during their captivity.

[4] As Walther von Brauchitsch had died on 18 October 1948, Erich von Lewenski genannt von Manstein proved to be the only one of the four generals previously indicted that actually went to trial. On 19 December 1949, he was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for war crimes (later reduced to 12 years). However, he was released in May 1953.

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