Fedor von Bock

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Fedor von Bock (1880-1945) rose to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall, commanding forces in the Battle of France and in Operation Barbarossa. In the latter campaign, he was relieved, then restored, several times by Adolf Hitler until he was retired. He protested some atrocities, and was aware of the German Resistance but was not part of it.

Von Bock had a distinguished record in World War I, receiving the Pour le Merite, Germany's highest decoration for bravery.

He and his family died in an Allied bombing raid on Hamburg in May 1945.

Poland

As a Generaloberst, he commanded Army Group North (Poland) in the Polish campaign.

Battle of France

He commanded the Fourth German Army, and then Army Group B (Western Front) on the Western Front, primarily in Belgium. While it had been intended that his army group, along with the Luftwaffe, would destroy the retreating allied troops at Dunkirk, they made slow progress. Overall, however, Hitler was happy with his performance and promoted him to field marshal.

Operation Barbarossa

In the attack against the Soviet Union, he led Army Group Center (Russian Front)], whose principal objective was Moscow. They took Minsk and Smolensk, but Hitler ordered some of his forces diverted to the north, slowing his advance while he was 225 miles from Moscow. He was unable to get the resources to press the attack on Moscow until October.

By December, a combination of intense weather, and defenses the Russians had had time to build around Moscow, his advance ground to a halt. Hitler replaced him with Guenther von Kluge, but, in January, the death of Walther von Reichenau led Hitler to send him back to command Army Group South (Russian Front).

Bock and his staff were appalled by SS atrocities, but he chose not to make a direct report. His Chief of Staff, Henning von Tresckow, was already part of the German Resistance


While he had initial success, taking Voronezh, Hitler was not satisfied with his progress in taking the oil fields of the Caucasus, and forced him into retirement on 15 July 1942.

Hitler told Bock to destroy Soviet forces west of the Don and to gain control of the Caucusus oil fields. He initially had success at Voronezh, but Hitler was angered by his slow progress and dismissed Bock him from active service on July 15, 1942.