Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel



Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel

Keitel was one of the most senior officers in the German Wehrmacht, and functioned as the head of the German High Command.  He was intimately involved in all plans and operations of the armed forces during the war and was constantly at Hitler’s side.


While he did have record of voicing his opinion against some of Hitler’s most disastrous campaigns (like the war with Russia), he basically went along with whatever his Fuhrer directed and had a front row seat for the ensuing disasters.


Keitel was not particularly loved or respected by his peers as a result of his penchant to be a yes man to Hitler, and was often referred to as “Lackeitel” in reference to being Hitler’s lackey.  The allies were not too fond of him either, as they sentenced him to death for war crimes and hung him at Nuremburg.



From a collectors standpoint, Keitel did not have any unique features about his uniforms or insignia, and tended to stay with regulation.  Because of his notoriety, closeness to Hitler and senior standing as what was basically the war minister of the entire Wehrmacht, his surviving memorabilia is of great interest and value to those in the hobby.  It is also of great quality, as one must remember that those in the presence of Hitler tended to always wear their best uniforms and insignia.






Keitel’s Insignia Grouping

(Wolfe-Hardin collection)





Generalfeldmarschall Keitel’s shoulderboards are of standard 1940 - 1941 style with the basic General officer intertwined gold and silver cords, with crossed batons of the 2nd pattern.





Close-up of the highly detailed, 1940 2nd pattern batons in the army pattern with alternating iron crosses and wehrmacht eagles.  These batons exhibit one of the two die patterns known to have been used on army baton devices.






A loose set of shoulderboard batons that came with the same Keitel grouping, with this pair of batons exhibiting the other die pattern.  Note how it appears that these batons may have had the swastikas removed.




Collar Tabs


This pair of collar tabs is one of the most common encountered Generalfeldmarschall patterns and is often seen on the GFM uniforms in the official studio portraits of the time.  They are of the highest quality embroidery and extremely consistent in manufacture.




Generalfeldmarschall Keitel Command Flags