Karl Bodenschatz

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Karl Bodenschatz
Born (1890-12-10)10 December 1890
Died 25 August 1979(1979-08-25) (aged 88)
Allegiance German Empire German Empire (to 1918)
Germany Weimar Republic (to 1933)
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1910–45
Rank General der Flieger
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Karl-Heinrich Bodenschatz (10 December 1890 – 25 August 1979) was a German general who was the adjutant to Manfred von Richthofen in World War I and the liaison officer between Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler in World War II.


Early life and First World War

Bodenschatz was born in Rehau, Bavaria and in 1910 he enlisted in the 8th Bavarian Infantry Regiment and was a cadet at the War Academy in Metz until 1912. Following the outbreak of the First World War he saw active infantry service and participated in the Battle of Verdun. After being wounded four times, in 1916 he transferred to the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte as adjutant to Jagdgeschwader 2 and then Jagdgeschwader 1 as the adjutant to Manfred von Richthofen based at Avesnes-le-sac. In June 1918 Hermann Göring took over command of the squadron after von Richthofen's death.

Between the wars

After the war he joined the Reichswehr as a regular officer and served in the 21st infantry regiment from 1919 until April 1933, he had maintained a friendship with Göring and joined the Luftwaffe as his military adjutant and served in this capacity until 1938.

Left to right: Karl Bodenschatz, Walter von Reichenau and Wilhelm Keitel in 1939.

Second World War

During World War II he was the liaison officer between Hitler’s headquarters and the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe until he was seriously injured in 1944 by the 20 July plot bomb at the Wolf's Lair headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia. He was fortunate to survive the explosion as two officers immediately to his left and one to his right were killed.


He was captured at Reichenhall on 5 May 1945 and in 1946 was called as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials of major war criminals and served two years in prison. He died at Erlangen, Germany in 1979 aged 88.

Medals and Honours


  1. Patzwall & Scherzer 2001, p. 537.
  • Patzwall, Klaus D.; Scherzer, Veit (2001). Das Deutsche Kreuz 1941 – 1945 Geschichte und Inhaber Band II (in German). Norderstedt, Germany: Verlag Klaus D. Patzwall. ISBN 978-3-931533-45-8. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help)CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Hunting With Richthofen: The Bodenschatz Diaries: Sixteen Months of Battle with J G Freiherr Von Richthofen No. 1. Grub Street, 1998, ISBN 1-898697-97-3.

External links