The Wehrmachtbericht was a daily radio report on the Großdeutscher Rundfunk
The Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft , which can be loosely translated as the State Broadcasting Company, was a national network of German regional public broadcasting companies active from 1925 until 1945...

of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, published by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht
The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht was part of the command structure of the armed forces of Nazi Germany during World War II.- Genesis :...

 (OKW) regarding the military situation on all fronts of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


It was redacted by a special propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 department attached to the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 Führungsstab (Chief of Operation Staff) under Generaloberst Alfred Jodl
Alfred Jodl
Alfred Josef Ferdinand Jodl was a German military commander, attaining the position of Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command during World War II, acting as deputy to Wilhelm Keitel...

, relying on material delivered by Propagandakompanien within the fighting troops, while private war correspondent
War correspondent
A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. In the 19th century they were also called Special Correspondents.-Methods:...

s were not admitted. All broadcasts had to be authorized by Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels
Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. As one of Adolf Hitler's closest associates and most devout followers, he was known for his zealous oratory and anti-Semitism...

' Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda
The Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was Nazi Germany's ministry that enforced Nazi Party ideology in Germany and regulated its culture and society. Founded on March 13, 1933, by Adolf Hitler's new National Socialist government, the Ministry was headed by Dr...

 as controlling institution of the German media, which led to a constant rivalry between the ministerial bureaucracy and the Wehrmacht executive staff. Both Goebbels and Jodl considered the Wehrmachtsbericht a vital instrument of home front
Home front
Home front is the informal term commonly used to describe the civilian populace of the nation at war as an active support system of their military....

 mobilization under total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...


The first report aired with the Invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939 and the last was given on 9 May 1945 from Flensburg
Flensburg government
The Flensburg Government , also known as the Flensburg Cabinet and the Dönitz Government , was the short-lived administration that attempted to rule the Third Reich during most of May 1945 at the end of World War II in Europe...

. After the Invasion of the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

 in June 1941, the reports broadcasted at midday would begin with a fanfare (from Les Préludes
Les Préludes (Liszt)
Les préludes is the third of Franz Liszt's thirteen symphonic poems. Directed by Liszt himself, in April 1856 the score, and in January 1865 the orchestral parts, were published by Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig. Among Liszt's symphonic poems, Les préludes is the most popular...

symphonic poem by Franz Liszt), followed by the announcer saying "Aus dem Führerhauptquartier
Führer Headquarters
The Führer Headquarters , abbreviated FHQ, is a common name for a number of official headquarters used by the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and various German commanders and officials throughout Europe during World War II...

, das Oberkommando der Wehrmacht gibt bekannt" ("From the Leader's Headquarters, the Armed Forces High Command announces").

Erich Murawski, director of the Department of Military Records, analyzed the reports given by the Wehrmacht and determined four stages in the broadcast style of the Wehrmachtbericht:
  • September 1939-May 1940 - cautious restraint
  • Western Campaign 1940 to end 1941 - exuberance from victories
  • 1942 to Autumn 1944 - camouflage the setbacks
  • Autumn 1944 to war's end - sober liquidation report

References of persons or military units in the Wehrmachtbericht were considered a high military honour and held in high esteem. These references were established by the Oberkommando des Heeres
Oberkommando des Heeres
The Oberkommando des Heeres was Nazi Germany's High Command of the Army from 1936 to 1945. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht commanded OKH only in theory...

under Generaloberst Walther von Brauchitsch
Walther von Brauchitsch
Heinrich Alfred Hermann Walther von Brauchitsch was a German field marshal and the Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres in the early years of World War II.-Biography:...

 on 27 April 1940. A further award, the Honour Roll of the German Army, was later introduced in mid 1941. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 donated the Honour Roll Clasp of the Army
Honour Roll Clasp of the Army
The Honour Roll Clasp of the Army or Ehrenblatt des Heeres was a Decoration of Nazi Germany during World War II. The total number awarded was 4,556. -History:...

on 30 January 1944 as a visible and wearable award for bravery.

External links

Transcript of the final broadcast, Stern.de
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