Hugo Sperrle the German Commander-in-Chief West

    Hugo Sperrle was the German Commander-in-Chief West at the time of the attack on Oradour  and it was he who had on 3 February 1944 issued what have become known as the 'Sperrle Orders' detailing the harsh measures to be taken against the French population in order to protect German personnel from attack by the Resistance. It is often tempting to ascribe personality traits to people on the basis of their photographs and this can of course at times be very misleading. However, in this picture, Sperrle does look like a determined man and not one to be trifled with. Contrast this photograph with the one of him taken during his war-crimes trial.

Hugo Sperrle the German Commander-in-Chief West in 1944
Photo courtesy of the Bundesarchiv


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Michael Williams: March 2011