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H075157 GENERALLEUTNANT EDUARD DIETL, SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH. (Photographie mit Unterschrift)

BACKGROUND: The OKH, Oberkommando des Heeres, (High Command of the Army), and the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), both realized the importance of propaganda and as early as 1938 they both actively began recruiting artists, photographers and journalists who were assigned to Propaganda Companies which accompanied all three branches of service in the field. In his position as the Reichsminister, für Volkserklärung und Propaganda, (National Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda), Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels assisted the Armed Forces by compiling a list of suitable artists, photographers and journalist and provided an eight week war correspondents training program for them. The artwork, photographs and reports from the Propaganda Companies were utilized to maintain morale, assist in recruitment and record the exploits of the German Armed Forces in the field. Much of the Propaganda Companies work would appear in newspapers and magazines such as, Die Wehrmacht, Der Adler, Die Kriegsmarine and Signals. The artwork and photographs of the Propaganda Companies were also used in recruitment posters and postcards. Knight’s Cross winners and high ranking military personnel were some of the most popular subjects for the photographers and their photographs were highly popular at the time and were often traded as sports celebrity cards of today are. Born in Bad Aibling Bavaria on July 21ST 1890, Eduard Dietl joined the German army in October 1909 fought in WWI and remained in the Weimar era Reichsheer as an commander of an Infantry Regiment reaching the rank of Oberstleutnant by February 1933. Promoted to the rank of Oberst in January 1935, Dietl then took command of a Mountain troop Regiment in October 1935. In April 1938 Dietl was promoted to the rank of Generalmajor and in May 1938 he assumed command of the 3RD Mountain Division. Dietl was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant in April 1940 and on May 9TH 1940 he was awarded a Knight’s Cross of the Iron cross. On April 9TH 1940 the Germans launched the invasions of Denmark and Norway and although Denmark capitulated immediately with little resistance, Norway was a harder nut to crack and the Norwegian army, with British assistance, held out until its final surrender on June 10TH 1940. The important northern port of Narvik changed hands a few times in the coarse of the campaign but was eventually held by the Germans under the command of Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl. As the "Hero of Narvik" Dietl was the first German soldier of the war to be awarded the Oak-Leaves to his Knight’s Cross on June 19TH 1940 for his actions at Narvik. As an indication of how tenacious the battle was, allegedly Dietl commented at its conclusion, "I’m the Hero of Narvik. Had the British stayed two more hours, I would have left.". Dietl went on to be promoted twice more reaching the rank of Generaloberst in June 1942. Dietl died in an airplane crash in Styria on June 23RD 1944 and was posthumously awarded the Swords to his Knight’s Cross on July 1ST 1944.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 6 3/8" x 4 3/4", black and white, close-up, portrait style of Generalleutnant Eduard Dietl wearing a Mountain Troopers cap and a double breasted wind jacket with a large, lay down fur collar. The only clearly visible uniform details are the cap insignia although a part of a shoulder board and Dietl’s Knight’s Cross and Oak-leaves are just partially visible. The photograph has Dietl’s blue ink signature running across his chest. The photograph is in overall very good condition with minor age yellowing and some light spotting.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $539.00

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