German Freiherr (baron) and military officer. Born 1880, died 1939.
A career military officer, Werner von Fritsch became head of the German Army's general staff in 1934, and commander in chief of the Army in 1935. He backed Adolf Hitler in Hitler's showdown with Ernst Röhm, and supported German rearmament.
In 1937, however, von Fritsch openly criticised Hitler's war plans. When it became clear to Hitler that he was an obstacle to the planned war, in 1938, von Fritsch was dismissed following baseless accusations of homosexuality. He was soon rehabilitated, however, and given command of a regiment during the Invasion of Poland. He fell at Warsaw in September 1939.