- Category : 1897-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
German general during the Second World War and the Cold War, who served as Supreme Commander of the NATO ground forces in Central Europe from 1957 to 1963.
Speidel served as lieutenant-general and chief of staff to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel during the Second World War. Speidel was a nationalist conservative who agreed with the territorial aspects of the Nazi regime's policies, but strongly disagreed with their racial policies. This led him to participate in the 20 July Plot to assassinate Hitler, after which he was jailed by the Gestapo. At the end of the war, he escaped from Nazi prison and went into hiding.
During the early Cold War, Speidel emerged as one of the leading German military figures, and played a key role in German rearmament and integration into NATO. He is thus regarded as one of the founders of the Bundeswehr. He was the first officer to be promoted to full General in West Germany and served as Supreme Commander of the NATO ground forces in Central Europe from 1957 to 1963, with headquarters at the Palace of Fontainebleau in Paris. Speidel was also a historian by training and wrote several books. He received the Grand Cross with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1963.
He was the father of Brigadier General Hans Helmut Speidel and the father-in-law of European Commissioner and liberal politician Guido Brunner.
He died 28 November 1984.