Franz Halder (30 June 1884 – 2 April 1972) was a German General and the chief of the Army General Staff from 1938 until September 1942. An officer on the General Staff during World War I, Halder remained there during the interwar period, rising through the ranks, and achieving a reputation as a skilled military planner, eventually becoming Chief of the Army Staff. While Halder did present plans to Adolf Hitler for a possible invasion of Czechoslovakia in September 1938, Halder became convinced that such an invasion would lead to an utterly disastrous war for Germany. Thus, Halder became the point man for a conspiracy to overthrow Hitler should the invasion go forward. Instead, the Munich Conference insured that there would be no war, and a coup was never needed.
Halder was aware of a vague plan to overthrow Hitler in November 1939, but made it clear he wanted no part of it. Halder served as Chief of the Army Staff until 1942, when his clashes with Hitler over the war against the Soviet Union led to Halder's dismissal. While Halder had no part of the 20 July Plot, he was nonetheless arrested, and held until Germany surrendered the following year. He was transferred to the custody of the Allies, and held until 1947.
He worked as an historian in the 1950s, and played a role in the redevelopment of the German army.
Franz Halder in The War That Came Early
When the Second World War broke out in October 1938, a conspiracy led in part by Franz Halder  sought to overthrow Adolf Hitler. The plot, however, was quickly detected by the German government, and the conspirators were either killed or arrested and transferred to Dachau. The German government took great care to insure that the plot was kept out of the press. Even as late as January 1939, the full details of the scheme, and Halder's personal fate, were unknown to many Germans.
- Hitler's War, pg. 226-227, HC.
- Ibid., pg. 359.
- Ibid., pgs. 226-227.
- Ibid., pg. 359.
|Chief of the Army General Staff of the Wehrmacht
September 1938 – September 1942