Otto Moritz Walther Model (24 January 1891 – 21 April 1945) was a German general and later field marshal during World War II. He is noted for his defensive battles in the latter half of the war, mostly on the Eastern Front but also in the west, and for his close association with Adolf Hitler and Nazism. He has been called the Wehrmacht's best defensive tactician. He shot himself in 1945, after surrendering his forces to the Allies.
Walther Model was a German Field Marshal. After helping to defeat the Soviet Union in the 1940s, Model successfully conquered India in 1947, six years after Britain had fallen to the Nazis. Although all British imperial troops were ordered to lay down their weapons upon the conquest of Britain, Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck continued to fight Model's forces during this time. His forces being finally overwhelmed and popular support having run out after six years, Auchinleck formally surrendered to Model in New Delhi.
Almost immediately after occupying New Delhi, Model was approached by Mohandas Gandhi, who formally requested Germany leave India. Model was surprised by Gandhi's forwardness, and while he admired it, he also viewed Gandhi as hopelessly naive. Nonetheless, Model was nettled by Gandhi's unflappable defiance, ordering him to obey the forces of the German Reich.
Events came to a head quickly, when Gandhi and his associate Jawaharlal Nehru led a demonstration to Qutb Road. The German troops on the scene were quickly bewildered by events. However, word soon reached Model, who arrived on the scene and personally took control. Model remarked to his troops, "If we did not have Goebbels, this would be the one for the job." Gandhi responded in slow but clear German: "I thank you, Field Marshal, but I believe that to be no compliment." After demanding that the demonstrators disperse, set down a handkerchief, warning them that if any of the group reached it, his men would open fire. The crowd persisted, and Model's men opened fire. Several people were killed. Model punished the first men on the scene by ordering them to kill the wounded.
Model received a commendation from ReichsministerReinhard Heydrich. A price was put on the heads of Gandhi and Nehru. In short order, the two fugitives were turned over to German troops by a Muslim. Nehru was executed immediately, but Model ordered Gandhi be brought before him. Model gloated, turning aside Gandhi's assertions that the Germans acted without conscience. After an unproductive conversation, Model had Gandhi taken away for execution, and returned to his own work.
General Walther Model commanded Afrika Korps, which was dispatched to Italian-occupied Libya in 1941 to help fight the invading British. By the summer of 1942, Model and the Afrika Korps had driven British forces back into Egypt, and Alexandria was threatened.