Smithsonian museums continue to be closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

German Field Marshal von Blomberg's Baton

German Field Marshal von Blomberg's Baton

Usage conditions apply
Physical Description
Ceremonial baton, inscribed with "von Blomberg," decorated with Nazi swastikas and German national eagles, on blue velvet covering.
Specific History
Werner von Blomberg was born in Stargard, Germany, on September 2, 1878. He joined the German Army and served as a second lieutenant in the Seventy-third Fusilier Regiment. He attended the War Academy (1904-07) before joining the General Staff in 1908. On the outbreak of the World War I, Blomberg was General Staff officer with the Nineteenth Reserve Division. He served on the Western Front where he won the Pour le Mérite. By the end of the war he had reached the rank of major. Blomberg's two brothers were killed in the conflict. Blomberg remained in the army and in 1920 was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed chief of staff of the Doeberitz Brigade.
Four years later General Hans von Seeckt appointed him as chief of army training. In 1927 Blomberg was promoted to major general and appointed chief of the Troop Office. In this position he clashed with Kurt von Schleicher and in 1929 was sent to East Prussia to serve under Walther von Reichenau. In 1932 Blomberg was head of the German delegation at the Geneva Disarmament Conference. The following year Adolf Hitler appointed him minister of defense and in 1935 minister of war and commander-in-chief of the German Army. It was Blomberg's idea to get all soldiers to pledge an oath of personal loyalty to Hitler.
In April 1936 Blomberg became Hitler's first field marshal. He was outmaneuvered, however, by Hermann Goering, who was jealous of Blomberg's power and used the Gestapo to obtain embarrassing information about his pretty young second wife, who turned out to have been a prostitute with a criminal record. In January 1938, Blomberg resigned when he discovered Goering was planning make this information public. Blomberg and his wife were ordered to spend a year in exile on Capri. The scandal allowed Hitler to take direct control of the army. After the war Blomberg was captured by Allied troops and gave evidence at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. Werner von Blomberg died while being held in detention on March 14, 1946.
Object Name
associated date
Blomberg, Werner von
Place Made
associated place
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
overall: 19 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in; 49.53 cm x 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Catherine C. Winkler
World War II
The Great Depression and World War II
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Price of Freedom
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object