Franz Schadle was born in Westerheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, German Empire on 19 November 1906. He worked as a construction technician before joining the SS on 1 February 1930, and Sepp Dietrich selected Schadle as one of Adolf Hitler's twelve original bodyguards. In January 1945, after the dismissal of Bruno Gesche, he became the new commander of Hitler's FBK bodyguard, and he appointed Rochus Misch as the Fuhrerbunker telephone operator. On 28 April 1945, he suffered a shrapnel wound to his leg, forcing him to use crutches. After Hitler's suicide, the Germans began to abandon the bunker, but Schadle - whose leg wound had become gangrenous - shot himself in the head while waiting in an underground treatment facility rather than hold the others back.