Oskar von Ehrenthal
(15.08.1854 - 09.11.1921)
place of birth: Borna, Sachsen
Saxon general officer Oskar von Ehrenthal served in the
Imperial German armed forces during the Great War as a division
and corps commander. During the pre-War years, Ehrenthal developed his
soldiering skills as an officer attached to various Saxon Jäger
battalions. Upon attaining the rank of major, he was selected to
serve for about three years as an aide-de-camp in Saxon King Albert's
entourage. As a Generalleutnant, von Ehrenthal ultimately received
command of the 1st Saxon Infantry Division in Dresden before retiring
from active duty in 1912.
The breakout of hostilities throughout Europe predicated General
von Ehrenthal's recall to full-time military service, and he was chosen
to command 24th Infantry Division which marched in support of General
von Hausen's Third Army headquarters. His division was engaged early on
during the War in the effort to invest the Belgian fortresses at Namur
and Givet. His troops were subsequently involved in the First
Battle of Champagne from December 1914 through March 1915. Von
Ehrenthal was soon thereafter brevetted to General der Infanterie, but
due to an illness was placed on inactive reserve status in March 1916.
Returning to the battlefield in August, newly promoted General
der Infanterie von Ehrenthal was given command of Saxony's XXVII.
Reserve Corps which was still engaged on the River Somme.
Initially attached to the First Army, the corps was moved further north
of the river to support Sixth Army and remained in place until November
1916. At this point, Ehrenthal and his troops were transferred East to
the River Narajiwka region in Ukraine. The corps remained
entrenched until the following summer, and as the battle heated up in
that area, General von Ehrenthal was hit by shrapnel, causing him to
lose an eye. For his leadership and sacrifice, von Ehrenthal was awarded
the Pour le Merite and subsequently retired from active duty. The
general returned to Schloß Schönbach near Eger (Cheb) and passed away
there in November 1921.
* image courtesy of Christophe Deruelle
Ritter (Komtur II: 29.10.1915)