Albert Theodor Otto von Emmich
(04.04.1848 - 22.12.1915)
place of birth: Minden, Westfalen (Prussian
Preußen: KG, General der Infanterie
general and skillful commander of the Maas Army (Army of the
Meuse), a 60,000 strong task force assigned to conduct the initial
engagement of the Great War, a 10-day battle for the fortress town of Liege. Von
Emmich successfully lead this six brigade, three cavalry division-strong
reinforced detachment as they systematically took out Liege's twelve
fortresses and main citadel. For this effort, he became the first
soldier during the war to receive the coveted Pour le Merite
the siege, von Emmich resumed command of his X.Army Corps, carrying
out operations near Reims until April 1915. He and his corps were
then sent to Galicia on the Eastern Front, where they fought with
General von Mackensen and were successfully engaged in battles at Gorlice-Tarnow
and the Fortress of Lemberg. In early autumn of 1915, von Emmich
became ill in the field and was replaced as X.Corps commander by General
Walter von Lüttwitz. He returned to Germany to
recuperate but succumbed to his sickness, dying on 22 December 1915 in
The future General von Emmich was born in Westphalia to the
family of Colonel Theoder von Emmich. Fairly short in stature (he was
5'4"), he entered military service on 3 July 1866, the very day on
which the Battle of Königgrätz began. He
spent the next ten years with the 55th Infantry Regiment in Detmold,
fighting with this unit during the Franco-Prussian War of
1870-71. He saw action at Gravelotte and Colombay where he
was awarded the Iron Cross for his bravery. While serving with this
regiment, he also became fast friends with Alexander von Kluck, a future
field army commander during the Great War. Von Emmich was beknighted by
Wilhelm II in 1912 on the Kaiser's birthday.
"General, you have nobly
protected your forts. Keep your sword...to have crossed swords
with you has been an honor, sir."
General of Infantry Otto von Emmich
* Aug 1914 - to Liege garrison commander Lt Gen Leman, upon his
der Infanterie ..
Kreuz II ...........
le Mérite .................