Paul Ritter von Kneußl
(27.06.1862 - 16.02.1928)
place of birth: Lindau, Bodensee (Bavaria)
Königreich Bayern: Generalleutnant
count and lieutenant general Paul von Kneußl
was one of the most significant leaders of Bavarian military forces
during the Great War. He was born into the home of
Johann and Klara (nee Vigl) Kneußl in the Lake
Constance area. General von Kneußl
was in charge of personnel affairs at the Bavaria War Ministry
prior to German mobilization in August 1914. He then was put in command of
Bavarian 1st Reserve Infantry Brigade, which soon joined battle in Lorraine,
France in support of Sixth Army.
In the spring of 1915, Ritter von Kneußl
was promoted to Generalleutnant as he took command of 11th Bavarian
Infantry Division. These troops were transferred east to Galicia to
fight with Field Marshal von Mackensen's Eleventh Army at Gorlice-Tarnow.
Kneußl's division further took part in the
re-taking of the Fortress Przemysl, located on the Poland-Ukraine
border. His exemplary leadership during this
engagement resulted in his being the first Bavarian officer during the
War to be awarded the Pour le Merite. His division continued
in the eastern campaign until October 1915, when they were sent to
Serbia to fight in support of General von Gallwitz' army.
The 11th Infantry Division redeployed further west in
early 1916, ending up in Verdun by February. Here they were engaged until
the summer, when German High Command decided to move them back east to
Russian forces in the Ukraine. By November 1916, von Kneußl
and his troops continued on to the Wallachia area of Romania to join
forces with General von Falkenhayn. The spring of 1917 had 11th Division
back on the Western Front, where they took part in the Battle of the River Aisne
and at Chemin des Dames. General von Kneußl
and his soldiers settled in Passchendaele, Flanders by the end of the
Ludendorff's 1918 Spring Offensive saw 11th Infantry fighting
under Fourth Army Commander Friedrich Sixt von Armin. After the division
lost over 2,200 men, however, the unit was placed in reserve on the
Dutch border. They were back in business by mid-June, this time
subordinate to Eighteenth Army. Here again the division suffered heavy
losses as they fought a tactical withdrawal from the River Marne.
What remained of his troops were transferred to Bruges, while
Generalleutnant von Kneußl was named commander of
XV. Bavarian Reserve Corps which was defending a relatively quiet part
of the front in Lorraine, France. Von Kneußl was
put in charge of I. Bavarian Reserve Corps just two days prior to
Armistice, and thus oversaw that unit's demobilization process upon
returning the Munich. He was brevetted as General der Infanterie upon
retiring in August 1919 and passed away about ten years later in Munich.
le Mérite ....................
03.06.1915 Ritter (Kommandeur: