Karl Ludwig Wilhelm Hermann Litzmann
(22.01.1850 - 28.05.1936)
place of birth: Neu Globsow - Kreis Ruppin, Brandenburg
General der Infanterie
general of infantry Karl Litzmann came out of retirement as the Germans
launched the First World War, commanding XXXX. Reserve Corps. Litzmann was born
the son of a well-to-do estate owner in Brandenburg and began his
military career in Berlin at the age of 17. Serving as a lieutenant in
the Guards Pionier Battalion, he saw action during the Franco-Prussian
War. Upon his return to Germany, Litzmann steadily rose through the
ranks as an infantry officer. Following commands at the brigade and
divisional level, General Litzmann was selected in 1902 to head up
Kriegsakademie, Prussia's Imperial War Academy
located in Berlin. Following about three years of duty at that
institution, Generalleutnant Litzmann was placed on inactive reserve
status at the age of 55.
At the outbreak of hostilities, General Litzmann was reactivated
to head the Line of Communications Inspectorate at Max von Hausen's Third Army
Headquarters in Dresden. Within a couple months, however, he was
field duty on the Eastern Front as commander of 3rd Guards Division. Fighting
in support of Reinhard von Scheffer-Boyadel during the Battle of Lodz (November
1914), Litzmann's divisional troops were such a key factor in the German
victory, that he was awarded the Pour le Merite for his actions.
He also carried the title "The Lion of Brzeziny" and when Nazi
Germany later occupied Lodz in 1940, the town was temporarily renamed Litzmannstadt.
With the arrival of Christmas 1914, General Litzmann remained in
the East but was promoted to General der Infanterie and given command
of XXXX. Reserve Corps, a position he held until August 1918. He lead
these troops during the 1915 Winter Battle of Masurian Lakes
(Second Masurian) and the taking of the Kowno Fortress, an event for
which Litzmann received the Oak Leaves to go with his Blue Max.
At this point, Litzmann also rejected an offer by the Kaiser to elevate
him into nobility status. After capturing Kowno, XXXX.RK continued
pressing east along the River Nieman, until reaching Vilnius and
occupying that city in mid-September 1915. In July of 1916, Litzmann
went south to the Volhynia region of Ukraine, where his soldiers
successfully defended a section of the front near Korytnica-Szelwow
which was under threat by a numerically superior Russian force. His
troops were also later engaged in the Apuseni region of the
Carpathian Mountains, and in August 1917 he headed Gruppe Stanislau
as they battled the Russians in Eastern Galicia.
General Litzmann and his XXXX.RK were transported in January 1918
to the Western Front, where they became part of Gruppe Souchez
and were to fight in support of Sixth Army. Given that the General felt
less and less fit to carry out his duties as a field commander, his
request to retire from active service was granted in August 1918, and he
was replaced by Paul Grünert. During the closing
days of the War in November, the Kaiser once again requested General
Litzmann's service to take charge of security forces in Berlin. Litzmann
was unable to fulfill this task, however, since no military units were
placed at his disposal. Following the Great War, Litzmann became an active NSDAP
member, fully supporting Hitler and becoming Altarspräsident
(president by seniority) of the Reichstag from 1932 to 1936. He
died on 28 May 1936 at the age of 86.
der Infanterie ....
Kreuz II ..............
le Mérite ....................