Walther Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz  
(02.02.1859 - 20.09.1942)
place of birth:  Bodland, Oberschlesien  (Bogacica, Poland)
Königreich Preußen:  OberKdo Marken,  KG,  General der Infanterie


Imperial German officer and Silesian baron Walther Freiherr von Lüttwitz first came to military prominence in 1912 as Senior Quartermaster of the Great General Staff. The outbreak of the Great War found him serving as chief of staff for Fourth Army commander Duke Albrecht. His first cousin Arthur Freiherr von Lüttwitz was also a highly-decorated general officer who served during the Great War.

General von Lüttwitz is considered responsible for the infamous razing of
the Belgian town of Louvain occurring at the start of the War. Due to disagreements with new Chief of General Staff von Falkenhayn, Lüttwitz was transferred in September 1914 to take command of 33rd Division engaged in the Argonne. Falkenhayn then sent him to Galicia in the summer of 1915 to head up 2nd Guards Division. There, his troops participated in the break through at Krasnostov as they cntinued pushing the Russian enemy back to the River Bug.

Generalleutnant von Lüttwitz was then brought back to the Western Front to take the reigns of X. Army Corps, directing his new troops during the the September 1915 Battle of Champagne. The corps was transported to the Eastern Front in the summer of 1916 to support Austrian forces engaged along the River Stochid, Ukraine. In late August 1916, the general was brought to OHL headquarters in Pless, Silesia, where Falkenhayn handed him orders for a transfer back to the western theater. Following the failure at Verdun in August 1916, Lüttwitz was to replace Crown Prince Wilhelm's discredited assistant Konstantin Schmidt von Knobelsdorf as Fifth Army Chief of Staff. When Lüttwitz arrived at Fifth Army headquarters, the Kaiser himself was waiting there to award him with the coveted Pour le Merite honor.

In November of 1916, the Kaiser handed over command of III. Army Corps to Freiherr von Lüttwitz, an assignment which he maintained until War's end. Initially fighting in support of First Army, his corps troops successfully fought in the 1917 Spring Offensive along the River Aisne. In support of the newly-formed Eighteenth Army, Lüttwitz' divisions were also engaged at St-Quentin/La Fere during the 1918 Spring Offensive. It was for his exemplary leadership during this conflict that the general received the oak leaves for his Blue Max ribbon. While the summer of 1918 initially saw his troops fighting it out in the trenches, the enemy went on the offensive in August, and III. Corps began an orderly defensive retreat in the region near the Rivers Somme and Avre. Lüttwitz was promoted to General der Infanterie in mid-August as his corps assets were transferred to fight in support Seventh Army until the Armistice.

After the War, General von Lüttwitz brought his corps back home for demobilization and was subsequently asked to lead the forces set up to defend Berlin. He was then charged with quelling revolutionary unrest in that city as head of Oberkommando in den Marken, commander of military forces in the Mark-Brandenburg region. During the Spartacus Revolt of 1919, troops under his command were responsible for the deaths of radical communist leaders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht. He was also one of the failed leaders of the 1920 Kapp Putsch. The general had one son serving in a Jäger Bataillon who was killed in action in 1916, and another son, Smilo, who also fought in the Great War and was a highly decorated officer during the Second World War. He was also the father-in-law of Wehrmacht general Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord. Walther von Lüttwitz passed away on 20 September 1942 in Breslau. 

 
 
General der Infanterie .... 18.08.1918

Pour le Mérite .................... 24.08.1916  (Eichenlaub:  24.03.1918)
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
15.04.1876 Füsilier-Regiment ,,Feldmarschall Graf Moltke (1. Schlesisches) Nr. 38 - Glatz
15.12.1876 Sekonde-Lieutenant
12.06.1886 Premier-Lieutenant
00.00.1887 Preußische Kriegsakademie - Berlin
00.00.1890 unknown
27.01.1892 Hauptmann
27.01.1898 Major
15.09.1904 XIV. Armeekorps - Karlsruhe  (von Bock und Pollach's Chief of Staff)
15.09.1904 Oberstleutnant
14.04.1907 Oberst
26.04.1907 Badisches Leib-Grenadier-Regiment Nr.109 - Karlsruhe  (Cdr)
27.01.1911 39. Infanterie-Brigade - Hannover  (Cdr)
20.03.1911 2. Garde Infanterie-Brigade - Potsdam  (Cdr)
20.03.1911 Generalmajor
01.10.1912 Großer Generalstab, Oberquartiermeister - Berlin  (Deputy Chief of the Great General Staff)
01.01.1914 Großherzoglich Hessische 25. Infanterie-Division - Darmstadt  (Cdr, replaced Otto von Plüskow)
01.01.1914 Generalleutnant
   
Great War
   
02.08.1914 4. Armee  (Herzog Albrecht's Chief of Staff)
27.09.1914 33. Infanterie-Division  (Cdr, replaced Reitzenstein)
03.07.1915 2. Garde-Infanterie-Division  (Cdr, replaced Arnold von Winckler)
25.09.1915 X. Armeekorps  (provisional Cdr)
25.12.1915 X. Armeekorps  (Cdr, replaced Otto von Emmich)
24.08.1916 5. Armee  (Crown Prince Wilhelm's Chief of Staff, replaced Schmidt von Knobelsdorf)
27.10.1916 Heeresgruppe ,,Kronprinz Wilhelm   (Crown Prince Wilhelm's Chief of Staff)
25.11.1916 III. Armeekorps  (Cdr, replaced Ewald von Lochow)  
18.08.1918 General der Infanterie
17.11.1918 Oberkommando in den Marken - Berlin  (Cdr, replaced Alexander von Linsingen)
01.10.1919 Gruppenkommando 1 - Berlin  (until 11.3.1920)
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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