Kurt Ernst von Morgen  
(01.11.1858 - 15.02.1928)
place of birth:  Neiße, Schlesien  (Nysa, Poland)
Königreich Preußen:  KG,  Generalleutnant


Imperial German general officer Kurt von Morgen fought during the Great War as a divisional and corps-level commander. At the outset of the War, General von Morgen headed up 3rd Reserve Division at Tannenberg, where he disobeyed Eighth Army Chief of Staff Ludendorff by by refusing to advance on the village of Hohenstein. He spent most of the War in command of I. Reserve Corps and also lead XIV. Reserve Corps during the last few months of the War.

Kurt von Morgen was born into the German middle class of Silesia, only later receiving his noble title. During his pre-war career, he took part in two research expeditions to Western Africa, exploring the region of present-day Cameroon, Nigeria, and Chad. As a military observer in 1896-97, he accompanied a British-Egyptian detachment on the Dongala Expedition to quell the Mahdist Revolt during the Battle of Fehrket. Morgen additionally functioned as military-attaché in Constantinople, where he was an official military observer of the Greek-Turkish War of 1897 and was also selected to be one of Kaiser Wilhelm II's Flügeladjutants (ADC). Back home in Germany, Major Morgen was elevated by the Kaiser into the German nobility, commanded a fusilier regiment and an infantry regiment, and in 1912 was selected to command the brigade in Lübeck.

At the outbreak of World War One, Generalmajor von Morgen was charged with command of 3rd Reserve Division, an independent unit subordinate to General von Prittwitz' Eighth Army. Von Morgen soon received a promotion, just as his troops were engaged during the Battle of Gumbinnen. Ordered to retreat, Generalleutnant von Morgen initially planned to disobey, but reconsidered and transferred his troops west to the village of Kirsteindorf. In that area, 3rd Division provided cover for Eighth Army's left flank during Tannenberg and remained essentially in the same role as the Germans pushed eastward to battle the Russians at Masurian Lakes

In November 1914, von Morgen reported directly to General von Hindenburg at Ober-Ost that he had no confidence in Eighth Army commander von Francois, and thus wanted his division transferred to Ninth Army. Von Hindenburg decided to instead send newly-promoted Generalleutnant von Morgen to I. Reserve Corps headquarters to replace Otto von Below as commander. Von Morgen's reservists marched on the left flank as von Mackensen's Ninth Army pushced southeast into Poland to fight what would be the Battle for Lodz. It was for Germany's great success during this battle and for his outstanding leadership that von Morgen received the Pour le Merite honor. Following positional skirmishing along the River Rawka, I. Reserve Corps moved to Przasnysz in February 1915 to fight in support of Armeegruppe Gallwitz. Through August 1916, the von Morgen's corps had defeated their Russian counterparts a total of 17 times, taking approximately 14,000 prisoners. 

During the autumn and winter months of 1916, I. Reserve Corps personnel were engaged in the campaign against the Romanian Army. Generalleutnant von Morgen's leadership was once more acknowledged through receipt of his PLM Oakleaves. After the route of the Romanians ended in January 1917, von Morgen's soldiers were recognized for having captured 53,000 prisoners and almost 60 enemy artillery pieces. I. Reserve Corps was transferred in March 1918 to the Western Front to be initially engaged in the region of Upper Alsace. They soon moved to Lille and then during the summer of 1918 settled near Roye. On 24 August, von Morgen was transferred to Cambrai in order to take command of XIV. Reserve Corps. They maintained a successful defense of the area until signing of the Armistice was complete. 

In the aftermath of the War, Generalleutnant von Morgen traveled with his corps back to Soest, Germany, where the demobilization process was realized. He soon thereafter retired from active duty and was promoted to the brevet rank of General der Infanterie. In his heart, he remained loyal to the Hohenzollern Monarchy and rejected approaches by his old Tannenberg comrade Ludendorff to join the National Socialists. General von Morgen instead returned to Lübeck, where he had commanded 81st Brigade during the pre-War years, and remained there until passing away in 1928 at the age of 69. The general's daughter was married to Dutch aircraft designer Anthony Fokker. His son Heinz-Joachim was a race-car driver who met his death at Germany's Nürburgring track.

 
 
Generalleutnant ............... 19.08.1914

Pour le Mérite .................... 01.12.1914  (Eichenlaub:  11.12.1916)
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
00.00.0000 Kadettenansalt - Wahlstatt
00.00.1877 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Graf Dönhoff (7. Ostpreußisches) Nr. 44 - Goldap  (Avantageur)
12.10.1878 Sekonde-Lieutenant
13.12.1887 Premier-Lieutenant
05.11.1889 Forschungsreise Kamerun:  1st Cameroon Research Expedition
17.06.1893 Hauptmann
00.00.1894 Forschungsreise Kamerun:  2nd Cameroon Research Expedition
00.00.1896 Dongola-Expedition - Sudan  (Military Observer with British Army)
00.00.1897 Deutsche Botschaft: Militärattaché - Constantinople  (Prussian Military Attaché, Ottoman Empire)
31.10.1898 Major
00.00.1901 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
00.00.1902 Grenadier-Regiment ,,König Friedrich Wilhelm IV (1. Pommersches) Nr. 2 - Stettin  (Bn Cdr)
00.00.1904 in den erblichen Adelstand erhoben  (elevated into the German nobility)
00.00.1905 Niederrheinisches Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 39 - Düsseldorf  (on staff)
22.04.1905 Oberstleutnant
21.03.1908 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Prinz Friedrich der Niederlande (2. Westfälisches) Nr. 15 - Minden  (Cdr)  
21.03.1908 Oberst
27.01.1912 Generalmajor
27.01.1912 81. Infanterie-Brigade - Lübeck  (Cdr) 
   
Great War
   
02.08.1914 3. Reserve-Division  =  8. Armee
19.08.1914 Generalleutnant
28.11.1914 I. Reservekorps  (replaced Otto von Below)
25.08.1918 XIV. Reservekorps  (replaced Richard Wellmann)
09.01.1919 zur Disposition gestellt
11.02.1920 General der Infanterie  (Charakter)
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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