Otto von Moser
(21.03.1860 - 11.10.1931)
place of birth: Stuttgart, Württemberg
general officer Otto von Moser commanded XIV. Reserve Corps during the latter part of the
Great War. He was also a prolific writer on military issues,
having authored the book "Die Württemberger
im Weltkrieg" (Württemberg
Participants in the World War), published in 1938.
Otto's father, Major Ernst Otto Moser, served honorably in Württemberg's military
forces and was thus elevated to nobility status in 1845 by His Majesty
King Wilhelm I.
On Mobilization Day, Generalmajor von Moser led his 53rd Brigade
from their garrison in Ulm to the Diedenhofen to guard the border.
Notably, one of the soldiers serving in von Moser's infantry brigade was
the future Wehrmacht Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Von Moser and
his troops crossed the border into Belgium two weeks later to join
battle at Virton-Bleid. Pushing into France, his troops were
engaged in heavy fighting near Gesnes-en-Argonne; having joined
them at the front, General von Moser unfortunately ended up with a
severe shrapnel wound on 2 September, an injury which put him out of
action until the summer of 1915.
After his long convalescence, Generalmajor von Moser was selected
to lead the newly-formed 107th Infantry Division, which entrained for
the Lubaczowka River, Poland to support General von Mackensen's
Eleventh Field Army near Korzenica. They continued their push
eastward through Galicia and into Russian territory, where the
Germans formed the Bug-Armee (Army of the Bug). As soon as they
arrived in Pinsk (Belarus), however, the 107th was ordered to
transfer southern Hungary to take part in the October/November 1915
offensive into Serbia. After their success versus the Serbs,
Generalleutnant von Moser's division was recalled back to Hungary and
then sent to Lithuania in the Baltic region by year's end.
In the summer of 1916, Generalleutnant von Moser was transferred
to Lys, France to replace General Graf von Pfeil und Klein-Ellguth
as commander of the 27th Infantry Division. This unit was sent in July
1916 to the River Somme where they were engaged in four straight
weeks of heated battle. Following a stint in early 1917 where he
provided front line infantry units with specialized training in
defensive tactics, von Moser was sent to the Artois region to
replace Georg Fuchs as commander of XIV. Reserve Corps, fighting in
support of Sixth Army. During the ensuing Battle of Arras (1917),
his corps was pounded by British guns during a German defensive action.
For his skill and leadership during this conflict, Generalleutnant von
Moser was decorated with the Pour le Merite medal.
In mid-June 1917, von Moser's troops were designated Gruppe
Arras, switching subordination from Sixth Army to Second Army,
commanded by Georg von der Marwitz. The relative quiet in the trenches
there came to a sudden end on 20 November when the British launched a
massive tank attack along the front by Cambrai. The constant
physical and mental stress eventually took its toll on the general, and
he retired from the battlefield in February 1918. For his exemplary
service, His Majesty the King of Württemberg
awarded von Moser with the Commander's Cross of the Militär-Verdienstorden
(MVO). In his retirement years, General von Moser
penned several notable works on military history and tactics. It
was at his estate in Isny im Allgäu that he passed
away in October 1931.