Karl Freiherr von Plettenberg
(18.12.1852 - 10.02.1938)
place of birth: Neuhaus bei Paderborn, Westfalen (Westphalia)
SM, KG, General der Infanterie
German baron and Imperial general officer Karl von
Plettenberg commanded the elite Guard Corps during the first
two years of the Great War. He also served as Kaiser Wilhelm II's Adjutant
General. Karl was a descendant of the aristocratic Plettenberg family
out of Sauerland, with one of his ancestors having received the Pour le
Merite honor from King Frederick the Great. Karl's mother was the former
Minnette von der Borch, and his father Eugen served as a Prussian
cavalry officer. After seeing action as a young lieutenant during the Franco-Prussian
War of 1870-71, Karl was selected in 1898 to serve for three years
as an aide-de-camp in Kaiser Wilhelm II's entourage. In 1913, he was
chosen to command the elite Guard Corps in Berlin, and simultaneously
functioned as an Adjutant General to His Majesty.
At the outbreak of the Great War, von Plettenberg's guards
marched into Belgium as a subordinate corps to General von Bülow's
Second Army. Von Plettenberg was awarded the Pour le Merite in
1915, but in the wake of his criticism of OHL's execution of the War on
the Western Front, he was relieved of his post in January 1917. He
nevertheless remained attached to the Kaiser's court as Adjutant
General. One of General von Plettenberg's soldiers was his son
Karl-Wilhelm, who serving as a lieutenant was killed in action in August
1914 during the Battle of
St Quentin. Another son Kurt was
part of the 20 July 1944 plot to kill Adolf Hitler and was executed at
Gestapo headquarters in March 1945. General der Infanterie Karl von Plettenberg
died on 10 February 1938 at Bückeberg
where the street Plettenbergstraße
was named after him.
der Infanterie ....
Kreuz II ..............
le Mérite ....................