Ernst II. Herzog von Sachsen-Altenburg, H.
(31.08.1871 - 23.03.1955)
place of birth:  Schloss Altenburg, Herzogtum Sachsen-Altenburg

Königreich Preußen:  Herzog,  General der Infanterie

                                  

The final reigning Duke of Saxony-Altenburg, Ernst was the only son born to Prince Moritz von Sachsen-Altenburg and Princess Augusta. He took charge of his Duchy upon the death of his uncle Ernst I, who died in February 1908 without surviving male issue. During the Great War, Ernst II saw action in France's Somme Valley region, and also served as commander of the 8th Infantry Division in 1915 and again in 1916.

As the German Empire marched to War on 2 August 1914, Duke Ernst II. requested and received command of his Duchy's infantry regiment, IR.153.  He was soon promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie, although he kept a reputation of wisely subordinating his decision making to the military experience of lower-ranking officers in his headquarters. His regiment first saw action at the end of August during the Battle of Mons.  In September, the regiment moved north to fight in support of Sixth Army during the Battle of Arras.  After briefly replacing the KIA commander of 15th Brigade, Ernst II. took charge of 16th Brigade on 7 October 1914. After the hostilities at Arras settled in mid-October, the Duke's troops remained entrenched there through May 1915. Ernst II. had meanwhile been selected to command 8th Division in March, but soon requested from the Kaiser to be relieved of that command in order to take care of other pressing duties back in Saxen-Altenburg. The Kaiser simultaneously acknowledged the Duke's military leadership with the presentation of the Pour le Merite.  

The following April 1916, however, Ernst II. was asked to return to France and once again lead 8th Infantry Division, which was still entrenched in the Artois region in support of Sixth Army Headquarters. The division was soon plunged into the Battle of the River Somme during the summer of 1916. After the battle died down, however, General der Infanterie Ernst II. took ill and was forced once again to relinquish his divisional command. As social unrest reached his Duchy in November 1918, Ernst II. abdicated, changed his name to Baron von Rieseneck, and eventually settled at an estate in Trockenborn-Wolfersdorf near Kahla. He was given the legal right in 1923 to once again carry the title Ernst Herzog von Sachsen-Altenburg, and in the same year was remarried to the singer Marie Triebel.
By 1935, they had moved into Schloß Fröhliche Wiederkunft bei Neustadt am Orla. He also became a member of the NSDAP in 1937. Duke Ernst II. passed away in 1955 and was interred at Trockenborn-Wolfersdorf.

 
 
General der Infanterie .... 19.08.1914

Pour le Mérite .................... 30.05.1915

Militär-St-Heinrich .......... 09.11.1914  Ritter  (Komtur II:  28.08.1916)
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae  
   
10.04.1888 Sekonde-Lieutenant
10.04.1888 à la suite:  7. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.96
00.00.1893 Kriegsschule Kassel
01.04.1894 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Potsdam
30.05.1895 Premier-Lieutenant
10.04.1897 à la suite:  8. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.153
27.01.1898 Hauptmann
27.01.1898 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Potsdam  (Coy Cdr)
02.04.1901 Major
02.04.1901 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Potsdam  (Bn Cdr)
22.03.1903 Großer Generalstab - Berlin  (detached for duty from 1.GRzF)
22.03.1903 à la suite:  1.Garde-Regiment zu Fuß
11.09.1904 à la suite:  1.See-Bataillon
27.01.1905 à la suite:  8. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.153 & 1.Garde-Regiment zu Fuß  (released from active duty)
27.01.1906 Oberstleutnant
00.00.0000 Oberst  (rank skipped)
16.10.1906 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Potsdam  (on staff)
07.02.1908 Herzog von Sachsen-Altenburg
07.02.1908 Chef:  8. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.153
14.07.1908 Chef:  Königlich Sächsische 1. Jäger-Bataillon Nr. 12
09.02.1908 Generalmajor
20.03.1911 Generalleutnant
   
Great War  
   
02.08.1914 8. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 153 - Altenburg  =  1. Armee
19.08.1914 General der Infanterie
03.10.1914 15. Infanterie-Brigade
06.10.1914 16. Infanterie-Brigade
20.03.1915 8. Infanterie-Division
30.05.1915 zur Disposition gestellt
04.04.1916 8. Infanterie-Division
04.09.1916 convalescent leave, released from active duty
13.11.1918 abdication
   
   
 

24.12.1913

 

 

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