Richard Ludwig Wellmann
(29.06.1859 - 12.06.1934)
place of birth: Schönfeld, Brandenburg
general officer and Pour le Merite
recipient Richard Wellmann served as a corps-level commander during the Great
War. Generalmajor Wellmann was in command of 31st Infantry Brigade as Germany
went into battle in August 1914. The brigade initially fought in support
of Duke Albrecht's Seventh Army, seeing action during the First
Battle of the Marne and in Champagne. He was transferred that
October to lead 37th Infantry Brigade which was entrenched near Reims.
In the early weeks of 1915, Wellmann was again transferred, this time to
command 18th Reserve Division. These troops were initially subordinate
to General von Fabeck's First Army, thereafter fighting also in
support of Second Army and then Sixth Army headquarters. In mid-summer
1916, the division was sent to the Somme River area to once again
be engaged in support First Army, this time commanded by General Fritz
von Below. Wellmann's leadership during this period earned him the Roter
Adler-Orden (Order of the Red Eagle). In October 1916, Wellmann was
sent to the Eastern Theater to replace Arthur von
Lüttwitz as commander of 20th Infantry Division. Within a few weeks,
the 20th was transferred to the Western Front to fight with Seventh Army
in Lorraine. Field Marshal von Hindenburg's only son, Oskar,
served for a time as one of Wellmann's staff officers at 20th Division
On Kaiser Wilhelm's birthday 1917, Wellmann was promoted to the
rank of Generalleutnant. The following summer, Wellmann and his 20th
Division were sent to the Galician Front where they fought alongside
k.u.k. troops of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Toward the end of summer
1917, 20th Division was sent north to the area near Riga, Latvia, where
they were subordinate the General von Hutier's Eighth Army. Returning
West in mid-September 1917, the 20th was engaged in the Third Battle
of Ypres near Passchendaele, and was soon thereafter folded into the
Gruppe Arras as part of Germany's Second Army. During the Battle
of Cambrai, Wellmann received command of VII. Reserve Corps,
headquartered near Reims. Seven months later, he was put in
charge of XIV. Reserve Corps, subordinate to Seventeenth Army. Within
just a few weeks, however, Generalleutnant Wellmann was selected to
replace Kurt von Morgen as commander of I. Reserve Corps. When the
hostilities officially ended in November 1918, I. Reserve Corps became
part of Grenzschutz West stationed along the Lahn River.
He continued in military service as head of Generalkommando z.b.V.
Nr.52, which was part of Germany's post-War Grenzschutz-Ost unit.
Generalleutnant Wellmann, who lost two of his three of his sons during
the War, passed away on 11 June 1934 in Hannover.
le Mérite ....................