William Balck
(19.10.1858 - 15.07.1924)
place of birth: 
 Osnabrück
Königreich Preußen:  Generalleutnant


General Balck served as Imperial Germany's Chief of Field Telegraphy at the outbreak of World War One. Balck's father was an officer originally from England but who served in the German Army. Following his initial Cadet Corps training, William launched his military career by joining the 78th Infantry Regiment headquartered in his hometown of Osnabrück. After commanding at the regimental and brigade level, he was appointed to serve on the Great General Staff as the Chief Inspector of the Prussian Signals Service.

As War broke out,  Generalmajor Balck continued in his role as head of Field Telegraphy based out of Supreme Army Command Headquarters. In early December 1914, he was transferred to the Eastern Front with the purpose of eventually leading an infantry brigade but was wounded soon thereafter. This setback required several months of convalescent leave, but Balck returned to field duty in August 1915, serving as a division-level commander for the subsequent two and a half years. From March to August 1918, Balck functioned as Germany's Military Governor overseeing the Baltic Islands of Ösel, Dagö, und Moon (Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu in present-day Estonia). After the War, Generalleutnant Balck wrote several books on military tactics before he died in Aurich in July 1924. His son Hermann served as a General of Panzer Troops during the Second World War. 

 
 
Generalleutnant ................ 22.03.1917

Pour le Mérite .................... 09.03.1918
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
15.04.1876 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig (1. Ostfriesisches) Nr. 78 - Osnabrück
13.10.1877 Sekonde-Lieutenant
01.03.1886 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig (1. Ostfriesisches) Nr. 78 - Osnabrück  (Bn Adjutant)
22.03.1887 Premier-Lieutenant
01.10.1889 Preußische Kriegsakademie - Berlin
15.02.1892 Hauptmann
15.02.1892 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Herzog Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig (1. Ostfriesisches) Nr. 78 - Osnabrück  (Coy Cdr)
00.00.1893 Preußische Kriegsschule - Danzig  (instructor)
14.07.1895 Preußische Kriegsschule - Engers am Rhein  (instructor)
30.06.1898 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Vogel von Falkenstein (7. Westfälisches) Nr. 56 - Wesel  (Coy Cdr)
13.09.1899 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
22.07.1900 Major
20.07.1904 Infanterie-Regiment ,,von Coubière (2. Posensches) Nr. 19 - Görlitz  (Bn Cdr)
16.10.1906 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Graf Kirchbach (1. Niederschlesisches) Nr. 46 - Posen  (on regimental staff)
27.01.1907 Oberstleutnant
27.01.1910 Oberst
01.04.1910 Infanterie-Regiment ,,von der Marwitz (8. Pommersches) Nr. 61 - Thorn  (Cdr)
22.03.1913 82. Infanterie-Brigade - Colmar  (Cdr)
18.04.1913 Generalmajor
09.05.1914 Inspektion der Telegraphentruppen  (Chief Inspector of Telegraphy/Signals Troops)
   
 Great War
   
02.08.1914 Großes Hauptquartier, Chef des Telegraphiewesens   (Chief of Field Telegraphy at Great HQ)
07.12.1914 99. Reserve-Brigade  (interim commander attached to 50. Reserve-Division)
20.12.1914 Offizier von der Armee  (convalescent leave) 
19.08.1915 13. Landwehr-Division  (replaced Hermann Heidborn)
05.09.1916 51. Reserve-Division  (replaced Hermann Heidborn)
22.03.1917 Generalleutnant
04.03.1918 General-Gouverneur von Ösel, Dagö, und Moon  (Governor General of Baltic Islands) 
18.08.1918 zur Disposition gestellt
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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