Otto Ernst Vincent Leo von Below 
(18.01.1857 - 09.03.1944)
place of birth:  Danzig, Westpreußen  (Gdansk, Poland)
Königreich Preußen:  OBH,  General der Infanterie


Prussian General der Infanterie Otto von Below was widely lauded as one of Germany's best commanders, and was also the youngest to receive army command at the age of 57. During the war, he saw success on four different fronts, most notably during the Second Battle of Masurian Lakes in the East and his drive against the Italians at Caporetto. Von Below was also overwhelmingly successful on the Eastern Front as head of the Eighth Army (1914-16) with a brief period in 1915 when the Eighth was transformed to the Niemen Army and then back to the Eighth.

As commander of Army Group Below (1916-17) in Macedonia, he was charged with leading both German and Bulgarian troops. In Italy as commander of the twelve division-strong joint  German-Austrian Fourteenth Army (1917-18), he was able to drive the Italians back beyond the River Piave, inflicting over a half million casualties. Finally, he was sent back to France to head the Seventeenth Army, and then later the First Army (both in 1918). Shortly before war's end, von Below was involved in preparations for a possible final battle on German territory. In addition to the Pour le Merite, von Below was also awarded the Order of the Black Eagle on 1 November 1917. A post-war attempt by the Allies to try him as war criminal failed. Otto's brother Hans was a lieutenant general who headed up Generalkommando Nr. 51 during the last few months of the was; his father Hugo, who died prior to the Great War, also served the Prussian Army as a lieutenant general. Otto von Below died on 9 March 1944.

 
 
General der Infanterie .... 03.08.1914

Pour le Mérite .................... 16.02.1915   (Eichenlaub: 27 April 1917)
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
15.04.1875 Füsilier-Regiment ,,von Gerdsdorff (1. Kurhessisches) Nr. 80 - Wiesbaden 
15.04.1875 Sekonde-Lieutenant
01.03.1881 Königliche Zentralturnanstalt - Berlin
31.07.1881 Füsilier-Regiment ,,von Gerdsdorff (1. Kurhessisches) Nr. 80 - Wiesbaden
01.10.1881 Unteroffiziersschule - Marienwerder   (Cdr)
13.09.1884 Premier-Lieutenant
14.08.1884 1. Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 89 - Schwerin
01.10.1884 Preußische Kriegsakademie - Berlin
21.07.1887 Eisenbahn-Regiment - Berlin  (Railway Regiment)
30.09.1887 1. Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 89 - Schwerin
01.04.1889 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
24.03.1890 Hauptmann
07.01.1891 1. Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 89- Schwerin   (Coy Cdr)
21.04.1894 27. Infanterie-Division - Ulm  (Ia in general staff)
12.09.1895 Major
18.11.1897 Füsilier-Regiment ,,Heinrich von Preußen (1. Brandenburgisches) Nr. 35 - Brandenburg  (Bn Cdr)
22.04.1902 Infantrie-Regiment ,,Markgraf Carl (7. Brandenburgisches) Nr. 60 - Weißenburg  (on staff)
22.04.1902 Oberstleutnant
16.03.1905 Oberst
22.04.1905 Infantrie-Regiment ,,von Coubiere (2. Posensches) Nr. 19 - Görlitz  (Cdr)
24.03.1909 43. Infanterie-Brigade - Kassel  (Cdr)
24.03.1909 Generalmajor
02.04.1912 2. Infanterie-Division - Insterberg  (Cdr, replaced Hügel)
02.04.1912 Generalleutnant
   
Great War
   
02.08.1914 I. Reservekorps  =  8. Armee
30.08.1914 General der Infanterie
08.11.1914 8. Armee  (replaced Francois)
06.05.1915 Niemen-Armee
29.12.1915 8. Armee  (transformed from Niemen-Armee)
11.10.1916 Heeresgruppe Below
22.04.1917 6. Armee  (replaced Falkenhausen)
09.09.1917 14. Armee  (German-Austrian force)
01.02.1918 17. Armee
12.10.1918 1. Armee  (replaced Mudra)
08.11.1918 Heimatschutz-West - Kassel  (Home Defense Forces West)
28.12.1918 XVII. Armeekorps   (concurrent with above)
27.06.1919 außer Dienst
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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