Hermann Karl Bruno von François 
(31.01.1856 - 15.05.1933)
place of birth:  Luxembourg
Königreich Preußen:  OBH,  General der Infanterie


Imperial German genneral Hermann von François  prior to the war (1903-04), had served as Hindenburg's chief of general staff with IV. Army Corps in Magdeburg. Young Hermann launched his military career in 1874 as a Leibpage for Kaiser Wilhelm I.  In August 1914, forty years later, the short-statured but highly energetic von François was in command of the I. Corps (attached to Hindenburg's Eighth Army) on the Eastern Front, playing a major role in German engagements at Gumbinnen, Tannenberg, and Masurian Lakes. He briefly commanded the Eighth Army later that same year, fighting off the second Russian invasion. 

General von François was promoted to command XXXXI. Reserve Corps and transferred in early 1915 to the Picardy region of France. Later, as commander of VII. Army Corps, he returned to the Eastern Front where he was awarded the Pour le Merite for distinguished service at Gorlice-Tarnow. Following the war, von François wrote several notable books, including Marneschlacht und Tannenberg, and was Dr. phil. h.c. at the University of Tübingen.


"Inform General von Prittwitz that General von Francois will stop fighting when the Russians are beaten!"

Von Francois' response to his commanding general's order to retreat
Stalluponen, 17 Aug 1914



 

            
              Leutnant - 1866

Hermann von François was of Huguenot ancestry, his family originating from the Normandy area. The family sought asylum in Berlin in the late 17th century in order to escape the persecution of the Huguenots. Both of Hermann's grandfathers served as generals in the Prussian Army, and his father Bruno was a Prussian general as well. He was killed in August 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War, at the Battle of Spichern. Hermann's brother Hugo was a staff officer serving in German Southwest Africa, and he was killed in action at Herero. Elder brother Kurt was also a noted explorer and colonial officer in Africa. François died on 15 May 1933 of a severe kidney illness.

 
                                                    
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General der Infanterie ..... 19.08.1914

Pour le Mérite .................... 14.05.1915   (Eichenlaub:  27.07.1917)
 
  
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
15.04.1875 1. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Potsdam 
15.04.1875 Sekonde-Lieutenant
05.03.1884 1. Großherzoglich Mecklenburgisches Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 89 - Schwerin
01.10.1884 Königliche Kriegsakademie - Berlin
14.10.1884 Premier-Lieutenant
01.04.1888 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
22.03.1889 Hauptmann
23.04.1889 XV. Armeekorps - Straßburg  (on von Heuduck's general staff) 
27.01.1891 31. Infanterie-Division - Saarbrücken  (on general staff) 
29.03.1892 2. Lothringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 131 - Metz  (Coy Cdr)
01.02.1894 8. Infanterie-Division - Haale an der Saale  (Ia in general staff) 
18.10.1894 Major
17.12.1896 IV. Armeekorps - Magdeburg  (Ia on Karl von Hänisch's general staff) 
25.03.1899 2. Badisches Grenadier-Regiment ,,Kaiser Wilhelm I.” Nr. 110 - Mannheim  (Bn Cdr)
25.06.1900 IV. Armeekorps - Magdeburg (Klitzing & Hindenburg's Chief of Staff) 
18.04.1901 Oberstleutnant
18.04.1903 Oberst
24.08.1904 ,,Königin Elisabeth” Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 3 - Charlottenburg  (Cdr)
18.11.1907 49. Infanterie-Brigade (1. Großherzoglich Hessische) - Darmstadt  (Cdr)
27.01.1908 Generalmajor
20.03.1911 13. Infanterie-Division - Münster  (Cdr) 
20.03.1911 Generalleutnant
01.10.1913 I. Armeekorps - Königsberg  (Cdr)
   
Great War
   
02.08.1914 I. Armeekorps  =  8. Armee 
19.08.1914 General der Infanterie
08.10.1914 8. Armee  (replaced Richard von Schubert)
07.11.1914 Offizier von der Armee
24.12.1914 XXXXI. Reservekorps 
29.06.1915 VII. Armeekorps 
16.07.1916 Angriffsgruppe Verdun-West  (concurrent with command of VII. Armee-Korps)
06.07.1918 Offizier von der Armee  
14.10.1918 zur Disposition gestellt   
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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