(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.
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.