Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener 
(22.11.1867 - 03.05.1939)
place of birth:  Ludwigsburg  (Württemberg)
Königreich Württemberg:  1.General-Quartiermeister,  KG,  Generalleutnant,  


Generalleutnant Wilhelm Groener was a career officer in the Württemberg Army who served at the end of the Great War as First Quartermaster General. Born into the family of Karl Eduard Groener, a regimental paymaster, and his wife Auguste Boleg, Wilhelm entered the Württemberg Army in 1884 shortly after his Abitur exam and was a Portepéefähnrich on 8 August 1885. He attended the Kriegsakademie from 1893 to 1896. By 1899, he became an almost permanent fixture in the Great General Staff, where for the next 17 years he devoted his energy to the Field Railway Section. As head of this department, Groener was largely responsible for the August 1914 mobilization and was vehemently opposed Moltke's well-documented changes to the Schlieffen Plan. He then headed up the supply and personnel departments at the War Office, but his regard for the welfare of munitions workers and struggles with war profiteers incurred the Supreme Command's wrath, so he was eventually transferred to the Eastern Front as a corps level commander in Ukraine. General Groener was awarded the Pour le Merite in 1915 for organizing the railway transport of Austro-German forces during the Galician campaign.

In the final month of the Great War, Kaiser Wilhelm appointed General Groener to replace Ludendorff as First Quartermaster General.  OHL Headquarters retreated to the German homeland, first to Kassel and then later to Kolberg, and Supreme Command took over border security matters. In July 1919, Groener took over for Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg when he stepped down as Chief of General Staff. When Kaiser Wilhelm II sought to deploy military against post-war revolutionaries, Groener personally informed the Kaiser that the army no longer supported him. With the Kaiser's abdication, the Marxist Spartacist League had declared a soviet republic in Berlin. Newly-named Chancellor Friedrich Ebert sought to forestall the communists' actions, but apparently on the spur of the moment Philip Scheidemann proclaimed the Republic. Groener, who was second-in-command of the German Army and who had known Ebert from the soldier's days in charge of war production, contacted the socialist leader that evening. The two men concluded the secret Ebert-Groener Pact, with Ebert agreeing to suppress the Bolsheviks and maintain the defeated Army's role as one of the pillars of the German state. For his part, General Groener agreed to throw the weight of the still-considerable Army behind the new government. For this act, Groener earned the enmity of much of the military leadership, much of whom sought the retention of the monarchy. After supervising demobilization of the Army, Groener served as Transportation Minister (1920-23), Reichswehr Defense Minister (1928-32), and Interior Minister (1931-32).  Groener was married to Helene Geyer, with whom he had one daughter, and later to Ruth Naeher-Glück, with whom he had a son. He died on 3 May 1939 in Bornstedt near Potsdam.

"The Army will march home in peace and order under its leaders and commanding generals, but not under the command of Your Majesty...for it no longer stands behind Your Majesty."

General Groener to Kaiser Wilhelm II
9 Nov 1918 - Spa, Belgium

 
 

1. Gen-Quartiermeister ... 30.10.1918  -  15.07.1919
Generalleutnant ................ 01.11.1916

Pour le Mérite .................... 11.09.1915

Württemberg MVO ........... 03.07.1914  Ritter   (Komtur:  13.07.1916)
 
 
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
22.11.1884 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Alt-Württemberg (3. Württembergisches) Nr. 121 - Ludwigsburg  (Fahnenjunker)
09.09.1886 Sekonde-Lieutenant
18.09.1893 Premier-Lieutenant
01.10.1893 Preußische Kriegsakademie - Berlin
00.07.1896 Infanterie-Regiment ,, Alt-Württemberg (3. Württembergisches) Nr. 121 - Ludwigsburg
01.04.1897 Großer Generalstab - Berlin  (Chief - Field Railway Section)
25.03.1899 Hauptmann
12.09.1902 Metzer Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 98 - Metz  (Coy Cdr)
01.10.1904 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
27.01.1906 Major
01.06.1907 VII. Armeekorps - Münster  (on Friedrich von Bernhardi's general staff)
01.10.1908 XIII. (Königlich Württembergisches) Armeekorps - Stuttgart  (on Herzog Albrechts general staff)
18.10.1910 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Kaiser Friedrich König von Preußen (7. Württembergisches) Nr. 125 - Stuttgart  (Bn Cdr)
01.10.1911 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
01.10.1912 Oberstleutnant
01.10.1912 Großer Generalstab - Berlin  (Section Chief)
   
Great War
   
03.08.1914 Großes Hauptquartier,  Chef des Feldeisenbahnwesens   (Chief of the Field Railway Service at Great HQ)
05.09.1914 Oberst
26.06.1915 Generalmajor
00.05.1916 Kriegsernährungsamt - Berlin  (military representative at the War Food Supply Office)
29.10.1916 Preußisches Kriegsministerium:  Kriegsamt - Berlin  (Chief of War Office)
01.11.1916 Generalleutnant
17.08.1917 33. Infanterie-Division  (replaced Heinrich Scheüch)
20.12.1917 XXV. Reservekorps  (replaced Horst Edler von der Planitz)
25.02.1918 I. Armeekorps  (replaced Arnold von Winckler)
27.03.1918 Heeresgruppe Eichhorn-Kiew  (Hermann von Eichhorn's Chief of Staff)
30.10.1918 Großes Hauptquartier:  Erster Quartiermeister - Spa, Belgium  (First Quartermaster General, replaced Erich Ludendorff)
15.07.1919 Kommandostelle Kolberg  (Cdr, replaced Paul von Hindenburg)
30.09.1919 zur Disposition gestellt
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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