Josias Oskar von Heeringen
(09.05.1850 - 09.10.1926)
place of birth: Kassel, Nordhessen (Hesse)
Preußen: Kriegsminister, OBH, Generaloberst
Generaloberst Josias von Heeringen served as Prussia's
Minister of War from 1909 to 1913, where he became a bitter rival of
Colonel Ludendorff at the general staff over the pre-war Army buildup.
Prior to World War One, he also served as inspector general of the
Prussian Second Army.
At war's outbreak von Heeringen commanded the Seventh Army in
Lorraine where he won the Pour le Merite for
leading successful operations during the battle of Mülhausen and
for driving the French forces from Alsace.
He also received the Oakleaves a year later on 28 August 1916. Serving
Heeringen during the Battle for the Frontiers was
a young officer cadet and future WW2 field marshal, Friedrich von Paulus.
Von Heeringen was relieved of his command in August 1916 and then
appointed commander of Germany's Coastal Defense Forces until
war's end. After the war he devoted himself to the care of war veterans
and was president of the Kyfthaeuser Association.
The German Empire's future colonel general was born in the city
of Kassel to the family of Karoline von Starckloff and Josias Sr., the
major-domo serving Hesse's last electoral prince (Kurfürst).
In 1867, after having attended military academies in Kassel and Berlin,
young Josias Jr. joined the 80th Infantry Regiment in Wiesbaden as a Fähnrich.
General von Heeringen later served as a lieutenant during the Franco-Prussian
War of 1870-71. During the engagement at Wörth,
he was severely wounded by a shot to the head and his arm, later
receiving the Iron Cross for personal bravery. He later served in
various peace-time infantry regiments, married his sweetheart Augusta
von Dewall, and ended up in the Great General Staff. His sons Walther
and Kurt also served as junior infantry officers during World War One.
Following his service during the Great War, Josias von Heeringen died on
9 October 1926 and was buried in the Invaliden Friedhof in Berlin.