Rupprecht Maria Luitpold Ferdinand von Wittelsbach
Kronprinz von Bayern K.H.
(18.05.1869 - 02.08.1955)
place of birth:  Schloss Leutstetten bei Starnberg  (Bavaria)
Königreich Bayern:  Kronprinz,  OBH,  Generalfeldmarschall

                                 

One of Germany's ablest frontline commanders, the Crown Prince of Bavaria (Wittelsbach) was born to King Ludwig III, the last Bavarian king, and his wife Maria Therese, the Archduchess of Austria. As her son, Rupprecht was ironically the Jacobite heir to the British throne, although in his later years he strongly discouraged supporters in the United Kingdom from making claims on his behalf. Crown Prince Rupprecht spent his prewar years serving chiefly with infantry units and achieved the rapid rise in rank common to royal officers (he was promoted to major general by the age of 31). In the years leading up
to the war, he served as a divisional commander and also was in command of Bavaria's I. Army Corps for seven years.
 
The outbreak of hostilities in August 1914 found Colonel General Rupprecht von Bayern in charge of the largely Bavarian Sixth Army, a group he would command on the Western Front throughout the war. Also serving on his staff during the war was the young lieutenant and future WW2 Chief of General Staff, Franz Halder. During the Battle of the Frontiers, the Bavarian Crown Prince's forces were tasked with holding the southern flank of the Western Front in Lorraine. After successfully withstanding the French offensive there, Rupprecht convinced Chief of General Staff von Moltke to permit a large German counter-offensive, which ultimately failed due in part to the geography of the area. During the "Race to the Sea", he was appointed to a new Sixth Army in Flanders, remaining on this part of the front for the rest of the war. In 1915 he was awarded the Pour le Merite for holding the line at the Artois Front, and in August 1916 he was promoted to field marshal, receiving command of an army group consisting of the First, Second and Sixth Field Armies.

 

            
               Leutnant - 1866

The newly promoted Field Marshal Rupprecht clashed often with Moltke's replacement, Erich von Falkenhayn, and later became a bitter enemy of Ludendorff's due to their differences over ultimate war objectives. The Bavarian Crown Prince recognized the need to bring the conflict to a close many months before his superiors at Supreme Command came to the same conclusion; but as his armies engaged the Allies on the Scheldt and Lys rivers in the fall of 1918, he still expected that "the Prussians would fight on to the last Bavarian."

After the war, Rupprecht lived in Austria with his only surviving son Albert. When his mother Maria Therese died in 1919, he succeeded to all of her British rights and was thereafter recognized by the Jacobites as "King Robert I and IV" although they generally referred to him as "King Rupert". He then moved back to Germany, living in his castle at Berchtesgaden and marrying his second wife, Princess Antonia of Luxembourg, who happened to be the first cousin of his first wife Marie Gabriele. When his father died in 1921, many Bavarians recognized Rupprecht as their king.

During the Nazis' initial push for power, one of the main reasons Rupprecht declined participation in Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch was because of the presence of Ludendorff, whose violent attacks on Catholicism repulsed him. His opposition to the Nazi Party forced him to seek asylum in Italy during the late 1930's. Although he remained in Florence throughout the Second World War, successfully evading capture by the Nazis in 1944, his wife and children were actually imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps. He traveled the world wide, publishing many books about his adventures, and he also acquired a noteworthy art collection over the years. Crown Prince (King?) Rupprecht died at Leutstetten Castle in August 1955 and was interred at the Theatiner Church in Munich. At his funeral, the royal crown and Bavarian scepter were withdrawn from the State Museum and placed upon his coffin.

 
 
Generalfeldmarschall ... 25.07.1916

Pour le Mérite ................. 22.08.1915   (Eichenlaub:  20.12.1916)

Militär-Max-Joseph ...... 23.08.1914  Großkreuz

Dienststellung ............... Gen.Insp.d.IV.A.Insp., Inh.d.2.Inf.R., àls d.Inf.Leib.R., d.1. Feldart.R., d.Preuß.Kür.R.1., d. Württ.Feldart.R.29., d.Sächs. Inf.R.102 u.d.2.SeeBn., Inh. d.Öster.Ungar.43.Inf.R.
  
  
 

  
 
Curriculum Vitae
   
07.08.1875 Portepee-Fähnrich
08.08.1886 Königlich Bayerisches Infanterie-Leibregiment - München
08.08.1886 Sekonde-Lieutenant
08.06.1888 Königlich Bayerisches 3. Feldartillerie-Regiment ,,Prinz Leopold - Grafenwöhr
01.11.1889 University Studies - München und Berlin
01.08.1891 Königlich Bayerisches 3. Feldartillerie-Regiment ,,Prinz Leopold - Grafenwöhr
01.10.1891 Königlich Bayerisches 1. schweres Reiter-Regiment ,,Prinz Karl von Bayern - München
01.11.1891 Premier-Lieutenant
17.05.1893 Hauptmann
30.09.1895 Königlich Bayerisches Infanterie-Leibregiment - München  (Coy Cdr)
20.06.1896 Königlich Bayerisches Infanterie-Leibregiment - München  (Bn Cdr)
04.06.1896 Major
00.00.0000 Oberst-Lieutenant
28.10.1899 Oberst
01.11.1899 Königlich Bayerisches 2. Infanterie-Regiment ,,Kronprinz - München  (Cdr)
10.10.1900 7. Bayerische Infanterie-Brigade (4.ID) - Bamberg  (Cdr)
07.10.1900 Generalmajor
11.06.1903 Offizier von der Armee 
11.06.1903 Generalleutnant
27.01.1904 1. Königlich Bayerische Infanterie-Division - München  (Cdr)
19.04.1906 I. Königlich Bayerisches Armeekorps - München  (Cdr) 
19.04.1906 General der Infanterie
27.03.1913 IV. Armee-Inspektion - München  (Inspector General)
04.02.1913 Generaloberst
   
Great War
   
02.08.1914 6. Armee
25.07.1916 Generalfeldmarschall
28.08.1916 Heeresgruppe Kronprinz Rupprecht 
   
   
 

06.05.1914

 

 

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