Kuno Arndt von Steuben
(09.04.1855 - 14.01.1935)
place of birth: Eisenach, Thüringen
Preußen: OBH, General der Infanterie
General der Infanterie Kuno von Steuben served Imperial
Germany during the Great War as a corps-level commander on the
and later as a field army general in Macedonia. He was distant relative of Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, organizer of
America's military forces during the Revolutionary War.
When Germany mobilized in the summer of 1914, von Steuben was in
command of XVIII Reserve Corps which was
attached to Duke Albrecht's Fourth Army during the First Battle of the
Marne. His forces
were transferred in 1915 to Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm's Fifth Army,
seeing action in the autumn at Champagne, for
which he was awarded the Pour le Merite from the Kaiser himself. His
corps was also engaged at
Verdun in 1916.
In the summer of 1917, von Steuben was transferred to
Macedonia to replace General Arnold von Winckler as commander of the Eleventh Army, a
position he maintained until war's end.
General von Steuben meets with the Kaiser
Kuno Arndt von Steuben was born on 9 April 1855 in Eisenach,
Thuringia, also the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was the
eldest son of eight children born to Major General Gottlieb Arndt von
Steuben and Julie Antoinette von Tschirschky und Boegendorff. At the
tender age of 13, young Kuno entered the Imperial Prussian Military
Academy at Oranienstein, transferring three years later to the Imperial
Cadet Institute in Berlin. As a newly-commissioned lieutenant, he began
his military career with Niederrheinisches Füsilier-Regiment
Nr. 39 garrisoned in Düsseldorf. He later married his regimental
commander's youngest daughter, Martha Wilhelmine Franziska Wesener. Von
Steuben spent a good deal of the pre-Great War years serving on
the Great General Staff where he made a reputation for himself as
industrious, conscientious, decisive, yet unassuming.
absolutely splendid chief of staff."
Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen - Prussian Chief of General
Staff (Berlin 1903)
"...a remarkably capable leader and divisional commander,
certainly destined for a higher level of service."
General August von Mackensen - v. Steuben's Corps Cdr (Danzig
With these qualities, he quickly endeared himself to his
superiors in Berlin. He served for four years as Chief of the Military
Maneuvers Planning Office, and for three years as Oberquartiermeister,
or Senior Quartermaster General. As a career staff officer, von
Steuben never commanded at the regimental or brigade level, but when he
was promoted lieutenant general in late January 1911, receiving command
of the 36th Infantry Division in Danzig, he quickly distinguished
himself as a competent front-line strategist.
One year prior to war's breakout, von Steuben was appointed as
Director of the Imperial Prussian War Academy in Berlin. This posting
typically signified the end of one's career, but Chief of General Staff
von Moltke so prized the Generalleutnant's expertise and leadership,
that he appealed directly to the Kaiser to have von Steuben temporarily
promoted general of infantry so that he would later be transferred to
command an army corps. With Germany's general mobilization, this point
quickly became moot as he received command of XVIII. Reserve Corps.
Along with his Chief of Staff, Colonel Fritz von Studnitz, and two
divisional commanders, Lieutenant General Hermann von Rampacher (21st
ResDiv) and Lieutenant General Alexander Torgany (25th ResDiv), the
XVIII. Reserves marched into battle with Duke Albrecht's Fourth Army as
it pushed its way to the River Marne. They later saw action at
places such as Neufchateau, Tremblois and Charignon.
As the war settled into the trenches, his corps was transitioned to form
the right wing of Crown Prince Wilhelm's Fifth Army. The XVIII. Reserves
were also engaged in the autumn battles in Champage, for which
von Steuben was awarded the Pour le Merite. Later, during
the battle for Verdun, they took part in the September 1916
attack on Fort de Souville.
"...although cold-blooded in
battle, he takes a personal interest in each soldier and horse
under his command. He thus enjoys great popularity among his
Crown Prince Wilhelm - Commander Fifth Army (France, June 1915)
"...bright and capable, his steady and circumspect leadership
was tried and tested through his personal involvement during the
many offensive and defensive engagements."
Friedrich von Scholtz - Commander Army Group von Scholtz
June 1917 saw von Steuben making his way to the Eastern Front
where he replaced general of infantry Arnold von Winckler as commander
of the Eleventh Army. This army was the legacy of Field Marshal August
von Mackensen and was comprised of both German and Bulgarian troops.
Here von Steuben distinguished himself especially during the final days
of the war as a decisive yet prudent leader. He thus earned a deep and
genuine respect from his subordinate officers and troops, resulting in
the maintenance of a disciplined force even as the war ended in defeat
von Steuben Coat of Arms
|General Kuno von Steuben's three
brothers were also high-ranking German officers during the war:
Berndt was a colonel in the III. Army Corps, Ernst was a
lieutenant colonel, and Anton was a major general. Kuno's only
son, Arndt Ernst von Steuben, served as a general staff officer in
the 1st Imperial Guards Division. After the war, von Steuben
officially retired from the military. In 1931, he was invited by
the U.S. government to represent his family during the 150-year
commemoration of the Battle at Yorktown. Von Steuben
died on 14 January 1935 and is buried at the Invaliden-Friedhof