Alfred Graf von Schlieffen
(28.02.1833 - 04.01.1913)
place of birth: Berlin
Son of a Prussian Army officer, he
initially trained for law but opted for a tour with the 2nd Guard Uhlans
Regiment in 1853. Served on Prince Albrecht's general staff during the Six-Weeks
War (1866) and saw action at the Battle of Königgrätz.
Schlieffen served on the staff of Friedrich II. of Mecklenburg-
Schwerin's XIII. Army Corps during the Franco-Prussian War. Later
he headed the military history section of the Great General Staff
Count von Schlieffen succeeded Alfred von Waldersee as Chief of
General Staff, serving from 1891 to 1906. During this time he was
promoted to general of cavalry and his primary achievement was to devise
a plan dealing with a two-front war: France to the west and Russia
to the east. His famous Schlieffen Plan initially concentrated
seven-eighths of the army against France for a swift encirclement of
Paris, followed by a transfer of forces eastward to deal with the slowly
deployed Russian armies. Von Schlieffen became cold, distant and
sarcastic following his wife's death in 1872. He was a brilliant
scientific strategist who paid little attention to moral considerations
of war. He died in 1911 in his hometown of Berlin, his last words
reportedly being, "Remember to keep the right wing strong."
Pour le Mérite
Württemberg MVO ...........