Alfred Heinrich Karl Ludwig Graf von Waldersee
(08.04.1832 - 05.03.1904)
place of birth:  Potsdam, Brandenburg

Königreich Preußen:  Generalstabschef,  Quartiermeister,  Generalfeldmarschall

                          

Prussian field marshal and Chief of General Staff Alfred Graf von Waldersee headed the German contingent sent to China in 1900 in response to the Boxer Rebellion. General von Waldersee was married to the wealthy American widow of Prince Friedrich August of Noer, Mary Esther Lee. Von Waldersee's budding political career was shortened due to a well-known penchant for intrigue. 

Born the son of cavalry general Franz Heinrich von Waldersee, Alfred's military career was thus predestined. He graduated from artillery and engineering school at the age of 20, then joined the Prussian General Staff as an adjutant during the Seven Week's War (1866). He later served in Paris as military attaché and spy, and was selected in 1869 as Aide-de-Camp to Kaiser Wilhelm I. In 1871, von Waldersee functioned as chief of staff to the military governor of Paris. In 1873 he became the commanding general of X. Army Corps in Hannover, and five years later became Prussian Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke's deputy in the Great General Staff. Here he attained a lion's share of military and political influence. Developing strategies for a preventative war against Russia and France brought him into confrontation with Bismarck, but also paved the way to a friendship with Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, the future Kaiser Wilhelm II who ascended the throne in June of 1888. In August of 1888, Waldersee was appointed to succeed Moltke as Chief of General Staff, a position he held until 1891 when he was replaced by von Schlieffen. 

Although von Waldersee's intrigues led to von Bismarck's downfall in 1890, he never realized his ambition of replacing Bismarck. Instead, personal differences with Wilhelm II resulted in his demotion to commanding general of IX. Army Corps in Altona, and then later to Inspector General of the Third Army Inspectorate in Hannover. In 1900, Waldersee was promoted field marshal and became the figure-head commander of the German expedition sent to China in order to quell the Boxer Rebellion. In 1901, Waldersee returned to again head the Third Army Inspectorate, dying in Hannover on 5 March 1904.

     

Generalstabschef  ............. 10.08.1888  -  07.02.1891

Generalfeldmarschall ...... 06.05.1900

Pour le Mérite .................... 00

Württemberg MVO ........... 00   Großkreuz