Karl Litzmann

Karl Litzmann

German general
Date of Birth: 22.01.1850
Country: Germany

  1. Biography of Karl Litzmann
  2. Military Career
  3. World War I
  4. Later Life and Legacy

Biography of Karl Litzmann

Karl Litzmann was a German general who played a significant role during World War I. He was born on January 22, 1850, in Goldberg, Prussia. Litzmann was the son of a landowner and went on to complete his education at the Military Academy in Potsdam in 1867.

Military Career

Litzmann began his military career by participating in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. After the war, he continued his military studies and graduated from the Military Academy in 1886. He later served as the director of the Prussian Military Academy from 1902 to 1905.

During his career, Litzmann held various positions of command, including being the chief of the 39th Infantry Division from 1901 to 1902. He was also one of the initiators of the right-wing youth organization called the "Union of Young Germany" along with Colmar von der Goltz.

World War I

At the outbreak of World War I, Litzmann requested to be transferred to active duty and was appointed as the inspector of the 3rd Army on August 2, 1914. Later, on October 21, 1914, he became the commander of the 3rd Guard Division. He took part in the Lodz Operation as part of General Schwerin von Schwanenfeld's group and became surrounded by enemy forces. However, he managed to break through and was awarded the Pour le Mérite on November 29, 1915, for his bravery.

Litzmann continued to demonstrate his military skills and leadership throughout the war. He commanded the XL Reserve Corps from December 24, 1914, and played a significant role in the winter operations in the Mazurian swamps area. In January 1915, he simultaneously led a strike group of the 8th Army. He also directed the siege of the Russian fortress of Kovno.

Later Life and Legacy

On August 18, 1915, Litzmann received oak leaves to his Pour le Mérite order. In July 1916, when the 4th Austro-Hungarian Army suffered a crushing defeat, Litzmann's corps was hastily deployed to Vladimir-Volynsky, saving the Austro-Hungarian army from complete destruction and disrupting the offensive of the 8th Russian Army under General A. M. Kaledin.

After World War I, Litzmann served on the Western Front until August 6, 1918, when he handed over command of his corps and was transferred to the reserve. He retired in December 1918. In 1920-1921, Litzmann visited South America, where he actively engaged in pro-German propaganda. He joined the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in 1929 and was elected to the Reichstag in 1933, becoming the oldest serving member. Litzmann passed away in 1936.

During the German occupation of Poland from 1939 to 1944, the city of Łódź was renamed Litzmannstadt in his honor.