Maximilian von Prittwitz
Prittwitz in 1915
|Born||27 November 1848|
Bernstadt, Province of Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia now Bierutów, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
|Died||29 March 1917 (aged 68)|
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire
Imperial German Army
|Years of service||1866–1914|
|Commands held||German Eighth Army|
|Battles/wars||Austro-Prussian War, Franco-Prussian War and First World War|
Maximilian “Max” Wilhelm Gustav Moritz von Prittwitz und Gaffron (27 November 1848 – 29 March 1917) was an Imperial German general. He fought in the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, and briefly in the First World War.
On 19 May 1874 Prittwitz married Olga von Dewitz (30 August 1848 – 9 January 1938), the daughter of Kurt von Dewitz, a landowner and his wife Euphemia, née von der Groeben. Their only son died on 23 May 1918.
Early military career
After attending a school in Oels, Prittwitz joined the 3rd Guard Grenadier Regiment and fought in the Austro-Prussian War. He was then commissioned as a junior officer in the 38th Fusileers with which regiment he served in the Franco-Prussian War. After attending the Prussian Military Academy Prittwitz was appointed to the 6th Jaeger Battalion. He subsequently held a number of General Staff positions, interspersed with company and battalion commander appointments in various infantry regiments. In 1913 he was appointed as Generaloberst (full general), in command of the XVI. Army Corps in Metz.
World War I
When the Russian invasion threatened his rear, Prittwitz suggested a retreat to the west of the Vistula. This meant abandoning East Prussia, which the German General Staff found unacceptable. Prittwitz was promptly replaced as Eighth Army commander by Paul von Hindenburg on 23 August 1914. Hindenburg, and his chief of staff Erich Ludendorff, then destroyed the two invading Russian armies at the Battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes.
- German Army Groups, 1914–1919, The Eastern Front, viewed on 11 October 2012
- Stone N. (1975) The Eastern Front 1914–1917, Hodder & Stoughton, London: 348 pp.
Formed from I Army Inspectorate
| Commander, 8th Army
2 August 1914 – 23 August 1914
Generaloberst Paul von Hindenburg