Who's Who - Max von Gallwitz

Max von Gallwitz Max von Gallwitz (1852-1937) served as a General of Artillery in the German army during the First World War, having started the war as commander of an independent cavalry corps on the Western Front for the siege of Namur in August.

By the end of the month however he was transferred to join Hindenburg and Ludendorff's Eighth Army on the Eastern Front.

In 1915 Gallwitz was appointed commander of Army Group Gallwitz, which incorporated his former corps, and was later renamed Twelfth Army.  During this period Gallwitz was awarded the Pour le Merite, Germany's highest honour, for outstanding leadership and distinguished military planning during the successful offensive against Russian forces in Galicia, and for the capture of the Russian fortress at Pultusk as well as the heavily fortified position at Narev.  Gallwitz was also awarded the Oakleaves following Twelfth Army's successful operations in several further engagements with the Russians during the summer 1915 campaign in the East.

In the autumn of 1915 Gallwitz commanded Eleventh Army for the German invasion of Serbia, taking over from Mackensen.  In March 1916 Gallwitz returned to the Western Front, this time to Verdun, thereafter commanding Second Army during the British offensive at the Somme in the summer of 1916.

Switching commands again in August 1916 Gallwitz was given charge of Fifth Army, a position he held until 1918, during which time he was called upon to defend against the U.S.-French advance into the St. Mihiel salient, as well as playing a minor role at Third Ypres.  In the closing months of the war Gallwitz commanded Army Group Gallwitz sited at Verdun.

Having retired from the army in December 1918, Gallwitz served as a deputy for the National People's Party in the Berlin Reichstag from 1920-24.

Considered a competent, efficient commander, Max von Gallwitz died in Breslau in 1937.

Click here to read Gallwitz's account of the Battle of St Mihiel in September 1918.

Photograph submitted by Jonathan Viser

The "linseed lancers" was the Anzac nickname assigned to members of the Australian Field Ambulance.

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