Who's Who - Georg von Muller

Admiral Georg von Muller (1854-1940) served as Kaiser Wilhelm II's Chief of the Naval Cabinet from 1906-18.

Muller joined the navy in 1871 and became a protégé of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the ambitious Naval Minister, although Muller proved more receptive to notions of reform than Tirpitz.

Having been adjutant to both the Kaiser and to Prince Heinrich, Muller enjoyed close relations with the Kaiser.  His appointment as Chief of the Naval Cabinet in 1906 gave Muller an unusual degree of influence over naval policy, since all naval documents had to pass through Muller before reaching the Kaiser.

Muller shared the Kaiser's disinclination to risk the German High Seas Fleet in action against Britain's Royal Navy, a view that was of critical importance in determining naval strategy during the ensuing First World War.

Similarly Muller was opposed to Tirpitz's sponsorship of a policy of unrestricted naval warfare, well aware of the effect such a policy would have upon the neutral powers.  Muller's attitude over this matter in particular served to engender enmity in his former mentor Tirpitz.

However the Kaiser's decision to authorise unrestricted submarine warfare in January 1917 brought about a likewise change of heart in Muller.  Taking the Kaiser's cue he set about attempting to persuade German Chancellor Theobald von Bethman-Hollweg of the merits of the new policy.

However his volte-face over the issue, extreme as it was, served merely to weaken Muller's credibility in both military and political quarters, although he retained the support of the Kaiser himself.

The increasing power of Hindenburg and Ludendorff's Third Supreme Command led to the marginalisation of Muller's (and the Kaiser's) influence.  He was formally retired upon Reinhardt Scheer's appointment as Supreme Naval Commander in August 1918, and was scheduled to be replaced by Adolf von Trotha before revolution engulfed Germany in November that year.

Muller's war diaries were subsequently translated and published in English.  He died in 1940.

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

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