Who's Who - Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen Franz von Papen (1879-1969), who ultimately served as Germany's Chancellor in 1932, acted as his country's military attaché to the U.S. from the outbreak of World War One until his expulsion in disgrace in 1915.

With a military background and the rank of Captain von Papen was despatched to Mexico and the United States as German military attaché in 1913.  Both he and the German naval attaché, Karl Boy-Ed, quickly became active in establishing a German spy ring and a group of saboteurs within the U.S., the aim being to disrupt American economic aid to the Entente Powers in Europe.

Found out for his role in a plan to blow up the Welland Canal he was effectively expelled from the U.S., with President Woodrow Wilson asking Berlin to recall von Papen in December 1915.

Back in Germany Papen was reassigned to his former military capacity and despatched to the Western Front as a battalion commander.  He later served in staff positions both in France and on the Palestine Front.

Papen ultimately became German Chancellor in 1932.  In 1934, under the Nazi regime, he acted as envoy to Austria.  From 1939-44 he was Ambassador to Turkey.

He died in 1969.

The first zeppelin raid on London was on 31 May 1915.  Earlier raids in January 1915 had avoided London.  The London raid resulted in 28 deaths and 60 injuries.

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