Moriz von Lyncker

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Lyncker (right) is watching Wilhelm II. and the victor of Liège, General Otto von Emmich, 1914.

Moriz Freiherr von Lyncker (30 January 1853 – 20 January 1932) was a Prussian officer of the German Empire and Chief Of The Prussian Military Cabinet.


Lyncker was born in Spandau, Prussia into a military family, with his father, his father-in-law and two brothers being officers. He took part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and two of his sons died in the First World War.[1]

After the sudden death of the Chief of the Prussian Military Cabinet, General Dietrich von Hülsen-Haeseler, von Lyncker was on 17 November 1908 appointed to the post. He was responsible for personnel matters of the Prussian army and during First World War he was one of the closest aides to Kaiser Wilhelm II. He was present at the famous German Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912.

He has been evaluated as "politically innocent, intellectually mediocre, with subservient devotion to Wilhelm II."[1]

On the other hand, as the First World War progressed and the Kaiser withdrew into an atmosphere of "fear of the world and flight from reality", he worked with Georg Alexander von Müller, Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet, at great lengths to persuade him to spend more time on the business of the government in Berlin.[2]

By 10 August 1914 he was considering replacing Helmuth von Moltke with Erich von Falkenhayn as Chief of the German General Staff. After the failure of the Battle of the Marne it was his duty to convince von Moltke to leave.

After 1915 he was ready to moderate Germany's aims to achieve peace, but still demanded that the Reich should retain Belgium or at least the Belgian ports for future use against Britain. Like Falkenhayn, he wanted a compromise peace with tsarist Russia and a substantial victory over Britain and France.

He died in Demnitz, Germany.

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Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title, before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a separate estate, titles preceded the full name when given (Prinz Otto von Bismarck). After 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), could be used, but were regarded as part of the surname, and thus came after a first name (Otto Prinz von Bismarck). The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.


  1. ^ a b The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888-1918 by Isabel V. Hull; Cambridge University Press, 2004 p. 248; ISBN 0-521-53321-X, 9780521533218N
  2. ^ Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Kaiser Wilhelm II. als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg: Quellen aus der militärischen Umgebung des Kaisers 1914-1918, bearb. v. Holger Afflerbach. München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2005. 1.051 S. EUR 118.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-486-57581-1.


  • Holger Afflerbach (Hrsg.): Kaiser Wilhelm II. als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg. Quellen aus der militärischen Umgebung des Kaisers 1914 - 1918, 2005. (Umfangreiche Sammlung von Briefen Lynckers an seine Frau über den Kaiser in der Kriegszeit)
  • Ekkehart P. Guth (1987), "Lyncker, Moriz Freiherr von", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) 15, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 587–588 
  • Biographische Skizze in: Kaiser Wilhelm II als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg, hrsg. von Holger Afflerbach, München 2005 (Inhaltsverzeichnis, Akademie Aktuell: Rezension), Heft 1/2007, S.37f.