Walther von Lüttwitz
|Walther von Lüttwitz|
Gustav Noske (right) and Walter von Lüttwitz (center), ca. 1920
|Born||2 February 1859
|Died||20 September 1942 (aged 83)
|Years of service||1878–1920|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves|
|Relations||Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz (son)
Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord (son in law)
Lüttwitz was born in Bodland near Kreuzburg in Upper Silesia. During World War I, Lüttwitz held several high military ranks. After the armistice and the German Revolution in 1918, the Rat der Volksbeauftragten, the provisional German government, appointed him commander-in-chief of the Reichswehr, the German military, in Berlin and the vicinity. In this function, he directed the suppression of the Spartakus Uprising by the Freikorps in January 1919.
Like many members of the Reichswehr, Lüttwitz was an outspoken opponent of the Treaty of Versailles. He especially disliked its articles that demanded the reduction of the army to 100,000 men, disbandment of the Freikorps, and the extradition of about 900 members of the Reichswehr, whom the Allies accused of war crimes. He planned to defy these stipulations of the treaty. After defense minister Gustav Noske deposed him from several posts on 11 March 1920, Lüttwitz decided to act. In the night between 12 and 13 March, the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt, which had been under his command and was also supposed to be disbanded, marched on the administration neighborhood of Berlin. The coup only lasted a few days, however, as it lacked the support of the old elite and the population. Lüttwitz, who acted as defense minister of the coup government, fled on 17 March. He then spent some time in Hungary; he returned after an amnesty to Germany in 1925. He died in Breslau in 1942.
His son, Smilo Freiherr von Lüttwitz, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords in World War II. He served in the Prussian Army during World War I, the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht during World War II and the Bundeswehr.
- This article incorporates information from the revision as of June 19, 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
- Berger, Florian, Mit Eichenlaub und Schwertern. Die höchstdekorierten Soldaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges. Selbstverlag Florian Berger, 2006. ISBN 3-9501307-0-5.
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