Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape

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Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape
General von Pape.jpg
Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape
Born (1813-02-02)February 2, 1813
Died May 7, 1895(1895-05-07) (aged 82)
Allegiance Prussia
Years of service 1830–1895
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Battles/wars Austro-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
Awards Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves

Alexander August Wilhelm von Pape (February 2, 1813 – May 7, 1895) was a Royal Prussian infantry Colonel-General with the special rank of Generalfeldmarschall.


Pape was born in Berlin. He started his military career in 1830 as Junker of the 2nd Guards Infantry Brigade and he was eventually promoted to major. In 1856 he was appointed to the cadets school in Potsdam, and in 1860 he became battalion commander.

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Pape was a Colonel commanding the 2nd Guards Infantry Brigade, which he had led since 1863. On December 31, 1866, he was promoted to Colonel-General. On the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, he was given the 1st Guards Infantry Division which took St.-Privat-la-Montagne on August 18, then successfully fought in the Battle of Sedan, leading to the siege of Paris and the final victory.

On March 22, 1872 he was awarded the prized Oakleaves to the Prussian Pour le Merite Order for his military services most especially for action at the battles at St. Privat on August 18, 1870 and at Sedan on September 1, 1870. His initial Pour le Merite Order award was on September 17, 1866.[1]

In 1880 Pape was promoted to infantry general of the V. Armeekorps, in 1881 of the III. Armeekorps, and finally in 1884 he was appointed to the lead of the Guards Corps. In September 1888, Pape was relieved of this position and promoted to the special rank of Generalfeldmarschall. He held the position of Governor of Berlin and was placed in charge of the military within the Province of Brandenburg. By 1885 he was a member of the Landesverteidigungskommission.

Pape retired in January 1895. He died shortly thereafter on May 7 in his hometown of Berlin. Pape was highly respected to that by Emperor William, who called him the "The role model of a traditional Prussian military leader".

The street "General-Pape-Straße" in Tempelhof was named in honor of Pape by a decree of the emperor. A train station of the Berlin S-Bahn was named "Station Papestraße" until May 27, 2006, when it was renamed Berlin Südkreuz to match with similar names like Ostkreuz and Westkreuz.


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