Felix von Bothmer
|Born||10 December 1852|
Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Confederation
|Died||18 March 1937 (aged 84)|
Munich, Nazi Germany
|Allegiance|| Kingdom of Bavaria|
|Service/|| Bavaria Army|
Imperial German Army
|Years of service||1871–1918|
|Commands held||6th Bavarian Reserve Division|
II Bavarian Reserve Corps
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Military Order of Max Joseph, Grand Cross|
Pour le Mérite with oak leaves
Order of the Dannebrog, Knight's Cross
Military Career and After
In 1871 Bothmer joined the Bavarian Army. He spent most of the following forty years serving in the Bavarian War Ministry or on the Royal Bavarian Army General Staff, with stints of line duty and three years in Berlin with the Prussian General Staff. Rising through the ranks; in 1910 he was promoted to General der Infanterie. Before World War I Bothmer fractured a leg which rendered him unfit for field duty, resulting in him having to wait for a command until December. On 30 November 1914 he was appointed to command the 6th Bavarian Reserve Division at Ypres.
On 22 March 1915 he was given the command of Corps Bothmer, a unit raised to help defend the passes of the Carpathian Mountains against Russian attacks that directly threatened Hungary. He won the Battle of Zwinin which took place from 5 February – 9 April 1915, and was thus in the right place to take part in the great German advance after the breakthrough during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive in May 1915.
After 6 July 1915, Hans Ritter von Hemmer was his Chief of General Staff. On 7 July, he was awarded the Pour le Mérite for outstanding leadership and distinguished military planning and successful operations during the battles of Dniester, Gnila-Lipa, and Zlota-Lipa. A day later Bothmer succeeded Alexander von Linsingen as commander of the South Army, which consisted of German and Austrian units. He was awarded the oak leaves to his Pour le Merite on 25 July 1917 for his actions during the battle around the city of Brzezany during the German summer offensive on the eastern front, as well as for his leadership and during the battle at the bridgehead at Zbrucz. He also received the Grand Cross of the Bavarian Military Order of Max Joseph.
His units stood firm against the Brusilov Offensive of June 1916. In 1917, he was appointed to command the 19th Army in Lorraine. He remained there until 8 November 1918, while to the north the German front crumbled. Bothmer retired from the army in November 1918. Bothmer’s last job in the army, again along with von Hemmer, was as an adviser for the Bavarian Ministry for Military Affairs from November to December 1918, mostly overseeing the demobilization of the soon-to-be-disbanded Bavarian Army.
Bothmer's father was an army general and belonged to the German nobility. Felix Graf von Bothmer married Auguste Baldinger on 22 July 1882. They had 2 daughters together.
- Leutnant: 28 November 1871
- Oberleutnant: 23 November 1882
- Hauptmann: 31 October 1888
- Major: 22 September 1893
- Oberstleutnant: 17 March 1897
- Oberst: 21 July 1900
- Generalmajor: 18 May 1903
- Generalleutnant: 15 September 1905
- General der Infanterie: 4 May 1910
- Generaloberst: 9 April 1918
Decorations and Honours
- Military Order of Max Joseph, Knight's Cross (1915), Commander's Cross (1915) and Grand Cross (1916)
- Military Merit Order, 1st Class, Swords to 1st Class and Grand Cross with Swords
- Service Decoration, 1st Class
- Ludwigsorden, Honor Cross
- Jubilee Medal
- Merit Order of St. Michael, 1st Class
- Order of the Red Eagle, 1st Class
- Pour le Mérite with Oakleaves
- 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class
- 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class
- War Commemorative Medal of 1870/71
- Centenary Medal
- Order of the Crown
- The Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918 (German Award)
Other German states
- Anhalt: Friedrich Cross
- Bremen: Hanseatic Cross
- Brunswick: House Order of Henry the Lion, Grand Cross
- Hesse-Darmstadt: Order of Philip the Magnanimous, Grand Cross with Crown
- Hohenzollern: Princely House Order of Hohenzollern, 1st Class with Swords
- Lübeck: Hanseatic Cross
- Saxony: Albert Order, Grand Cross and Star and Swords to Grand Cross
- Saxony: Military Order of St. Henry, Knight's Cross and Commander's Cross
- Württemberg: Order of the Württemberg Crown, Grand Cross
- Austria-Hungary: Imperial Austrian Order of Leopold, Grand Cross with War Decoration
- Austria-Hungary: Imperial Austrian Order of the Iron Crown, Knight 1st Class with War Decoration
- Austria-Hungary: Military Merit Cross, 1st Class with War Decoration
- Austria-Hungary: Large Military Merit Medal
- Austria-Hungary: Red Cross Decoration 1st Class with War Decoration
- Denmark: Order of the Dannebrog, Knight
- Japan: Order of the Sacred Treasure, Grand Officer's Cross
- Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Military Merit (Spain)
- Ottoman Empire: Imtiaz Medal in Gold with Swords
- Ottoman Empire: Liakat Medal in Gold with Swords
- Ottoman Empire: Turkish War Medal (so-called "Gallipoli Star")
- Ottoman Empire: Order of Medjidie, 1st Class with Swords
The orders above which were from Allied nations were awarded prior to World War I.
- Regarding personal names: Until 1919, Graf was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin. In Germany, it has formed part of family names since 1919.
- Tucker, Spencer (2018-12-07). European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-68425-9.
- Buttar, Prit (2017). Russia's Last Gasp: The Eastern Front 1916-17. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 9781472824899.
- King, David (2017-07-13). The Trial of Adolf Hitler: The Beer Hall Putsch and the Rise of Nazi Germany. Pan Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-4472-5116-3.
- Decorations as of 1914 from the Bavarian War Ministry, Militär-Handbuch des Königreichs Bayern, 1914. World War I decorations from award rolls, Erhard Roth, Verleihungen von militärischen Orden und Ehrenzeichen des Königreichs Bayern im Ersten Weltkrieg, 1997 (ISBN 3-932543-19-X), and Ferry W. von Péter, Verleihungen nichtbayerischer Orden und Ehrenzeichen an bayerischer Militärangehörige 1914-1918, 2001 (OCLC 163144588)
- Felix Graf von Bothmer at Austrian Commanders
- Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen, Friedrichfranz Feeser, "Das Bayernbuch vom Weltkriege 1914-1918", I. Band, Chr. Belser AG, Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1930
- Günter Wegner, Deutschlands Heere bis 1918, Band 10, Bayern, Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, 1984
- Rudolf v. Kramer, Otto Freiherr von Waldenfels, Der königlich bayerische Militär-Max-Joseph-Orden, Selbstverlag des k. b. Militär-Max-Joseph-Ordens, München 1966