Felix Graf von Bothmer

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Felix von Bothmer
Born(1852-12-10)10 December 1852
Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria, German Confederation
Died18 March 1937(1937-03-18) (aged 84)
Munich, Nazi Germany
Allegiance Kingdom of Bavaria
 German Empire
Service/branch Bavaria Army
 Imperial German Army
Years of service1871–1918
RankColonel General
Commands held6th Bavarian Reserve Division
II Bavarian Reserve Corps
South Army
19th Army
Heimatschütz Süd
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsMilitary Order of Max Joseph, Grand Cross
Pour le Mérite with oak leaves
Order of the Dannebrog, Knight's Cross

Felix Ludwig Graf[1] von Bothmer (10 December 1852 – 18 March 1937) was a German general from Bavaria. He notably served in the Brusilov offensive of World War I.

Military Career and After[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3] 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.

After the war, he lived in Munich. After the Beer Hall Putsch, Bothmer said during the trials of Adolf Hitler that the putsch was well prepared.[4]

Count Bothmer died in Munich on 18 March 1937 and, contrary to his family's wishes, Adolf Hitler's government ordered a state funeral. He was eulogized by Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria.


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.

Military ranks[edit]

Decorations and Honours[edit]

Bothmer in 1915



Other German states

Other countries

The orders above which were from Allied nations were awarded prior to World War I.[5]


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ Tucker, Spencer (2018-12-07). European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-68425-9.
  3. ^ Buttar, Prit (2017). Russia's Last Gasp: The Eastern Front 1916-17. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. p. 183. ISBN 9781472824899.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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)

External links[edit]

Additional Reading[edit]

  • 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
Military offices
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, II Royal Bavarian Reserve Corps
December 1914 – 7 July 1915
Succeeded by
Upgraded to new South Army
Preceded by Commander, South Army
8 July 1915 – 25 January 1918
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, 19th Army
4 February 1918 – 8 November 1918
Succeeded by