Hans von Gronau

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Hans von Gronau
Hans von Gronau during WWI
Born 6 December 1850
Alt Schadow, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 22 February 1940(1940-02-22) (aged 89)
Potsdam, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1869–1919
Rank General of Artillery
Commands held
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves
Relations Wolfgang von Gronau

Johann Karl Hermann Gronau, from 1913 von Gronau, commonly known as Hans von Gronau (6 December 1850 in Alt Schadow – 22 February 1940 in Potsdam) was a Prussian officer, and General during World War I.

World War I[edit]

At the outbreak of World War I, Gronau was recalled from retirement to take command of the newly formed IV Reserve Corps as part of the 1st Army, which was on the right wing of the forces that invaded France and Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan offensive in August 1914. It played a significant part in the First Battle of the Marne.[1]

In September 1915, Gronau was appointed to command of XXXXI Reserve Corps (swapping places with Generalleutnant Arnold von Winckler). The Corps was upgraded to form Armee-Gruppe Gronau on 20 September 1915. Gronau remained in concurrent command of the Corps and the Armee-Gruppe. It served with the Army of the Bug throughout its existence. On 18 September 1916 it was raised to the status of an Armee-Abteilung (Army Detachment).[2] It remained on the Eastern Front until dissolved on 27 March 1918.[3]

On 4 October 1916 he was awarded the Pour le Mérite for military bravery. He was awarded the Oakleaves (signifying a second award) on 6 August 1918.[4]


On 23 February 1890 Gronau married Luise Gerischer (20 July 1867 – 25 June 1926). The marriage produced three sons. His oldest son was the flight pioneer Wolfgang von Gronau who crossed the Atlantic Ocean from East to West flying a Dornier Wal D-1422 landing in the Hudson River on 26 August 1930.



  • Armee-Abteilung or Army Detachment in the sense of "something detached from an Army". It is not under the command of an Army so is in itself a small Army.[5]
  • Armee-Gruppe or Army Group in the sense of a group within an Army and under its command, generally formed as a temporary measure for a specific task.
  • Heeresgruppe or Army Group in the sense of a number of armies under a single commander.


  1. ^ "Hans von Gronau". The Prussian Machine. Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Cron 2002, p. 86
  3. ^ Cron 2002, p. 85
  4. ^ "Orden Pour le Mérite". Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Cron 2002, p. 84


  • Cron, Hermann (2002). Imperial German Army 1914-18: Organisation, Structure, Orders-of-Battle [first published: 1937]. Helion & Co. ISBN 1-874622-70-1. 
  • Hildebrand, Karl-Friedrich; Zweng, Christian (1999). Die Ritter des Ordens Pour le Mérite des I. Weltkriegs, Band 1: A-G. Biblio Verlag, Osnabrück, Germany. ISBN 3-7648-2505-7. 
Military offices
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, IV Reserve Corps
2 August 1914-11 September 1915
Succeeded by
Generalleutnant Arnold von Winckler
Preceded by
Generalleutnant Arnold von Winckler
Commander, XXXXI Reserve Corps
11 September 1915 - End of World War I
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, Armee-Gruppe Gronau
20 September 1915 - 18 September 1916
Succeeded by
Upgraded to Armee-Abteilung Gronau
Preceded by
Upgraded from Armee-Gruppe Gronau
Commander, Armee-Abteilung Gronau
18 September 1916 - 27 March 1918
Succeeded by