Remus von Woyrsch

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Remus von Woyrsch
Remus von Woyrsch (ca. 1915).jpg
Remus von Woyrsch during WWI
Birth name Martin Wilhelm Remus von Woyrsch
Born 4 February 1847
Gut Pilsnitz bei Breslau, Kingdom of Prussia
Died 6 August 1920(1920-08-06) (aged 73)
Gut Pilsnitz bei Breslau, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire (to 1918)
Service/branch Heer
Years of service 1866-1911
1914-1920
Rank Generalfeldmarschall
Commands held Landwehr Corps
Armee-Abteilung Woyrsch
Battles/wars Battle of Königgrätz
Franco-Prussian War
World War I
Awards Pour le Mérite
Order of Saint John
Relations Udo von Woyrsch

Martin Wilhelm Remus von Woyrsch (February 4, 1847 – August 6, 1920) was a Prussian Field Marshal, a member of the Prussian House of Lords from 1908 to 1918, and an Ehrenkommendator or Honorary Commander of the Order of St. John.

Family[edit]

Remus von Woyrsch was born at the estate Pilsnitz (Pilczyce, now part of Fabryczna) near Breslau (Wrocław) in Prussian Silesia. He came from old minor nobility, first from South Bohemia and then from ca. 1500 in Troppau (Opava) in Moravian Silesia. He married Thekla von Massow (1854–1943) from East Prussia, on September 26, 1873 in Potsdam, Brandenburg. She was the daughter of the royal Prussian forester Hermann von Massow.

His nephew Udo von Woyrsch (1895–1983) was an SS Obergruppenführer and SS and Police Leader.

Career[edit]

After Woyrsch finished high school in Breslau, he joined the 1st Potsdamer Garde-Grenadier Regiment on April 5, 1866. He served at the battle of Königgrätz in 1868. He later fought in the 1870-71 Franco-Prussian war where he was wounded but earned the Iron Cross. In 1901 Woyrsch was promoted to divisional commander. He retired in 1911 but was re-activated in August 1914 to command the Landwehr Corps and was quickly sent to help the Austro-Hungarian Army fighting in partitioned Poland. He came up to the Vistula, and then reinforced the left wing of the Austro-Hungarian army under General Viktor Dankl von Krasnik. In the three days of battle against the Imperial Russian army Woyrsch covered the retreat of the Austrians with his corps Landwehrkanal. A St. Petersburg newspaper wrote that: "Only the activity of the small Prussian Landwehr troops in this battle prevented the complete destruction of the Austrian army." Later he was included in Paul von Hindenburg's 9th Army. In July 1915 Woyrsch was involved in the breakthrough battle of Sienno near Wongrowitz (Wągrowiec). In 1916 he helped fight off the Russian Brusilov Offensive and in 1917 was promoted Generalfeldmarschall.

In 1920 Woyrsch retired, again, to his family estate at the castle Pilsnitz near Breslau. After his death the famous Silesian sculptor Paul Ondrusch created a wooden sculpture of Woyrsch to decorate the main hall inside the town hall of Leobschütz (Głubczyce). Woyrsch was portrayed as a knight wearing a coat and a chain mail, with his hands placed on a handle of a large sword resting against the ground.[1]

Honours[edit]

  • Ehrenbürger (Honorary citizen) of Breslau
  • Ehrenbürger (Honorary citizen) of Neisse
  • Honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Philosophy

Orders and decorations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maler, Katarzyna (1996), "Dzieła Paula Ondruscha zachowane na Ziemi Głubczyckiej", Kalendarz Głubczycki (Głubczyce) (1997): 75, ISSN 1231-4803 (Polish)
  • Bruno Clemenz: Generalfeldmarschall von Woyrsch und seine Schlesier - Eigenhändige Auszüge aus seinem Kriegstagebuch. Carl Flemming Pub. Berlin:1919.
  • Hahn-Butry, Jürgen (pub.): Preußisch-deutsche Feldmarschälle und Großadmirale. Safari Pub. Berlin:1938.
  • Jürgen Hahn-Butry (Hrsg.): Preußisch-deutsche Feldmarschälle und Großadmirale. Safari, Berlin 1938.
  • Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Adelige Häuser A Vol VII, p402, Vol 34. C. A. Starke Pub. Limburg (Lahn):1965. ISSN 0435-2408
  • Acta Borussica Band 9 (1900–1909) (PDF-file. 2,74 MB)
Military offices
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, Landwehr Corps
2 August 1914-23 September 1916
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Günther Graf von Kirchbach
Preceded by
New Formation
Commander, Armee-Abteilung Woyrsch
14 October 1914-15 December 1917
Succeeded by
Dissolved
Preceded by
Renamed from Heeresgruppe Leopold
Commander, Heeresgruppe Woyrsch
29 August 1916-15 December 1917
Succeeded by
Dissolved