Groener in 1928
| Reich Minister of Defence |
20 January 1928 –13 May 1932
|Chancellor|| Wilhelm Marx |
|Preceded by||Otto Gessler|
|Succeeded by||Kurt von Schleicher|
| Reich Minister of the Interior |
9 October 1931 –30 May 1932
|Preceded by||Joseph Wirth|
|Succeeded by||Wilhelm von Gayl|
| Reich Minister of Transport |
25 June 1920 –12 August 1923
|Chancellor|| Konstantin Fehrenbach |
|Preceded by||Gustav Bauer|
|Succeeded by||Rudolf Oeser|
| Chief of the German General Staff |
3 July 1919 –7 July 1919
|Preceded by||Paul von Hindenburg|
|Succeeded by||Hans von Seeckt|
Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener
22 November 1867
Ludwigsburg, Neckar District, Württemberg
|Died||3 May 1939 71) (aged|
Potsdam-Bornstedt, Brandenburg, Nazi Germany
|Years of service||1884–1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener (22 November 1867 – 3 May 1939) was a German general and politician. His organisational and logistical abilities resulted in a successful military career before and during World War I.
World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.
After a confrontation with Erich Ludendorff the Quartermaster general (Erster Generalquartiermeister) of the German Army, Groener was reassigned to a field command. When Ludendorff was dismissed in October 1918, Groener succeeded him. Groener worked with the new Social Democratic president Friedrich Ebert to foil a left-wing take-over during the German Revolution of 1918–19. Under his command, the army bloodily suppressed popular uprisings throughout Germany.
Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ritter von Ludendorff was a German general, the victor of the Battle of Liège and the Battle of Tannenberg. From August 1916, his appointment as Quartermaster general made him the leader of the German war efforts during World War I. The failure of Germany's great Spring Offensive in 1918 in its quest for total victory was his great strategic failure and he was forced out in October 1918.
The Imperial German Army was the unified ground and air force of the German Empire. The term Deutsches Heer is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the Bundeswehr. The German Army was formed after the unification of Germany under Prussian leadership in 1871 and dissolved in 1919, after the defeat of the German Empire in World War I.
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925.
Groener tried to integrate the military, which was dominated by an aristocratic and monarchistic officer corps, into the new republic. After resigning from the army in the summer of 1919, Groener served in several governments of the Weimar Republic as minister of transportation, interior and defence. He was pushed out of the government in 1932 by Kurt von Schleicher, who was working on a pact with the Nazis.
The Weimar Republic is an unofficial historical designation for the German state from 1918 to 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place. The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates. Although commonly translated as "German Empire", the word Reich here better translates as "realm", in that the term does not have monarchical connotations in itself. The Reich was changed from a constitutional monarchy into a republic. In English, the country was usually known simply as Germany.
Kurt Ferdinand Friedrich Hermann von Schleicher was a German general and the last Chancellor of Germany during the Weimar Republic. A rival for power with Adolf Hitler, Schleicher was murdered by Hitler's SS during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.
Wilhelm Groener was born in Ludwigsburg in the Kingdom of Württemberg as the son of Karl Eduard Groener (1837–1893), regimental paymaster, and his wife Auguste (née Boleg, 1825–1907) on 22 November 1867.After attending gymnasium at Ulm and Ludwigsburg, where his father had been stationed, Groener entered the 3. Württembergische Infanterie Regiment Nummer 121 of the Württemberg Army in 1884. In 1890, he was promoted to Bataillonsadjutant and from 1893 to 1896 attended the War Academy at Berlin, where he finished top of his class. In 1899, Groener married Helene Geyer (1864–1926) in Schwäbisch Gmünd. They had a daughter, Dorothea Groener-Geyer (b.1900).
Ludwigsburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of Stuttgart city centre, near the river Neckar. It is the largest and primary city of the Ludwigsburg district with about 88,000 inhabitants. It is situated within the Stuttgart Region, and the district is part of the administrative region (Regierungsbezirk) of Stuttgart.
The Kingdom of Württemberg was a German state that existed from 1805 to 1918, located within the area that is now Baden-Württemberg. The kingdom was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which existed from 1495 to 1805. Prior to 1495, Württemberg was a County in the former Duchy of Swabia, which had dissolved after the death of Duke Conradin in 1268.
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.
As a captain, he won appointment to the General Staff in 1899 and was attached to the railway section, where he worked for the next 17 years.This was only interrupted for the usual assignments to other locations, from 1902 to 1904 he was Kompaniechef of Infantry Regiment 98 at Metz, from 1908 to 1910 he was with the XIII Army Corps and in 1910 he became a battalion commander in Infantry Regiment 125 at Stuttgart. In 1912, as a lieutenant-colonel, Groener became head of the railway section at the General Staff. His plans for the extension of the railway network and for deployment routes were based the deployment plans of Alfred von Schlieffen, the Chief of the General Staff of the German Army from 1891 to 1906.
The German General Staff, originally the Prussian General Staff and officially Great General Staff, was a full-time body at the head of the Prussian Army and later, the German Army, responsible for the continuous study of all aspects of war, and for drawing up and reviewing plans for mobilization or campaign. It existed unofficially from 1806, and was formally established by law in 1814, the first general staff in existence. It was distinguished by the formal selection of its officers by intelligence and proven merit rather than patronage or wealth, and by the exhaustive and rigorously structured training which its staff officers undertook. Its rise and development gave the German armed forces a decisive strategic advantage over their adversaries for nearly a century and a half.
Metz is a city in northeast France located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers. Metz is the prefecture of the Moselle department and the seat of the parliament of the Grand Est region. Located near the tripoint along the junction of France, Germany, and Luxembourg, the city forms a central place of the European Greater Region and the SaarLorLux euroregion.
Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron." It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 609,219, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.7 million people live in the city's administrative region and another 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.
The deployment of millions of troops to the frontier by rail boosted Groener's reputation and he received numerous decorations in 1914. In June 1915, he was promoted to Generalmajor. Due to his organisational skills, in December 1915 Groener was put in charge of food deliveries from Romania. In May 1916, he joined the leadership of the newly created Kriegsernährungsministerium (War Food Ministry). In November 1916, as a Generalleutnant he became head of the Kriegsamt (War Office) the department that managed the war economy and deputy of the Prussian Minister of War.
The Kingdom of Romania was a constitutional monarchy that existed in Romania from 26 March 1881 with the crowning of prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen as King Carol I, until 1947 with the abdication of King Michael I of Romania, and the Romanian parliament proclaiming Romania a socialist republic.
With Erich Ludendorff, Groener worked on the draft for the Hilfsdienstgesetz (Auxiliary Services Act, 1916), which laid down the conscription of men (Arbeitszwang) for the war economy. Groener negotiated with the civilian bureaucracy, unions and representatives of the employers. Despite his efforts to appear neutral to maximise output, he became the target of criticism. Factory owners resented him for accepting the unions as partners. Revolutionary groups used his strict admonishments against those who went on strike while soldiers died at the front to undermine his standing with the workers. The negotiations made the limits of Germany military power obvious to Groener and he began to doubt that Germany could win the war. This caused confrontations with the third Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL, the supreme command of the German army), led by Paul Hindenburg and Ludendorff. During the change at the Reichskanzlei in July 1917, when Georg Michaelis replaced Bethmann-Hollweg as Chancellor, Groener suggested that the state should intervene to limit corporate profits and the wage growth that resulted from booming war-related public demand.On 16 August 1917 he was recalled from his post and reassigned to an operational command. This was seen by the public as a response to his views on social policy.
Groener served for six months at the western front first as the commander of the 33rd Division, and then of the XXV Reserve Corps, where he was able to observe trench warfare and the mood of the troops.In March 1918, he commanded the I Corps during the occupation of Ukraine. On 28 March, he was appointed chief of staff of the army group Heeresgruppe Eichhorn-Kiew . This task required him to deal with organisational and political challenges, in particular confrontations with the army high command of Austria-Hungary and supervising, then reshuffling, the Ukrainian government which needed help against bolshevik revolutionaries.
After the dismissal of Erich Ludendorff on 26 October 1918, Groener was recalled and on 29 October appointed as Ludendorff's successor as First Quartermaster General (Deputy Chief of the General Staff) under Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg. The military situation was becoming untenable and social unrest and rebellion in the German armed forces and the civilian population threatened to break out into revolution. Groener started to prepare the withdrawal and demobilisation of the army. 51 As the revolution spread through Germany in early November, Groener began to see the Emperor, Wilhelm II, as an impediment to saving the monarchy and the integrity of the army. Privately, he felt the Kaiser should sacrifice himself in a hero's death at the front. :75:
On 6 November, Groener had reacted indignantly when the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert suggested that the Emperor should abdicate. Groener advised Wilhelm II to go on 9 November, because he had lost the confidence of the armed forces and recommended abdication to the monarch, when Emperor Wilhelm suggested to use the army to crush the revolution at home. 76,82 Groener's goal was to preserve the monarchy, but under a different ruler. He was also in favour of accepting the armistice conditions put to the German government, despite their severe nature.:
On the evening of 10 November, Groener contacted the new chancellor, Friedrich Ebert and concluded the Ebert-Groener pact, which was to remain secret for a number of years. Ebert agreed to suppress the Bolshevik revolutionaries and to maintain the traditional role of the armed forces as a pillar of the German state; Groener promised that the army would support the new government.For this act, Groener earned the enmity of many other military leaders, many of whom sought the retention of the monarchy.
Groener oversaw the retreat and demobilisation of the defeated German army after the signing of the armistice on 11 November 1918. Despite a very tight schedule, the withdrawal was effected without problems.Groener organised the defence of the eastern borders of the Reich until a peace treaty could be signed. The headquarters of OHL, at Schloss Wilhelmshöhe from 14 November 1918 to 13 February 1919, were moved to Kolberg.
On 23 June 1919, Ebert asked OHL for an opinion on whether the Reich should sign the Treaty of Versailles. Groener supported signing as he was worried that the unity of the Reich would be in danger if fighting was resumed, contradicting the officer corps and the views of Walther Reinhardt, the Prussian Minister of War. Hindenburg followed Groener on this issue and when Hindenburg resigned, Groener succeeded him. OHL was dissolved as a condition of he treaty and Groener temporarily took over command at Kolberg. He started to organise the establishment of the new peace-time ( Reichswehr ), arguing in favour of a high share of former general staff officers among the new leadership, including in the Reichswehrministerium. He also supported a senior position for Hans von Seeckt.On 30 September, Groener resigned from the army, against the wishes of Friedrich Ebert, Groener felt that his pact with the Social Democrat had cost him the trust of many of his fellow officers.
After his resignation from the army, Groener moved in and out of retirement during the 1920s. Not a member of any party, at Ebert's request he served as Minister of Transport between 1920 and 1923. His main achievement was the rebuilding of the Reichsbahn . In 1923, when the Cuno government resigned, Groener left politics and wrote military and political treatises, such as Das Testament des Grafen Schlieffen (1927).Hindenburg, Ebert's successor as Reichspräsident, appointed Groener as the successor of Otto Geßler as Minister of Defence on 20 January 1928, a post he held until 1932. Besides expanding the Reichswehr, Groener made an effort to integrate it into the society of the Weimar Republic. In 1930, Groener married Ruth Naeher-Glück (born 1894) in Berlin and had a son. This second marriage and the early birth date of his son undermined Groener's relationship with the conservative Hindenburg.
On 8 October 1931 he became acting Interior Minister in the government of Heinrich Brüning and favoured the banning of the Nazi Sturmabteilung (SA storm troops).As Interior Minister he was asked to outlaw the SA, whilst his goal as Defence Minister was to integrate it into a national, non-partisan paramilitary force. In April 1932, under pressure from several German states, Groener outlawed the SA and Schutzstaffel (SS). Kurt von Schleicher, his subordinate at the Reichswehrministerium wanted to set up a cooperation with the two groups and worked on Hindenburg, to have Groener dismissed. He also allied himself with the NSDAP. After a rhetorical defeat in the Reichstag, Groener resigned on 13 May as Defence Minister, urged by Schleicher who told Groener that he had lost the trust of the Reichswehr. When the Brüning government fell on 30 May, Groener also lost his position as Innenminister and left politics for good.
Groener moved to Potsdam-Bornstedt in 1934, where he wrote his memoirs, Lebenserinnerungen.Groener died of natural causes in Bornstedt on 3 May 1939. He is buried in the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdorf, located between Potsdam and Berlin.
The stab-in-the-back myth was the notion, widely believed and promulgated in right-wing circles in Germany after 1918, that the German Army did not lose World War I on the battlefield but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the republicans who overthrew the Hohenzollern monarchy in the German Revolution of 1918–19. Advocates denounced the German government leaders who signed the Armistice on November 11, 1918, as the "November Criminals".
Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known generally as Paul von Hindenburg, was a German Generalfeldmarschall and statesman who commanded the Imperial German Army during the second half of World War I before later being elected President of the Weimar Republic in 1925. He played a key role in the Nazi "Seizure of Power" in January 1933 when, under pressure from advisers, he appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of a "Government of National Concentration", even though the Nazis were a minority in both the cabinet and the Reichstag.
Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, also known as Max von Baden, was a German prince and politician. He was heir presumptive to the grand ducal throne of Baden, and in October and November 1918 briefly served as Chancellor of the German Empire. He sued for peace on Germany's behalf at the end of World War I based on U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, which included immediately transforming the government into a parliamentary system, by handing over the title of Chancellor to SPD Chairman Friedrich Ebert and unilaterally proclaiming the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II. Both events took place on 9 November 1918, the beginning of the Weimar Republic.
The Battle of Tannenberg was fought between Russia and Germany between the 26th and 30th of August 1914, the first month of World War I. The battle resulted in the almost complete destruction of the Russian Second Army and the suicide of its commanding general, Alexander Samsonov. A series of follow-up battles destroyed most of the First Army as well and kept the Russians off balance until the spring of 1915. The battle is particularly notable for fast rail movements by the Germans, enabling them to concentrate against each of the two Russian armies in turn, and also for the failure of the Russians to encode their radio messages. It brought considerable prestige to Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and his rising staff-officer Erich Ludendorff.
Heinrich Aloysius Maria Elisabeth Brüning was a German Centre Party politician and academic, who served as Chancellor of Germany during the Weimar Republic from 1930 to 1932.
The Reichswehr formed the military organisation of Germany from 1919 until 1935, when it was united with the new Wehrmacht.
The German Revolution or November Revolution was a civil conflict in the German Empire at the end of the First World War that resulted in the replacement of the German federal constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary republic that later became known as the Weimar Republic. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 until the adoption in August 1919 of the Weimar Constitution.
Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg was a German General Staff officer, who, after serving at the Western Front during World War I, was appointed chief of the Troop Office during the Weimar Republic and Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the first general to be promoted to Generalfeldmarschall in 1936. His political opponent Hermann Göring confronted him with criminal records among allegations of ponographic activities of his newly wed wife and forced him to resign on 27th January 1938.
The Oberste Heeresleitung was the highest echelon of command of the army (Heer) of the German Empire. In the latter part of World War I, the Third OHL assumed dictatorial powers and became the de facto political authority in the empire.
Colonel Max Hermann Bauer was a German General Staff officer and artillery expert in the First World War. As a protege of Erich Ludendorff he was placed in charge of the German Army's munition supply by the latter in 1916. In this role he played a leading role in the Hindenburg Programme and the High Command's political machinations. Later Bauer was a military and industrial adviser to the Republic of China under Chiang Kai-shek.
Otto Lebrecht Eduard Daniel Meissner was head of the Office of the President of Germany during the entire period of the Weimar Republic under Friedrich Ebert and Paul von Hindenburg and, finally, at the beginning of the Nazi government under Adolf Hitler.
The Skirmish of the Berlin Schloss was a small skirmish between the socialist revolutionary Volksmarinedivision and regular German army units on 24 December 1918 during the German Revolution of 1918–19. It took place around the Berlin Schloss also known as "Stadtschloss" in the centre of Berlin, Germany.
The Ebert–Groener pact, sometimes called the Ebert-Groener deal, was an agreement between the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert, at the time the President of Germany, and Wilhelm Groener, Quartermaster General of the German Army, on November 10, 1918.
Walther Freiherr von Lüttwitz was a German general who fought in World War I. Lüttwitz is best known for being the driving force behind the Kapp–Lüttwitz Putsch of 1920 which attempted to replace the democratic government of the Weimar Republic with a military dictatorship.
Walther Gustav Reinhardt was a German officer who served as the last Prussian Minister of War and the first head of the army command within the newly created Ministry of the Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic. During the Kapp Putsch of 1920, Reinhardt remained loyal to the elected government and was one of the few senior officers of the Reichswehr willing to order troops to fire at the revolting units.
Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated as German Emperor and King of Prussia in November 1918. The abdication was announced on 9 November by Prince Maximilian of Baden and was formally enacted by Wilhelm's written statement on 28 November, made while in exile in Amerongen, the Netherlands. This ended the House of Hohenzollern's 500-year rule over Prussia and its predecessor state, Brandenburg. Wilhelm ruled Germany and Prussia from 15 June 1888 through 9 November 1918, when he went into exile. Following the abdication statement and German Revolution of 1918–19, the German nobility as a legally defined class was abolished. On promulgation of the Weimar Constitution on 11 August 1919, all Germans were declared equal before the law. Ruling princes of the constituent states of Germany also had to give up their monarchical titles and domains, of which there were 22. Of these princely heads of state, four held the title of king (könig), six held the title of grand duke (großherzog), five held the title of duke (herzog), and seven held the title prince.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wilhelm Groener .|
Paul von Hindenburg
| Chief of the General Staff |
Hans von Seeckt
| Transportation Minister of Germany |
| Defence Minister of Germany |
Kurt von Schleicher
| Interior Minister of Germany |
Wilhelm Freiherr von Gayl