Who's Who - Crown Prince Rupprecht
Crown Prince Rupprecht (1869-1955), heir to the throne of Bavaria, was born in 1869.
Upon the outbreak of the First World War Rupprecht was given command of the German Sixth Army sent to Lorraine to repel the anticipated French advance as set out in the pre-war Plan XVII.
In the Battle of Loraine which began on 14 August 1914, the French Army began its assault upon Lorraine. Rupprecht implemented a strategy of apparently retreating under the force of the French attack, only to bounce back in a fierce, cleverly manoeuvred counter-attack, having lured the French armies into a strong attack upon a heavily defended position. As the French armies advanced they encountered increasingly stern German opposition, including treacherous machine gun fire and heavy artillery.
Rupprecht's forces nevertheless failed to break the French army. Rupprecht was promoted to Field Marshal in 1916 and given command of the northern group of armies in August, 'Army Group Rupprecht', spending the remainder of the war on the Western Front.
Generally regarded as the best of the German royal commanders who served in the war, Rupprecht came into conflict with Chief of Staff Erich Falkenhayn concerning the German Chief of Staff's central control of battle strategy.
With the German revolutions which followed the war, Rupprecht lost his inheritance to the Bavarian crown, living in retirement for the remainder of his life (although many in the region with monarchist views continued to regard Rupprecht as rightful King).
Rupprecht's stated opposition to the onset of Nazism led to his exile in Italy in 1938, where he remained in Florence throughout the Second World War. In 1944 Rupprecht evaded arrest by the Nazis, although his wife and children were interned at separate concentration camps until the war's closure.
Crown Prince Rupprecht died in 1955.
A 'Tracer' was a phosphorescent machine-gun bullet which glowed in flight, indicating course as an aid to artillery.
- Did you know?