Who's Who - Max Bauer

Otto Bauer Max Hermann Bauer (1875-1929) established a reputation as a noted artillery expert in the German Army during the First World War, but also exerted a great degree of political influence.

Bauer's military career began in 1890 and he was appointed to the General Staff in 1905.  When the First World War began in August 1914 Bauer's status as his nation's pre-eminent expert in artillery matters was firm.  His performance in the destruction of the Liege forts in Belgium in 1914 merely served to confirm his undoubted abilities (which Bauer, by no means a retiring character, was quick to point out).

July 1915 brought Bauer an appointment as Chief of Section I at the General Staff and a consequent increase in his political activity.  An extreme right-wing conservative (and a confirm anti-Semitic) he regarded Chancellor Theobald bon Bethmann-Hollweg as a man of dangerously liberal views.  On the German General Staff he similarly believed the Chief of Staff Erich Falkenhayn to be largely ineffective (Bauer opposed Falkenhayn's attritional policy at Verdun).

Consequently Bauer worked with allies to secure the demise of both Falkenhayn and Bethmann-Hollweg.  Falkenhayn was duly dismissed in August 1916 and replaced by an effective military dictatorship led by Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff (and which was wholeheartedly supported by Bauer); and Bethmann-Hollweg's dismissal was engineered in tandem with conservative leader Kuno von Westarp in the wake of the Reichstag peace debates of July 1917.

On 19 December 1916 Bauer was awarded the prestigious Pour le Merite, and this was supplemented by the Oakleaves on 28 March 1918.

With his belief in total war Bauer worked to develop German storm-trooper tactics towards the close of the war.  Believing that Ludendorff's weaknesses were endangering the German war effort he worked once more to bring about his downfall.  Bauer was similarly dismayed by Kaiser Wilhelm II's apparent ineffectiveness and even contemplated his removal.

In the wake of the armistice and the German revolution Bauer remained resolutely opposed to the Weimar Republic and participated in the Kapp Putsch of 1920.  This merely ended with Bauer's enforced exile from his homeland, although he was permitted to re-enter following an amnesty in 1925.

After a post-war career assisting Chinese Nationalist and Iranian armies, including service during the Second World War War, he died from smallpox following his return from Shanghai in 1929 where he was serving in a military capacity.

An Adrian Helmet was a French regulation helmet named after its designer.

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Who's Who