Who's Who - Commanders

Sir William Birdwood This area of the Who's Who category of the site contains biographies of the many and varied men who provided military leadership during the four years of war on all fronts.  Some remain well-known household names to this day; others, though their star shone at the time, have faded into obscurity.

For example, Douglas Haig's name is known to most - but how many remember one of the more successful British commanders of the war, Sir Hubert 'Daddy' Plumer?

In addition to the biographies presented below, click here to view contemporary photographs of commanders within the Vintage Photographs section of the site.

Biographies Description
ItalyDuke of the Abruzzi Admiral
United KingdomArthur Edward Aitken General
GermanyDuke Albrecht General
United KingdomSir Edwin Alderson General
RussiaMikhail Alexeev Commander-in-Chief
United KingdomSir Edmund Allenby Commander-in-Chief, Palestine
ItalyDuke Aosta General
FranceFrancois Anthoine General
United KingdomEdward Ashmore London Air Defence Commander
Austria-HungaryMoritz von Auffenberg-Komarow General
RomaniaAlexandru Averescu Commander
GermanyGustav Bachmann Chief of Admiralty Staff
United KingdomSir Reginald Bacon Commander, Dover Patrol
United KingdomPrince Louis of Battenberg First Sea Lord
GermanyMax Bauer Artillery Commander
United KingdomSir David Beatty Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet
GermanyFritz von Below General
GermanyOtto von Below General
United States of AmericaWilliam Shepherd Benson Chief of Naval Operations
FranceHenri Berthelot Chief of Staff
GermanyHans von Beseler Military Governor, Poland
United KingdomEdward Bingham Naval Commander
United KingdomSir Noel Birch Chief Naval Adviser
United KingdomSir William Birdwood General
United States of AmericaTasker Bliss Chief of Staff
Austria-HungaryEduard Freiherr von Bohm-Ermolli Field Marshal
Austria-HungarySvetozar Boroevic von Bojna Field Marshal
United KingdomSir Louis Jean Bols General
South AfricaLouis Botha General
GermanyFelix von Bothmer General
GermanyKarl Boy-Ed Naval Attaché to U.S.
United KingdomWalter Braithwaite General
AustraliaSir William Bridges General
GermanyGeorg Bruchmuller Artillery Colonel
RussiaAlexei Brusilov Commander-in-Chief
United KingdomEdward Bulfin General
United States of AmericaRobert Lee Bullard General
GermanyKarl von Bulow General
United KingdomSir Julian Byng General
ItalyLuigi Cadorna Chief of Staff
United KingdomSir George Callaghan C-in-C Home Fleet
ItalyLuigi Capello General
United KingdomSir Sackville Carden Admiral
United KingdomAlfred Carpenter Captain
FranceNoel de Castelnau General
United KingdomEarl of Cavan Commander-in-Chief, Italy
United KingdomJohn Charteris General
New ZealandEdward Chaytor General
United KingdomSir Philip Chetwode Field Marshal
United KingdomSir Winston Churchill First Lord of the Admiralty
United KingdomSir Alexander Cobbe General
United KingdomSir John Cowans Quartermaster-General
United KingdomSir Christopher Cradock Rear-Admiral
CanadaSir Arthur Currie Commander, Canadian Forces
RussiaYuri Danilov Deputy Chief of Staff
Austria-HungaryCount Viktor Dankl von Krasnik General
ItalyGabriele D'Annunzio Politician/Soldier
FranceMarie-Eugene Debeney General
BelgiumVictor Deguise General
GermanyBerthold von Deimling Field Marshall
FranceAugustin Boue de Lapeyrere Naval C-in-C
United KingdomSir Henry de Beauvoir de Lisle General
RussiaAnton Denikin General
Austria-HungaryFranz Baron Rohr von Denta Field Marshal
United KingdomSir John de Robeck Admiral
FranceFranchet d'Esperey Marshal
Ottoman EmpireAhmed Djemal Pasha Military Governor of Syria
ItalyArmando Diaz Chief of Staff
United KingdomSir Charles Dobell General
RussiaVladimir Dragomirov General
FranceAuguste Dubail General
FrancePierre Dubois General
FranceDenis Auguste Duchene General
RussiaNikolai Dukhonin Commander-in-Chief
United KingdomLionel Dunsterville General
RussiaAndrei Eberhardt Commander, Black Sea Fleet
GermanyHermann von Eichhorn General
GermanyKarl von Einem General
AustraliaPompey Elliott General
Ottoman EmpireEnver Pasha Commander-in-Chief
RussiaNikolai von Essen Supreme Cmdr, Baltic Fleet
Austria-HungaryArchduke Eugen Field Marshal
United KingdomEdward Evans Captain
RussiaAlexei Evert General
GermanyErich von Falkenhayn Chief of General Staff
FranceMarie Fayolle General
United KingdomAdmiral John Fisher First Sea Lord
United States of AmericaBradley Allen Fiske Admiral
FranceFerdinand Foch Supreme Allied Commander
GermanyHermann von Francois General
United KingdomSir John French Commander-in-Chief, BEF
United KingdomBernard Freyberg General
GermanyA. von Freytag-Loringhoven Dep Chf of Gen Stf
Austria-HungaryArchduke Friedrich Commander-in-Chief
United KingdomJohn Fuller Tank Strategist
FranceJoseph Gallieni General
GermanyMax von Gallwitz General
FranceDominique-Marie Gauchet C-in-C, Mediterranean
United KingdomSir Eric Geddes First Lord of the Admiralty
AustraliaSir John Gellibrand General
BelgiumCyriaque Gillain Army Chief of Staff
AustraliaSir William Glasgow General
United KingdomSir Alexander Godley General
GermanyBaron von der Goltz Field Marshal, Turkish Army
United KingdomWilliam Goodenough Admiral
United KingdomGeorge Gorringe General
IrelandSir Hubert Gough General
FranceHenri Gouraud General
ItalyRodolfo Graziani Colonel
GermanyWilhelm Groener General
RussiaVasily Gurko Commander-in-Chief
FranceAdolphe Guillaumat General
United KingdomSir Douglas Haig Commander-in-Chief, BEF
United KingdomRichard Haking General
United KingdomSir William Hall Director of Naval Intelligence
United KingdomSir Lionel Halsey Fourth Sea Lord
United KingdomSir Ian Hamilton Commander-in-Chief, Mediterran.
United KingdomSir Alexander Hamilton Gordon General
United States of AmericaJames Harbord AEF Chief of Staff
United KingdomCharles Harington Dep. Chief of Imperial General Staff
Austria-HungaryAdmiral Haus Naval Commander-in-Chief
GermanyMax Klemens von Hausen General
GermanyJosias von Heeringen General
GermanyPrince Heinrich of Prussia Admiral
GermanyPaul von Hindenburg Chief of General Staff
United KingdomHesketh Hesketh-Prichard Sniping Expert
GermanyAdmiral Franz von Hipper Cmdr, High Seas Fleet
AustraliaSir Talbot Hobbs General
GermanyMax Hoffmann General
United KingdomNorman Holbrook Naval Commander
GermanyHenning von Holtzendorff Chf of Naval Gen Staff
United KingdomSir Horace Hood Admiral
United KingdomSir Henry Horne General
Austria-HungaryMiklos Horthy de Nagybanya Cmdr-in-Chief
Austria-HungaryConrad von Hotzendorf Commander-in-Chief
FranceGeorges Humbert General
United KingdomArchibald Hunter General
United KingdomSir Aylmer Hunter-Weston General
GermanyOskar von Hutier General
GermanyFrederich von Ingenohl Cmdr, High Seas Fleet
AustraliaGodfrey Irving Temp. Commander, 5th Division
RussiaNikolai Ivanov General
Ottoman EmpireAhmed Izzet Pasha General
AustraliaAlbert Jacka First AIF Winner of the VC
United KingdomSir Henry Jackson First Sea Lord
United KingdomSir John Jellicoe First Sea Lord
United KingdomHugh Jeudwine General
FranceJoseph Joffre Commander-in-Chief
Austria-HungaryArchduke Josef Augustin Field Marshal
Austria-HungaryArchduke Josef Ferdinand General
RussiaAlexei Kaledin General
JapanMitsuomi Kamio General
Austria-HungaryFranz von Keil Admiral
Ottoman EmpireMustafa Kemal Pasha General
United KingdomSir Roger Keyes Admiral
Ottoman EmpireKhalil Pasha General
United KingdomSir Launcelot Kiggell General
GermanyAlexander von Kluck General
RussiaAlexander Kolchak Admiral
RussiaLavr Kornilov Commander-in-Chief
Austria-HungaryHermann Kovess Cmdr-in-Chief
GermanyKress von Kressenstein General
Austria-HungaryAlexander von Krobatin Field Marshal
RussiaAlexei Kuropatkin General
FranceMarie-Jean-Lucien Lacaze Admiral
United KingdomSir Percival Lake General
United KingdomFrederick Lambart General
FranceFernand de Langle de Cary General
FranceCharles Lanrezac General
United KingdomT.E. Lawrence 'Lawrence of Arabia'
BelgiumGerard Leman General
GermanyPrince Leopold of Bavaria General
GermanyPaul von Lettow-Vorbeck Colonel
GermanyOtto Liman von Sanders General
GermanyAlexander von Linsingen General
IrelandLouis James Lipsett General
GermanyErich Ludendorff Quartermaster General
South AfricaSir Henry Lukin General
United KingdomSir George MacDonogh Director of Military Intelligence
GermanyAugust von Mackensen Field Marshal
FrancePaul Maistre General
FranceCharles Mangin General
United States of AmericaPeyton March Army Chief of Staff
GermanyGeorg von der Marwitz General
United KingdomSir William Marshall Cmdr-in-Chief, Mesopotamia
United KingdomSir Frederick Maude Cmdr-in-Chief, Mesopotamia
FranceLouis Maud'huy General
FranceMichel-Joseph Maunoury General
United KingdomSir Frederick Maurice General
United KingdomSir Ivor Maxse General
United KingdomSir John Maxwell General
United States of AmericaHenry Thomas Mayo Commander, Atlantic Fleet
GreeceJoannis Metaxas Army Deputy Chief of Staff
FranceJoseph Alfred Micheler General
United KingdomSir Berkeley Milne Admiral
United KingdomSir George Milne Field Marshal
SerbiaZivojin Misic Field Marshal
GermanyHelmuth von Moltke Chief of General Staff
AustraliaSir John Monash Cmdr, Australian Forces
United KingdomSir Charles Monro Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean
GermanyGeorg von Muller Chief of Naval Cabinet
United KingdomSir Archibald Murray Cmdr-in-Chief, Palestine
RussiaGrand Duke Nikolai Commander-in-Chief
Austria-HungaryMaximilian Njegovan Naval Cmdr-in-Chief
FranceRobert Nivelle Commander-in-Chief
United KingdomSir John Nixon Cmdr-in-Chief, Mesopotamia
United KingdomSir John Norton-Griffiths Mining Liaison Officer
United KingdomSir William Pakenham Admiral
GermanyFranz von Papen Military Attaché to U.S.
FrancePaul Pau General
United States of AmericaJohn J. Pershing Commander-in-Chief
FranceHenri-Philippe Petain Commander-in-Chief
Austria-HungaryKarl von Pflanzer-Baltin General
PolandJosef Pilsudski General
RussiaWenzel von Plehve General
United KingdomLord Plumer Field Marshal
GermanyHugo von Pohl Cmdr, High Seas Fleet
Austria-HungaryOskar Potiorek General
RomaniaConstantine Prezan Commander-in-Chief
GermanyMaximilian von Prittwitz General
SerbiaRadomir Putnik Chief of General Staff
GermanyFerdinand von Quast General
United KingdomSir Henry Rawlinson General
United States of AmericaGeorge Windle Read General
RussiaPaul von Rennenkampf General
GermanyLudwig von Reuter Admiral at Scapa Flow
United KingdomSir William Robertson Chief of Imperial Gen. Staff
AustraliaSir Charles Rosenthal General
FrancePierre Ruffey General
GermanyCrown Prince Rupprecht General
New ZealandSir Andrew Russell General
RussiaNikolai Ruzsky General
RussiaAlexander Samsonov General
FranceMaurice Sarrail General
GermanyReinhardt Scheer Chief of Admiralty Staff
GermanyAlfred von Schlieffen Chief of Gen. Staff
Austria-HungaryAlois Fürst Schönburg-Hartenstein General
GermanyLudwig von Schroder Admiral
GermanyHans von Seeckt Chief of General Staff
RussiaDmitry Shcherbachev General
United States of AmericaWilliam Sims Admiral
United KingdomSir Horace Smith-Dorrien General
South AfricaJan Christian Smuts Prime Minister
United KingdomSir Nevill Maskelyne Smyth General
GermanyAdmiral Wilhelm Souchon Admiral
GermanyMaximilian von Spee Admiral
Austria-HungaryR. Stoger-Steiner von Steinstatten General
SerbiaStepa Stepanovic General
United KingdomSir Frederick Stopford General
Austria-HungaryArz von Straussenberg Cmdr-in-Chief
United KingdomSir Frederick Sturdee Admiral
United Kingdom>Sir Ernest Swinton General
ItalyPaolo Thaon di Revel Admiral
United KingdomRomaniaChristopher Thomson Military Attaché to Romania
GermanyAlfred von Tirpitz Naval Minister
United KingdomSir Charles Townshend General
United KingdomHugh Trenchard Chief of Air Staff
GermanyAdolf von Trotha Admiral
United KingdomSir Ernest Troubridge Admiral
CanadaSir Richard Turner Chief of Canadian General Staff
South AfricaSir Jacob Louis Van Deventer General
SerbiaPeter Vasic Colonel
CanadaSir David Watson General
GermanyOtto Weddigen U-boat Captain
United KingdomRosslyn Wemyss First Sea Lord
FranceMaxime Weygand Army Chief of Staff
AustraliaSir Brudenell White General
GermanyCrown Prince Wilhelm General
CanadaHenry Willis-O'Connor Staff Officer
IrelandSir Henry Wilson Chief of Imperial Gen. Staff
United States of AmericaLeonard Wood Pre-war Chief of Staff
GermanyRemus von Woyrsch Field Marshal
RussiaPetr Wrangel General
SerbiaBosa Yankovich General
RussiaNikolai Yanushkevich Chief of Staff
United States of AmericaAlvin C. York Corporal
RussiaNikolai Yudenich General
RussiaAndrei Zayonchkovski General
BulgariaNikola Zhekov Commander-in-Chief
RussiaYakov Zhilinski General

By 1918 the percentage of women to men working in Britain had risen to 37% from 24% at the start of the war.

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Who's Who