Who's Who - Prince Leopold of Bavaria

Prince Leopold of Bavaria Prince Leopold of Bavaria (1846-1930), who was in retirement when the First World War began, nevertheless re-emerged and served with the German Army for the duration of the war.

Leopold was handed command of the German Ninth Army serving on the Eastern Front in April 1915 while aged 69.  Within four months his force had succeeded in taking possession of Warsaw in Poland (4 August 1915), a notable victory.

He was then placed at the head of a combined Austro-German force (Army Group Leopold) ranged along the Eastern Front's central sector by German Chief of Staff Erich Falkenhayn.  This was less a recognition of Leopold's moderate talents than a determined attempt to limit the influence of Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff (both of whom were critics of Falkenhayn's strategy on the Eastern Front).

In due course Falkenhayn was replaced as Chief of Staff by Hindenburg - in August 1916 - and the latter brought Ludendorff with him to Berlin as Quartermaster General.  Consequently Leopold was placed in overall control of operations on the Eastern Front.

Leopold chose retirement for the second time in the wake of the successful (for Germany) Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918, during which negotiations he was thoroughly dominated by his Chief of Staff Max Hoffmann.  The war was in any event over on the Eastern Front.

He died in 1930.

A sandbag was a sack filled with earth from which defences were built.

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