Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
(20.03.1870 - 09.03.1964)
place of birth:  Saarlouis, Rheinpreußen  (Rhenish Prussia)
Königreich Preußen:  Schutztruppe-Kdr,  Generalmajor

Prussian colonel Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck commanded the German East African (Tanzania) Colonial Forces during the Great War. He was the son of General of Infantry Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, of noble Pomerian ancestory, and his wife Marie Eisenhart-Rothe. Young Paul launched his military career as an 11-year old cadet in the Potsdam Corps. Later he studied military science as an artillery officer. Following the War, Lettow-Vorbeck married Martha Wallroth in 1919.

In German East Africa, Lettow-Vorbeck's troops grew from 215 to 3,000 German soldiers, and from 2,540 up to 12,000 Askari natives. His troops initially saw success against their British-led counterparts in November 1914 as they repelled an assault on the port of Tanga (modern-day Tanzania). By 1916, his skirmishes against the British lead him to abandon conventional warfare, and he thus became one of the most gifted and successful leaders of guerilla tactics. His opponents in the field even referred to him as the "African Hindenburg". Lettow-Vorbeck was awarded the Pour le Merite in 1916. He ended up being the last German commander to surrender during the War, returning home to Germany in January 1919 as a hero. He retired at the end of the war at the rank of Generalmajor but was later awarded the brevet rank of General der Infanterie (Charakter) on 27 August 1939 for Tannenberg Remembrance Day. He immediately was incorporated into the command structure of the post-War Reichswehr. Although Lettow-Vorbeck was essentially right-wing in his politics, he opposed the Nazis and tried to organize a conservative opposition to Hitler. He later spent an impoverished retirement in Hamburg, where he died on 9 March 1964. General von Lettow-Vorbeck was interred in Pronsdorf, Schleswig-Holstein.

Generalmajor  29.10.1917

Pour le Mérite  04.11.1916   (Eichenlaub:  10.10.1917)

Curriculum Vitae  
00.00.1881 Kadettenkorps - Potsdam
00.00.1883 Preußische Hauptkadettenanstalt - Berlin/Lichterfelde
07.02.1888 Sekonde-Lieutenant
07.02.1888 4. Garde-Regiment zu Fuß - Koblenz
00.00.0000 Königliche Kriegsakademie - Berlin
00.00.1894 Großer Generalstab - Berlin
30.05.1895 Premier-Lieutenant
00.00.1900 1. Ostasiatische Infanterie-Brigade, Deutsches Expeditionskorps China  (Coy Cdr during Boxer Rebellion)
23.03.1899 Hauptmann
00.00.1904 Deutsches Expeditionskorps - Deutsch-Südwestafrika  (von Trotha's Adjutant in present-day Namibia)
22.03.1907 Major
00.00.1907 XI. Armeekorps - Kassel  (Adjutant)
00.03.1909 2. Seebataillon - Wilhelmshaven  (Cdr)
01.10.1913 Oberstleutnant
18.10.1913 Kaiserliche Schutztruppe - Kamerun  (Cdr)
13.04.1914 Kaiserliche Schutztruppe - Deutsch-Ostafrika  (Cdr East African Colonial Forces)
Great War  
02.08.1914 Kaiserliche Schutztruppe für Deutsch-Ostafrika
18.08.1915 Oberst
29.10.1917 Generalmajor
27.08.1939 General der Infanterie  (Charakter - Tannenbergtag)




*     *     *