Franz Ludwig Freiherr von Soden  
(04.03.1856 - 29.11.1945)
place of birth:  Stuttgart, Württemberg
Königreich Württemberg:  KG,  General der Infanterie

Member of
Württemberg's nobility and general officer of the Royal Württemberg Army, Franz Freiherr von Soden served as a divisional and corps commander during the Great War. Following a fairly standard peacetime military career for Württemberg's officer corps, von Soden retired from active duty in 1910 as commander of 26th Infantry Division in Stuttgart. He subsequently received the brevet rank of General der Infanterie.

As German Supreme Command prepared for war, General von Soden was asked to return to Stuttgart in order to head up 26th Reserve Infantry Division, part of the XIV. Reserve Corps. Subordinate to Germany's Seventh Army, these units were transported on 2 August to Alsace-Lorraine on the Western Front. They initially took part in fighting in the Vosges Mountains between Nancy and Epinal. The reservists were removed from this front in mid-September, however, and were transferred to Northern France to participate in the 25 September 1914 march on the River Somme. The fighting here quickly settled in to trench warfare, and von Soden's troops remained in this general area through the Battle of the Somme, fought in the summer of 1916.

General von Soden was selected in December 1916 to replace Hans von Zwehl as commander of VII. Reserve Corps. His soldiers were engaged in the Champagne area in mid-January 1917. He was recognized for his exemplary leadership in July when the Crown Prince awarded von Soden with the Pour le Merite. In November, he took command of V. Reserve Corps, which simultaneously put him at the head of Maasgruppe-Ost at Verdun. In the spring of 1918, von Soden and his corps fought an orderly retreat eastward to the River Meuse. With the cessation of hostilities, von Soden lead his troops back to the German homeland for demobilization. He soon thereafter retired from active duty for the second and final time. After the War, he published a number of articles covering the Royal
Württemberg Army and headed up the 125th Infantry Regiment's Association of Retired Officers. 

General der Infanterie  17.12.1916

Pour le Mérite  27.07.1917

Württemberg MVO  17.09.1914   Komtur

Curriculum Vitae
01.10.1873 Grenadier-Regiment ,,Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr. 119 - Stuttgart  (Einjährig-Freiwilliger)
01.01.1874 Fahnenjunker
08.02.1875 Sekonde-Lieutenant
01.10.1880 Preußische Kriegsakademie - Berlin
19.07.1883 Grenadier-Regiment ,,Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr. 119 - Stuttgart
13.10.1883 Premier-Lieutenant
13.10.1883 Grenadier-Regiment ,,König Karl (5. Württembergisches) Nr. 123 - Ulm
07.07.1884 Grenadier-Regiment ,,Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr. 119 - Stuttgart
01.05.1886 Großer Generalstab - Berlin 
28.04.1888 Hauptmann
27.01.1889 X. Armeekorps - Hannover  (on Leo von Caprivi's general staff)
23.03.1890 19. Infanterie-Division - Hannover  (on Hermann von Lettow-Vorbeck's general staff)
18.09.1891 Grenadier-Regiment ,,Königin Olga (1. Württembergisches) Nr. 119 - Stuttgart  (Coy Cdr)
20.04.1893 26. Infanterie-Division (1. Königlich Württembergische) - Stuttgart  (Ia on Oskar von Lindequist's general staff)
18.09.1893 Major
18.09.1895 XIII. Armeekorps (Königlich Württembergisches)- Stuttgart  (Ia on Oskar von Lindequist's general staff)
21.04.1898 Infanterie-Regiment ,,von Wittich (3. Kurhessisches) Nr. 83 - Kassel  (Bn Cdr)
18.04.1900 Oberstleutnant
29.05.1900 X. Armeekorps - Hannover  (August von Bomsdorff's provisional Chief of Staff)
16.06.1901 X. Armeekorps - Hannover  (August von Bomsdorff's Chief of Staff)
22.04.1902 Oberst
25.02.1903 Infanterie-Regiment ,,Kaiser Friedrich König von Preußen (7. Württembergisches) Nr. 125 - Stuttgart  (Cdr)
21.05.1906 relieved of command
13.09.1906 Generalmajor
13.09.1906 51. Infanterie-Brigade (1. Königlich Württembergische) - Stuttgart  (Cdr)
27.01.1910 Generalleutnant
27.01.1910 26. Infanterie-Division (1. Königlich Württembergische) - Stuttgart  (Cdr, replaced von Oppeln-Bronikowski)
21.03.1911 General der Infanterie  (Charakter)
21.03.1911 zur Disposition gestellt
Great War
02.08.1914 26. Reserve-Division (1. Königlich Württembergische)
17.12.1916 General der Infanterie  (Patent)
17.12.1916 VII. Reservekorps  (replaced Hans von Zwehl)
27.08.1917 XI. Armeekorps  (replaced Viktor Kühne as provisional Cdr)
17.11.1917 V. Reservekorps  (replaced Viktor Kühne)
25.01.1919 Offizier von der Armee
01.02.1919 außer Dienst





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