Richard Ludwig Wellmann
(29.06.1859 - 12.06.1934)
place of birth: Schönfeld, Brandenburg
general officer and
Pour le Merite recipient Richard Wellmann
served as a corps-level commander during the Great War.
Generalmajor Wellmann was in command of 31st Infantry Brigade as
Germany went into battle in August 1914. The brigade initially fought
in support of Duke Albrecht's Seventh Army, seeing action during the First
Battle of the Marne and in Champagne. He
was transferred that October to lead 37th Infantry Brigade which was
entrenched near Reims.
In the early weeks of 1915, Wellmann was
again transferred, this time to command 18th Reserve Division. These
troops were initially subordinate to General von Fabeck's First
Army, thereafter fighting also in support of Second Army and
then Sixth Army headquarters. In mid-summer 1916, the division was sent
to the Somme River area to once again be engaged in
support First Army, this time commanded by General Fritz von Below.
Wellmann's leadership during this period earned him the Roter
Adler-Orden (Order of the Red Eagle). In October 1916,
Wellmann was sent to the Eastern Theater to replace Arthur von Lüttwitz as commander of 20th
Infantry Division. Within a few weeks, the 20th was transferred to the
Western Front to fight with Seventh Army in Lorraine.
Field Marshal von Hindenburg's only son, Oskar, served for a time as
one of Wellmann's staff officers at 20th Division HQ.
On Kaiser Wilhelm's birthday 1917, Wellmann
was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant. The following summer,
Wellmann and his 20th Division were sent to the Galician Front where
they fought alongside k.u.k. troops of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Toward the end of summer 1917, 20th Division was sent north to the area
near Riga, Latvia, where they were subordinate the General von Hutier's
Eighth Army. Returning West in mid-September 1917, the 20th was engaged
in the Third Battle of Ypres near Passchendaele,
and was soon thereafter folded into the Gruppe Arras
as part of Germany's Second Army. During the Battle of Cambrai,
Wellmann received command of VII. Reserve Corps, headquartered near Reims.
Seven months later, he was put in charge of XIV. Reserve Corps,
subordinate to Seventeenth Army. Within just a few weeks, however,
Generalleutnant Wellmann was selected to replace Kurt von Morgen as
commander of I. Reserve Corps. When the hostilities officially ended in
November 1918, I. Reserve Corps became part of Grenzschutz
West stationed along the Lahn River. He
continued in military service as head of Generalkommando z.b.V. Nr.52,
which was part of Germany's post-War Grenzschutz-Ost unit.
Generalleutnant Wellmann, who lost two of his three of his sons during
the War, passed away on 11 June 1934 in Hannover.