Alexander Friedrich August Philipp Freiherr von Falkenhausen
(13.09.1844 - 04.05.1936)
place of birth: Guben, Niederlausitz (Brandenburg)
Königreich Preußen: OBH,
GenGouv von Belgien, Generaloberst
Prussian baron and Generaloberst
Ludwig von Falkenhausen served as both corps- and army-level commander
during the Great War. He was born into the home of
imperial Prussian Lieutenant General Alexander von Falkenhausen and his
Russian-born wife Katharina von Rouanet. Young Ludwig began his budding
military career as an 11-year old we he entered the Cadet Institute in
Potsdam in 1856. In 1862, he received orders to report to Potsdam's
Foot Guards Regiment, the unit he later saw action with during the Austro-Prussian
War of 1866. During the Franco-Prussian War
of 1870-71, 1st Lieutenant Falkenhausen functioned as field artillery
regimental adjutant and
participated in actions at Gravelotte-St Privat, Beaumont,
After the War, von Falkenhausen completed several assignments
as a general staff officer in Karlsruhe, Trier, and Koblenz, a
battalion commander in Cologne, and was then recalled to Berlin to
serve as Guard Corps Chief of Staff. After stints as regimental and
brigade commander, he was assigned to quartermaster duties with the
Great General Staff and then as Director of the General War Department
at the War Ministry. He also concurrently served in the Lower House
(Bundesrat) of Prussia's Parliament. Prior to retiring from the
military, von Falkenhausen also served as a divional commander, as well
as commander of XIII. Imperial Army Corps of Württemberg.
Called out of retirement at the age of 74,
General von Falkenhausen commanded the Ersatz Corps
which was subordinate to Bavarian Crown Prince Rupprecht's Sixth Army.
His troops were engaged in front-line action at Nancy- Epinal.
As senior commander of Army Detachment "A" (also
known as Army Detachment Falkenhausen) he was
promoted to the rank of colonel general, and his soldiers were mainly
engaged in trench warfare in northeastern France (Lorraine).
It was for these actions that Falkenhausen was awarded the Pour
le Merite for distinguished service. He lead coastal defense
troops for about four months from headquarters in Hamburg, after which
he was transferred back to the Western Front to head up the Sixth Army
(1916-17). There troops under his command fought in the trenches in Flanders
and Artois, along the so-called Siegfried
Line, and during the Spring Offensive at Arras.
For this he received the coveted Order of the Black Eagle.
Von Falkenhausen was then transferred to Belgium in April 1917 to serve
as the Governor General there until War's end.
Generaloberst von Falkenhausen was married to
Helene von Waldow und Reitzenstein, with whom he had a son Friedrich
and a daughter Elsa. Two other subsequent children did not survive.
Helene died at the age of 39 while they were stationed in Cologne. A
few years later, he married Alice Petzold from Chemnitz. Von
Falkenhausen died on 4 May 1936 in Görlitz and was interred in the
Invaliden-Friedhof in Berlin.