Paul Otto Felix Freiherr Kreß von Kressenstein  
(13.09.1850 - 19.02.1929)
place of birth:  Germersheim, Bayern
Königreich Bayern:  Kriegsminister,  KG,  Generaloberst

Bavarian Generaloberst Otto Freiherr Kreß von Kressenstein served during the Great War as Imperial Bavarian Minister of War. Otto was born into the home of Major Joseph Freiherr Kreß von Kressenstein from an old patrician family of Nürnberg. The major was a participant in the Franco-Prussian War and was killed in action in February of 1871. Otto's mother was an officer's daughter from Augsburg. Young Otto likewise saw action in the Franco-Prussian War as 20-year old lieutenant in the Bavarian cavalry. He received the Iron Cross 2nd Class, having been engaged at Weißenburg, Wörth, Sedan, and the siege of Paris

Following the hostilities, Sekonde-Lieutenant Kreß von Kressenstein continued in the regimen of a career cavalry officer, studying at the Bavarian War Academy and in 1897 taking command of his own regiment, Imperial Bavarian 6. Chevauleger-Regiment in Bamberg. Interestingly, he was in command of this regiment approximately 50 years after his own grandfather had formed it into an elite unit. After heading up the Bavarian Cavalry Brigade from 1902 to 1904, Generalleutnant Kreß von Kressenstein took over the officer of Inspector General of Bavarian Cavalry.

Successful commands of 1st Infantry Division and III. Army Corps caught the eye of King Luitpold, who selected him in 1912 to replace Graf von Horn as Bavaria's War Minister. General Kreß was simultaneously tasked with overseeing the military cabinet and all Royal Bavarian Army administrative functions. He was subsequently noted for his eloquent and effective representation in Parliament of the common Bavarian soldier's fair treatment. He likewise fought for the welfare of civilian workers in the military industry, drawing praise from Bavaria's Social Democrats who continually supported Kreß in Parliament.

The First World War brought General Kreß von Kressenstein into perpetual conflict with other members who formed newly-crowned King Leopold III's cabinet, particularly Bavaria's Minister of Interior. General Kreß also suffered a deteriorating relationship with the military authorities in Berlin; he viewed as oppressive and unjust the ever-increasing expectations placed upon the Bavarian military contingent as the War continued with no end in sight. His relationship with King Ludwig III also worsened, to the point that he stepped down from his office on 8 December 1916 and was replaced by Generalleutnant Philipp von Hellingrath. In retirement, Kreß von Kressenstein continued to write on military issues, but passed away in 1929 after suffering from a long-term illness. His son Franz was also a cavalry officer who commanded XII. Army Corps until 1938. Son Hans was a professor and Director of Internal Medicine at the Freie Universität Berlin.


Kriegsminister   16.02.1912  -  11.12.1916
Generaloberst  01.08.1914

Eisernes Kreuz II  Deutsch-Französischer Krieg  1870–1871

Curriculum Vitae  
00.00.0000 Kadettenschule - München
00.00.1869 Königlich Bayerisches 2. Chevaulegers-Regiment ,,Taxis - Regensburg
17.08.1870 Sekonde-Lieutenant
19.07.1870 Deutsch-Französischer Krieg von 1870–1871   (awarded Iron Cross during Franco-Prussian War)
28.03.1871 Königlich Bayerisches 2. Chevaulegers-Regiment ,,Taxis - Regensburg
00.00.0000 Königlich Bayerisches 2. Chevaulegers-Regiment ,,Taxis - Regensburg  (Adjutant)
05.05.1878 Premier-Lieutenant
00.00.0000 Bayerische Kriegsakademie - München
24.03.1885 Rittmeister
00.00.1888 Kgl. Bayerisches 2.schweres Reiter-Regt ,,Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este - Landshut  (Sq Cdr)
14.07.1891 Major
10.05.1896 Oberstleutnant
11.07.1897 Königlich Bayerisches 6.Chevaulegers-Regiment ,,Prinz Albrecht von Preußen - Bayreuth  (Cdr)
11.06.1898 Oberst
06.11.1901 Generalmajor
26.01.1902 Königlich Bayerische Kavallerie-Brigade -  Bamberg  (Cdr)
19.03.1904 Generalleutnant
19.03.1904 Königlich Bayerische Kavallerie-Inspektion - München  (Inspector General of Bavarian Cavalry, replaced Ritter von Poschinger)
19.04.1906 1. Königlich Bayerische Infanterie-Division - München  (Cdr, replaced Prinz Rupprecht)
04.05.1910 General der Kavallerie
04.05.1910 III. Königlich Bayerisches Armeekorps - Nürnberg  (Cdr, replaced Tann-Rathsamhausen) 
16.02.1912 Bayerisches Kriegsministerium - München  (Bavarian Minister of War, replaced Carl Graf von Horn)
01.08.1914 Generaloberst
Great War  
02.08.1914 Bayerisches Kriegsministerium - München  (Bavarian Minister of War)
08.12.1916 Inhaber - Königlich Bayerisches 6.Chevaulegers-Regiment ,,Prinz Albrecht von Preußen




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