Graf von Schlieffen
(28.02.1833 - 04.01.1913)
place of birth: Berlin
Son of a Prussian Army officer, he initially trained for law
but opted for a tour with the 2nd Guard Uhlans Regiment in 1853. Served
on Prince Albrecht's general staff during the Six-Weeks War
(1866) and saw action at the Battle of Königgrätz.
Schlieffen served on the staff of Friedrich II. of Mecklenburg-
Schwerin's XIII. Army Corps during the Franco-Prussian War.
Later he headed the military history section of the Great General Staff
Count von Schlieffen succeeded Alfred von
Waldersee as Chief of General Staff, serving from 1891 to 1906. During
this time he was promoted to general of cavalry and his primary
achievement was to devise a plan dealing with a two-front
war: France to the west and Russia to the east. His famous Schlieffen
Plan initially concentrated seven-eighths of the army against
France for a swift encirclement of Paris, followed by a transfer of
forces eastward to deal with the slowly deployed Russian armies. Von
Schlieffen became cold, distant and sarcastic following his wife's
death in 1872. He was a brilliant scientific strategist who paid little
attention to moral considerations of war. He died in 1911 in his
hometown of Berlin, his last words reportedly being, "Remember
to keep the right wing strong."