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Max von Gallwitz
BASA-237K-1-361-2-Max von Gallwitz, 1915.jpg
Gallwitz on 13 July 1915
Born (1852-05-02)2 May 1852
Breslau, Province of Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia
(now Wrocław, Republic of Poland)
Died 18 April 1937(1937-04-18) (aged 84)
Naples, Kingdom of Italy
(now Naples, Republic of Italy)
Allegiance German Empire German Empire
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1870–1918
Rank General
Commands held Guards Reserve Corps
Twelfth Army
Eleventh Army
Second Army
Fifth Army
Army Group Gallwitz
Battles/wars World War I

Max Karl Wilhelm von Gallwitz (2 May 1852 – 18 April 1937) was a German general from Breslau (Wrocław), Silesia, who served with distinction during World War I on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.


Gallwitz grew up in a Catholic family in Breslau. In 1891, he married Friedrike. They had a daughter and son Werner, who became a lieutenant general in the Second World War. Later, he began the First World War as a corps commander (Guards Reserve Corps) on the Western Front, but was almost immediately transferred east to join the Eighth Army under Hindenburg. In 1915 he took command of Armee-Gruppe Gallwitz (later redesignated Twelfth Army) and participated in the Galicia offensive alongside Mackensen, who commanded the Eleventh Army.

Towards the end of 1915, he succeeded Mackensen as commander of the Eleventh Army, as the latter campaigned against Serbia. In 1916, Gallwitz moved back to the Western Front and defended against the British attack in the Battle of the Somme. He took over command of 2nd Army and of Heeresgruppe Gallwitz - Somme controlling 1st and 2nd Armies. From 1916–18 he commanded the Fifth Army in the west, most notably engaging the Americans during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.

Following his retirement from the army, Gallwitz served as a deputy in the Reichstag (1920–24) for the German National People's Party.

Awards and decorations

  • Pour le Mérite (24 July 1915), Oak Leaves added on 28 September 1915
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle
  • Order of the Black Eagle (23 December 1917)
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