Fedor von Bock

From Kaiserreich

Moritz Albrecht Franz Friedrich Fedor von Bock (born on December, 3 1880 in Küstrin, Germany) is a German general. Also known as the "Holy Fire of Küstrin", best remembered for his role during the 1926 German intervention in China, he is also known for his friendship with the Kronprinz Wilhelm.


Fedor von Bock was born in Küstrin into a Prussian Protestant aristocratic family whose military heritage is traceable to the early times of the Hohenzollerns. His father, Karl Moritz von Bock, commanded a division in the Franco-Prussian War, and was decorated for bravery at the Battle of Sedan. His great-grandfather served in the armies of Friedrich the Great, and his grandfather was an officer in the Prussian Army at Iena. His mother, Olga Helene Fransziska Freifrau von Falkenhayn von Bock, was of both German and Russian aristocratic heritage. Bock was distantly related to Erich von Falkenhayn.

At the age of eight, Bock went to Berlin to study at the Potsdam and Gross Lichterfelde Military Academy. The education emphasized Prussian militarism, and he quickly became adept in academic subjects such as modern languages, mathematics, and history. He spoke fluent French, and to a fair degree English and Russian. At an early age, and largely due to his father, Bock developed an unquestioned loyalty to the state and dedication to the military profession. At the age of 17, Bock became an officer candidate in the Imperial Foot Guards Regiment at Potsdam; he received an officer’s commission a year later. He entered service with the rank of Sekondeleutnant.

The tall, thin, narrow-shouldered Bock had a dry and cynical sense of humor; he seldom smiled.His manner was described as being arrogant, ambitious, and opinionated; he approached military bearing with an unbending demeanor. While not a brilliant theoretician, Bock was a highly determined officer. As one of the highest ranking officers in the Reichswehr, he often addressed graduating cadets at his alma mater. His theme was always that the greatest glory that could come to a German soldier was to die for the Fatherland. He quickly earned the nickname “Holy Fire of Kürstin”. In 1906, Bock attended the War Academy in Berlin, and after a year’s study he joined the ranks of the General Staff. He soon joined the patriotic Army League and become a close associate of other young German officers such as Walther von Brauchitsch, Franz Halder, and Gerd von Rundstedt. In 1908, he was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant.

By the time the Weltkrieg began in 1914, Bock was a Hauptmann. He was assigned as a divisional staff officer in von Rupprecht’s army group on the Western Front. Major von Bock was a friend of the Kronprinz Wilhelm. After the war, von Bock continued to rose in the ranks of the German Army, serving under the orders of Hans von Seeckt during the German campaign in China. An audacious landing in Shanghai, permitting the immediate seizure of the city, earned Bock a great reputation and to be made a full General by the Kaiser Wilhelm II himself. Now in 1936, Bock is viewed by political specialists as one of the most devoted monarchists within the German Imperial Army, and as a possible candidate for a Field Marshal rank and even the post of Chief of the General Staff, then his friend, the Kronprinz, would eventually rose to the throne. A staunch proponent of total war against the Syndicalists, Bock himself often tells his troops, "The ideal soldier fulfills his duty to the utmost, obeys without even thinking, thinks only when ordered to do so, and has as his only desire to die the honorable death of a soldier killed in action."


General von Bock is married since 1905 to Mally von Reichenbach, a young Prussian noblewoman, whom he had originally met in Berlin. They were married in a traditional military wedding at the Potsdam garrison. They had a daughter, born two years after the marriage.

Personal tools