Wilhelm Groener

From Kaiserreich

Karl Eduard Wilhelm Groener (born on November, 22 1867 at Ludwigsburg, then part of the kingdom of Württemberg, now in Germany) is a German general. Commander of the German expeditionnary corps during the Russian Civil War, he is a prominent military and Generalfeldmarschall.


Groener was born in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, the son of a regimental paymaster. He entered the Württemberg Army in 1884, and attended the War Academy from 1893 until 1897, whereupon he was appointed to the General Staff (1899). For the next seventeen years he was attached to the railway section, becoming head of it in 1912. In November of 1916 he moved into the Prussian War Ministry as deputy war minister and was in charge of war production. In August 1917 Groener served as chief of staff of an army group in the Ukraine.

In these tasks, he then took a prominent part for the German operations during the intervention in the Russian Civil War. Named head of German operations in Ukraine in 1920, he made a joining with White Generals Anton Denikin and Petr Wrangel forces in order to wipe out Nestor Makhno's Anarchist Army, Bolshevik armies and other unrallied Ukrainian independantists. His action was determinant in reconquering Eastern Ukraine, however he didn't manage to make the Cossacks rally to White Russia, being themselves soon united in the Don-Kuban Union. Along with Denikin and Wrangel, he met the armies of Leon Trotsky and Mikhail Tukhachevsky in Tsaritsyne. After weeks of hard street fights, most of the Red Army was defeated there on February 2, 1921, making the White victory and the way clear to Moscow. General Groener accepted General Tukhachevsky's surrender on behalf of the German Empire. He then received the famous Order Pour le Mérite and was made Generalfeldmarschall of the German Army.

Wilhelm Groener served during two years as military governor of Ukraine after the Russian Civil War, helping to the establishment of nowadays Kingdom of Ukraine. After his return in Germany, he was made War Minister in 1924, becoming War Minister of Alfred von Tirpitz's government. However, he assumed no command during the German intervention in China, only establishing the military part of the Mitteleuropa system. He dismissed in 1930 after Tirpitz's death and retired from active duty. He is currently Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Württemberg.


Field Marshal Groener was married two times: first with Helene Gayer (1864-1926), with whom he had a daughter, Dorothea Groener-Geyer, in 1900; second time with Ruth Naeher-Glück, in 1930, who gave him a son.

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