Appendix A Who Was Who in World War I – The Complete Idiot's Guide to World War I

Appendix A Who Was Who in World War I

Albert I (1875–1934) King of Belgium celebrated by the Allies as the heroic defender of his small land in the face of German invasion.

Allenby, Edmund (1861–1936) British field marshal who won signal victories in the Middle East against the Turks. His victory at Meggido (1918) is considered the most brilliant tactical achievement, by any side, of the war.

Asquith, Herbert (1852–1928) British prime minister during the early years of World War I; after the failure of the Dardanelles Campaign, he was replaced by David Lloyd George.

Baker, Newton D. (1871–1937) Secretary of War in the cabinet of Woodrow Wilson.

Beatty, David (1871–1936) Excellent British admiral under Sir John R. Jellicoe; took a leading role in the Battle of Jutland (1916).

Below, Otto von (1857–1944) German general who performed well on four fronts during the war and is best known for his vigorous drive against the Italians at Caporetto (1917).

Berchtold, Leopold von (1863–1942) Austro-Hungarian foreign minister whose insistence on punishing Serbia after the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, in 1914 most immediately triggered World War I.

Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald (1856–1921) German chancellor through most of World War I; made peace overtures to Woodrow Wilson in 1917. He was compelled to resign after the failure of the last German offensive in 1918.

Brusilov, Alexei (1853–1926) By far the best general in the Russian military; his offensive against Austro-Hungarian forces in 1916 nearly knocked that nation out of the war.

Bülow, Karl von (1846–1921) German general usually blamed for the German defeat at the First Battle of the Marne (1914).

Cadorna, Luigi (1850–1928) Italian general who led his forces in multiple offensives against the Austro-Hungarians along the Isonzo River. He was relieved of command in November 1917.

Castelnau, Edouard de (1851–1944) French general who served Joseph Joffre as deputy chief of staff and vigorously supported Joffre’s series of fruitless and costly offensives.

Churchill, Winston (1874–1965) Best known as Britain’s heroic and inspiring World War II prime minister. Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty in World War I and backed the disastrous assault on the Dardanelles.

Clemenceau, Georges (1841–1929) French premier from November 1917. Clemenceau insisted on thoroughly humiliating and punishing Germany with the Treaty of Versailles.

Conrad von Hötzendorf, Franz (1852–1925) Field marshal in overall command of Austro-Hungarian forces. Conrad, largely unsuccessful, was forced to turn over command to Paul von Hindenburg in 1916.

Drum, Hugh A. (1879–1951) American general who served as the chief planner behind the American Expeditionary Force.

Enver Pasha (1881–1922) “Young Turk” who became the chief military figure of Turkey in World War I. A failure as a strategist, Enver Pasha was largely responsible for the massacre of Turkish Armenians in 1916.

Falkenhayn, Erich von (1861–1922) Chief of the German General Staff after the defeat at the First Battle of the Marne (1914). Falkenhayn was himself replaced after the costly failure of his campaign against Verdun in 1916.

Foch, Ferdinand (1851–1929) Perhaps the most brilliantly aggressive general of World War I and certainly the most impressive of the French commanders. Foch became supreme Allied commander by the end of the war.

French, Sir John (1852–1925) British field marshal who brought the British army to France and Flanders. After the failure of the Flanders offensives, he was forced to resign in December 1915.

George V (1865–1936) King of Great Britain during World War I.

Haig, Sir Douglas (1861–1928) British field marshal who replaced Sir John French at the end of 1915 and served through the end of the war as British commander-in-chief on the Western Front. He was associated with massive attacks costing huge numbers of British lives.

Hindenburg, Paul von (1847–1934) As a commander assigned to the Eastern Front, he teamed with Erich Ludendorff to mastermind German victory there.

Hipper, Franz von (1863–1932) German admiral who played a leading role in the Battle of Jutland, a tactical victory for the Germans, though a strategic win for the British.

Hoffmann, Max (1869–1927) German architect of the great victories against the Russians at Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes.

Jellicoe, Sir John R. (1859–1935) British admiral in overall command of the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.

Joffre, Joseph (“Papa”) (1852–1931) As the first French commander-in-chief during the war, Joffre advocated a policy of “offensive to the uttermost,” which proved a tragic failure. Despite early disasters, Joffre managed to keep the army together and fighting.

Kitchener, Horatio Herbert (1850–1916) Britain’s most celebrated commander at the start of the war. He served as secretary of state for war, but was killed in June 1916 when his ship struck a mine.

Kluck, Alexander von (1846–1934) German general who led the right wing of the great offensive at the opening of the war. He is often (and too simplistically) blamed for varying from the Schlieffen Plan and thereby fatally compromising the offensive.

Lanrezac, Charles (1852–1925) French general whose notoriously poor performance in the opening month of the war resulted in his removal from command.

Lansing, Robert (1864–1928) U.S. secretary of state during World War I.

Lawrence, T.E. (“Lawrence of Arabia”) (1888–1935) Brilliant and controversial British leader of Arab guerilla forces fighting the Turks in the Persian Gulf. His monumental (but historically unreliable) memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, contributed to his quasilegendary status after the war.

Lenin, Vladimir (1870–1924) Architect of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He agreed to a “separate peace” with Germany in March 1918 (Treaty of Brest-Litovsk), taking Russia out of the war.

Lettow-Vorbeck, Paul von (1870–1964) Remarkable German commander who maintained brilliant guerilla operations in East Africa throughout the war and was the last German general to lay down arms.

Liggett, Hunter (1857–1935) U.S. Army general who was the primary field commander during the difficult Argonne Forest operations.

Liman von Sanders, Otto (1855–1929) German general who led Turkish forces as a field marshal of the Turkish Empire.

Lloyd George, David (1863–1945) British minister of munitions from 1915 to December 1916, when he became prime minister. Often at odds with top British military commanders, he favored subordinating Sir Douglas Haig to Ferdinand Foch as supreme Allied commander.

Ludendorff, Erich (1865–1937) Great but mercurial German tactician. With Paul von Hindenburg, he achieved victory on the Eastern Front and then effectively became generalissimo of German forces on the Western Front and virtual military dictator of Germany.

Mackensen, August von (1849–1945) Highly effective German field commander on the Eastern Front.

Moltke, Helmuth von (1848–1916) German chief of staff at the outbreak of the war. Moltke’s deviations from the Schlieffen Plan, while at least partially justifiable, ensured the ultimate failure of the initial German offensive and thereby created the conditions that produced a long, stalemated war on the Western Front.

Nicholas II (1869–1918) Last of the Russian czars; his assumption of personal command of the Russian military sealed its doom. Nicholas abdicated after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and, with his family, was executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

Nicholas, Grand Duke (1856–1929) First overall commander of the Russian armies. After disasters at Tannenberg, Masurian Lakes, and Gorlice-Tarnow, he was relieved (in May 1915) by Czar Nicholas II, who assumed personal command of Russian forces.

Nivelle, Robert (1856–1924) French general who replaced Joffre as commander-in-chief at the end of 1916 and mounted a spectacularly unsuccessful offensive (Nivelle Offensive), so disastrous that it provoked widespread mutiny throughout the French army.

Pershing, John J. (“Black Jack”) (1860–1948) Commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Force. Pershing stressed thorough training and an offensive strategy; he successfully prevented the AEF from being frittered away piecemeal by desperate French and British allies. He was a great logistician and an inspiring leader.

Pétain, Henri Philippe (1856–1951) Rose from relative obscurity to share overall command of French forces with Ferdinand Foch. His defense of Verdun (“They shall not pass!”) made him a national hero. Tragically, history remembers Pétain more for his role as head of the Nazi-collaborationist puppet Vichy government of World War II than as a hero of World War I.

Poincaré, Raymond (1860–1934) President of France throughout World War I. Wielding significant power as a diplomat, he had almost no influence over the military and, toward the end of the war, yielded much of his authority to Premier Georges Clemenceau (who was France’s chief negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference).

Potiorek, Oskar (1853–1933) Austro-Hungarian general whose offensives against Serbia failed miserably, despite the great superiority of numbers he enjoyed.

Putnik, Radomir (1847–1917) Extremely capable commander of Serbian forces who successfully repulsed initial Austro-Hungarian invasions but was defeated by overwhelmingly superior forces late in 1915. He succumbed to disease.

Rawlinson, Henry S. (1864–1925) Highly capable British field commander under Douglas Haig who executed Haig’s ill-conceived frontal assault along the Somme in July 1916.

Rennenkampf, Pavel K. (1854–1918) Typically incompetent Russian general whose failure to coordinate his forces with those of Alexander Samsonov ensured the disastrous outcome of the Battle of Tannenberg. Rennenkampf suffered total defeat at the Battle of the Masurian Lakes. In 1918, he was asked by the Bolsheviks to assume command of the Red Army force in southern Russia. He refused and was summarily executed.

Richthofen, Manfred von (“Red Baron”) (1892–1918) German flier and most prolific ace of the war (with 80 confirmed kills). A legend among the Allies as well as the Central Powers, he was shot down in April 1918 and was buried by the British with full military honors.

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria (1869–1951) German field marshal who commanded the right wing of the army on the Western Front and was one of the toughest and most capable of German field commanders.

Samsonov, Alexander (1859–1914) Disastrously incompetent Russian general who led his army to terrible defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg. During the chaotic retreat from this battle, Samsonov committed suicide.

Sarrail, Maurice (1856–1929) French general with a quixotic socialist bent. He ineptly commanded the “Army of the Orient,” a multinational force based at Salonika (Greece) and operating in the Balkans. Sarrail was removed from command in December 1917.

Spee, Maximilian von (1861–1914) German admiral killed in an engagement with the British off Port Stanley, Falkland Islands.

Tirpitz, Alfred von (1849–1930) Architect of Germany’s prewar naval buildup and ardent advocate of unrestricted submarine warfare during the war.

Wilhelm II (1859–1941) Germany’s kaiser (emperor). During the war, he progressively yielded his authority to the military and, by 1917–1918, was essentially a puppet of Erich Ludendorff. Forced to abdicate on the day before the Armistice, he fled to Holland to avoid Allied prosecution as a war criminal.

Wilson, Woodrow (1856–1924) U.S. president carried to a second term on the slogan “He kept us out of war.” He struggled to maintain U.S. neutrality but was provoked to war by attacks on American shipping and by Germany’s attempt to enlist Mexico as an ally against the United States. His “Fourteen Points” became the idealistic basis for the otherwise merely punitive Treaty of Versailles. He championed creation of the League of Nations, which was repudiated by the U.S. Senate. Exhausted by his vain effort to gain popular approval of the League in the United States, he suffered a massive stroke and served out the balance of his second term as an invalid.