Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Albrecht von Stosch -- 5. GRzF / GGR Nr. 5


Ken S.
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm interested in biographical information pertaining to Albrect von Stosch, who authored the regimental histories for the 5. Garde-Regiment zu Fuss and the Grenandier-Garde-Regiment Nr. 5. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

The Ehrenrangliste 1914-18 has 12 Stosch's, 11 of them "von Stosch"s. First names are rarely included.

I have gone thru the entries for the two regiments you mentioned in the above source, and neither regiment had a "von Stosch" among its officers in mid-1914.

Looking in the 1914 Rangliste, no von Stosch was either an active duty officer or a reserve officer of either regiment.

So, unless he was an old ****, and had long transferred to the rolls of the Landwehr, von Stosch was not an officer veteran of either of the two regiments.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken,

If you read German, there's an article on von Stosch at German Wikipedia:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albrecht_von_Stosch

I'm a bit confused as to how a man who died in 1896 could write (or at least edit) regimental histories that supposedly cover up to 1918, but this is the man that those works are linked to at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek:

http://dispatch.opac.d-nb.de/DB=4.1/REL?PPN=11861875X

Another page with a different portrait, but not as much info is:

http://www.deutsche-schutzgebiete.de/stosch_albrecht.htm

I can't find much more about him on the Net.

If you don't read German, get back to us here!

Adrian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Bob

I am surprised that you missed out on this one. You had more information at your fingertips. Stosch worked for the Reichsarchiv after the war. A high proportion of the members of staff, probably the majority I believe, were former General Staff officers, because one of the ways the Reichswehr got around the banning of the staff was to employ retired high quality staff officers in the Reichsarchiv and to view them as clandestine source of expertise and a useful reserve.

If you look inside the one of the Schlachten des Weltkrieges series, you will find that either the entire volume was the work of a retired officer or, if it was written by a civilian, then he had one or more officers working with or for him.

As for Stosch, as well as writing regimental histories he also contributed work such as Volumes 20 and 21 of the Schlachten series. If you check those books, you will see that he was a retired Oberstleutnant and that during the war he had been a major and battalion commanding officer in IR 153 [Das Altenburger Regiment](8. Thueringisches Infanterie-Regiment 153)]. If you check out the history of IR 153 which is a good, detailed one, you will see that Stosch turns up as CO 2nd Bn from at least 1-16 Jul 16, on which date he was posted to the staff of the Ministry of War (even though IR 153 was engaged around Delville and High Woods until 30 Jul).

I am not certain when he assumed command. The staff list for Oct 15 has the CO as a cavalryman (Rittmeister von Biereck from Husaren-Regiment 10). By the following April the 2nd Bn seems to have been headed up by its deputy commander, Hauptmann Freiherr Grote who, I have a feeling, is the Hans Henning Freiherr Grote that wrote books after the war such as 'Somme'. On balance I suspect it happened some time in June 16.

It is clear from a reading of p 206 of the history that Stosch spent the early part of the war in the Ministry of War in some capacity. The entry for 15 Jul 16 states: '2nd Bn IR 153 with the remainder of the Machine Gun Company and commanded by Major von Stosch was called forward to the low ground to the north of Flers, there to act as brigade reserve. Already on 14 July an order had arrived, directing Major von Stosch to return to the Ministry of War. However, both he and the regiment were in complete agreement that a change in command just prior to a battle was to be avoided. As a result he commanded his battalion on 15th and 16th under the most difficult conditions in an a excellent manner, displaying great personal courage.'

What he actually did was to lead one part of a major assault on Delville Wood, but interestingly he had to break off his command - the history says with genuine regret on both sides - so, reading between the lines, it suggests that the Ministry sent another message saying that his posting was not a matter for discussion and the regiment had better release him pdq.

Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Jack!

Yes, just yesterday I sent a private e-mail to a Pal of the Forum pointing out how, when the Germans had to disband the General Staff and the Great General Staff, they collected the cream of the general staff officers and parked them in the Reichsarchiv, to form a nucleus of a future general staff. I was pointing out that as a reason why these histories are generally quite good, IMHO, the guys who wrote them were a very high grade of military intellectuals. For example, the guy who wrote the Schlachten volume on the siege of Antwerp was the General Staff officer who had a major role in directing the battle. (He incidentally also was probably the guy who my grand-father, who was the "Id" of the Generalkommando v. III. Reservekorps, directly reported to.)

There were, of course, all sorts of dodges to get, in a small way, about the restrictions of the Treaty of Versailles. At a fine level of detail, the small cell of the Schwartze Reichswehr that my father belonged to, in rural Brandenburg, had four 77 mm field guns and 1000 rounds for them hidden under the hay in a farmer's barn. The cell was a handful of men, but had quite an arsenal hidden away to keep the materiel away from the Allied commissions who were poking about Germany and be well-armed in case of a military move from the left. They had neat weapons like the Bergmann MP 18.

I looked in the two Ranglisten that I did as the first initial search which had the highest probability of "hitting paydirt" for the effort involved. I assumed that the author of histories of such units would have been a former officer of one of the regiments, as they usually are, and probably would have had active duty status with one of them. So such a search had a fair chance to find him, for a small effort. If he was one of the 11 von Stosch's in other postings I don't know how I could have picked him out. With Jack's additional info I probably could find him in the Ehrenrangliste.

Just looked into my 1906 Rangliste, and there was no von Stosch among the active or reserve officers of 5. Garde=Regiment zu Fuss, but I seem to have found him in Garde=Grenadier=Regiment Nr. 5, serving as an Oberleutnant and as the regimental adjutant, with the date of rank of 27. 1. 03. and the rank identifier of O3o. (Is there a precise name for that little identifier?) With this information he could be tracked forward and back in time through other Ranglisten u. Dienstalterslisten; if Ken wants me to do this I would be happy to do so; I have a fair but by no means complete set of these to poke through.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His status in the regiment is as of the effective date of the 1906 Rangliste, namely May 6, 1906. This is from the "long" Rangliste. Beware that other similar sources, like the "short" Ranglisten, have quite different effective dates within the year of the publication.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looked again in my 1914 Rangliste, at the 11 von Stosches, and on page 8 our guy pops up, as a captain in the Central Department of the Ministry of War.His DoR was 27. 1. 08. and his seniority ID was B7b.

Another von Stosch was in the Adjutantur of 22. Infanterie=Division, as a captain with a date of rank of 13. 9. 06. Probably not our guy.

It looks like von Stosch was no longer considered an officer of the Guards regiment seconded to the War Ministry (like many officers one sees in the Ranglisten), but rather now seperated from the regiment. I do not know the mechanics of these relationships and changes.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looked again in my 1914 Rangliste, at the 11 von Stosches, and on page 8 our guy pops up, as a captain in the Central Department of the Ministry of War.His DoR was 27. 1. 08. and his seniority ID was B7b.

Just looked in the 1912 Rangliste (again status as of 5/6/12), and the above von Stosch (same DoR and seniority ID) pops up as being the captain commanding the 11th Company of 5. Thueringisches Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 94 (Grossherzog von Sachsen). He interestingly is listed as possessing seven military decorations, probably reflecting having had diverse postings and possibly being on a promotional fast track. Only one of the other 11 company commanders had more medals (8), while many of them seem to be of a higher status as nobility and/or as sicons of famous families. Many only had 2-3 decorations.

Is Ken still with us?

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just looked in the 1912 Rangliste (again status as of 5/6/12), and the above von Stosch (same DoR and seniority ID) pops up as being the captain commanding the 11th Company of 5. Thueringisches Infanterie=Regiment Nr. 94 (Grossherzog von Sachsen). He interestingly is listed as possessing seven military decorations, probably reflecting having had diverse postings and possibly being on a promotional fast track. Only one of the other 11 company commanders had more medals (8), while many of them seem to be of a higher status as nobility and/or as sicons of famous families. Many only had 2-3 decorations.

Is Ken still with us?

Bob Lembke

Yes, I'm still here. This is all very interesting information, and I appreciate that you and Jack have taken the time to respond in such detail. It's quite more than I was expecting. I am hoping, however, that it can be established when von Stosch passed away.

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I'm still here. This is all very interesting information, and I appreciate that you and Jack have taken the time to respond in such detail. It's quite more than I was expecting. I am hoping, however, that it can be established when von Stosch passed away.

Ken

If he died before 1926, it will be in the Ehrenrangliste 1914-1918, which I will consult, as Jack's help will now allow me to identify him in that source. (Remember, it contained 11 "von Stosch"s) If after that, I do not have a source.

Do you want additional material on his earlier career, say, as a young officer? Postings, commands, dates of rank, etc.?

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

As you may know, the Germans, in a military context, were very adverse to actually mention a soldier's first name, so it is sometimes hard to sort out these things. But Jack's input has "cracked the code."

Looking into the Ehrenrangliste 1914-1918 again, page 3, at the outbreak of the war "our" von Stosch was one of the three officers listed as comprising the Central Department of the Ministry of War. He was a major at that time. It mentions that he later was the Commander of Infantry Regiment Nr. 443 (a war-time creation), retired as an Oberstleutnant aus Dienst, and was still alive in 1926, when the book was published.

I do not have any other resources that could track his post-1918 career, but I could winkle out some more earlier detail, if you are interested.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

As you may know, the Germans, in a military context, were very adverse to actually mention a soldier's first name, so it is sometimes hard to sort out these things. But Jack's input has "cracked the code."

Looking into the Ehrenrangliste 1914-1918 again, page 3, at the outbreak of the war "our" von Stosch was one of the three officers listed as comprising the Central Department of the Ministry of War. He was a major at that time. It mentions that he later was the Commander of Infantry Regiment Nr. 443 (a war-time creation), retired as an Oberstleutnant aus Dienst, and was still alive in 1926, when the book was published.

I do not have any other resources that could track his post-1918 career, but I could winkle out some more earlier detail, if you are interested.

Bob Lembke

Bob, I very much appreciate your continued assistance; while I would be happy to know of other details of his life and service, at the moment I really would most of all like to know is when (and where) he died (and for that matter, the same for his birth).

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the type of references I have I can't figure out a date of death of an officer after 1926. I could find his probable birth year within a couple of years; there were several ways of becoming an officer, leading to his first unit posting at somewhat different ages. The situation for drafted enlisted men was simpler.

Have heavy duty in another vineyard for a few days, then take a run at some earlier data; his early postings.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is what I found in the 1900 Rangliste (situation as of May 7, 1900).

Page 134, "our" guy is serving in the Garde=Grenadier=Regiment Nr. 5., based as Spandau, one of 17 lieutenants, 5th from the top in seniority of Date of Rank (unfortunately not given in this earlier Rangliste; this is often useful in research). Every one of the 17 lts., 9 first lts., 8 captains, 2 majors, and one colonel is a "von". However, he is the only one of the 17 lts. who has a medal, and it is an Austrian Golden Service Cross, not a German decoration. Must be a story here.

All of the three regimental doctors and two paymasters were not "vons", but all of them aside from the youngest doctor had one or more medals. They were,I am sure, older than the lieutenants.

Von Stosch was the Adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the regiment.

Found three other von Stosch's in the Rangliste; one was one of the two chaplains of the 5th Division, my family's traditional unit of service, HQed in Frankfurt am Oder, part of the III. Armeekorps, the famed Brandenburgers.

The other two (page 147) were both lieutenants in the Colbergsches Grenadier=Regiment Graf Gneisenau (2. Pommersches) Nr. 9.. The probably older, Lt. Kurt von Stosch (when there were two officers in the same regiment with the same last name, their first names were begrudgingly given), who was the Regimental Adjutant, while Lt. Wilhelm von Stosch, 12th from the top in seniority, among 27 lieutenants (10 were not "vons"), was the Adjutant of the 1st Battalion of the regiment. None of the 27 lts. and only one of the 11 1st. lts. had a medal, and he was the 1st lt. with the highest seniority, and was not just a "von", but a Freiherr of a famous old noble family.

This regiment was not a Guards regiment, but an old and high-status unit.

We can assume that these two von Stosch's were brothers or other relatives. We see these guys in the later Ranglisten. I mention them possibly so that no one mistakes them for "our" von Stosch.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

Looked in the 1898 Rangliste, and von Stosch was a lieutenant in his regiment, Garde=Grenadier Nr. 5, and seemingly a Zug leader in the 1. Kompagnie. He had his Austrian medal. This is as of may 1, 1898.

Looking in the 1897 Rangliste (May 4, 1897), he is in the regiment, and is in the 2nd. Company, also presumably a Zug leader. However, since there is a second von Stosch in the regiment this year, we have his ("our") first name, Albrecht.

A lieutenant with less seniority, Alexander von Stosch, is in the 7th Company, also presumably a Zug=Fuehrer.

Almost certainly brothers or other relatives.

At this time the two other von Stosch's are still in the Grenadier=Regiment Nr. 9, so Alexander is not one of them. Going back to 1898, he seems to have left the army completely. There is a von Stosch in the 3. Garde=Regiment zu Fuss, but he is a captain with high seniority, so could not be Alexander. He also was not a reserve officer.

The only earlier Rangliste that I have is 1888, which should not have "our guy".

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ken;

Looked in the 1898 Rangliste, and von Stosch was a lieutenant in his regiment, Garde=Grenadier Nr. 5, and seemingly a Zug leader in the 1. Kompagnie. He had his Austrian medal. This is as of may 1, 1898.

Looking in the 1897 Rangliste (May 4, 1897), he is in the regiment, and is in the 2nd. Company, also presumably a Zug leader. However, since there is a second von Stosch in the regiment this year, we have his ("our") first name, Albrecht.

A lieutenant with less seniority, Alexander von Stosch, is in the 7th Company, also presumably a Zug=Fuehrer.

Almost certainly brothers or other relatives.

At this time the two other von Stosch's are still in the Grenadier=Regiment Nr. 9, so Alexander is not one of them. Going back to 1898, he seems to have left the army completely. There is a von Stosch in the 3. Garde=Regiment zu Fuss, but he is a captain with high seniority, so could not be Alexander. He also was not a reserve officer.

The only earlier Rangliste that I have is 1888, which should not have "our guy".

Bob Lembke

Bob, again I have to say I really appreciate your assistance with this. I was wondering if you have the time or inclination to track down another officer, by the name of Budding, who was supposedly a "prominent officer in the German Army". I found a blurb about him in a newspaper which claims that he left his farm in Canada at the start of the war and managed to get back to Germany. Just curious who he was, or if he even existed.

Many thanks,

Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit confused as to how a man who died in 1896 could write (or at least edit) regimental histories that supposedly cover up to 1918, but this is the man that those works are linked to at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek:

Hi, Adrian;

Clearly the cataloging is incorrect, and links 5-6 books written with another man (possibly the father or uncle) written 20-30 years after the first Albrecht died. Interesting family, probably.

Ken;

I could take a look in a few days; big tax crunch underway. It is hard to find anything on the bulk of WW I officers. If he was a "prominent officer", perhaps, but I think that that description might be "gilding the lily", so to speak. I think there were 235,000 officers in the German WW I Army, and most were Reserve officers, or possibly one of the odd hybred ranks (Feldwebel=Leutnant, Offizier=Stellvertreiter, usw.), and usually can't be found in the available reference materials, which generally only cover regular officers, or reserve officers who had previously been regular officers.

Bob Lembke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...