Walter of Loë

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Friedrich Karl Walther Degenhard Freiherr von Loë (born September 9, 1828 at Allner Palace in Hennef (Sieg) , † July 6, 1908 in Bonn ) was a Prussian field marshal and adjutant general of the King of Prussia and the German Emperor .


Walther came from the old, Catholic, imperial baronial, Westphalian noble family of Loë . His father was Maximilian von Loë (1801-1850), Prussian chamberlain and district administrator of the Siegkreis , his mother Helene, née Countess von Hatzfeldt-Schönstein (1801-1838).

Military career

In his youth Loë attended the knight academy in Bedburg , which had been founded with the help of his father. In 1845 Loë had served as a one-year volunteer with the 5th Uhlans in Düsseldorf and was able to transfer to the reserve . After graduating from high school in Bedburg, he studied law at the University of Bonn in 1846/48 and joined the Corps Borussia Bonn . His studies were interrupted by the chaos of war.

In March 1848 he joined the 2nd Dragoons Regiment of the Schleswig-Holstein Army as a Second Lieutenant , where he took part in battles near Schleswig , Düppel and Hadersleben as part of the Schleswig-Holstein Uprising . On September 12, 1848, he left his service in Holstein.

In mid-January 1849 Loë was employed in the 3rd Hussar Regiment of the Prussian Army and in 1849 first took part in the suppression of the Dresden May uprising and then in the course of the campaign in Baden to suppress the rebels in the battles in Ladenburg , Ubstadt , Steinmauern and Kuppenheim . Here he met the Prince of Prussia, who later became Kaiser Wilhelm I , to whom he remained connected throughout his life.

In 1850 he was assigned to the Prussian embassy in Paris for one year . Here he was able to experience the coup d'état Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte up close . After his return from France, Loë became adjutant of the Schwedt military riding school in 1853 and, on February 22, 1855, adjutant of the 2nd division . He was released from this command on September 18, 1855 and then attended the General War School in Berlin by September 30, 1857 . In the meantime, he was promoted to Prime Lieutenant on September 5, 1857 . As such, Loë was then commanded on January 9, 1858 as an adjutant to the General Government of the Rhine Province and Westphalia . With the relocation of the Prince Regent's seat to Berlin, he was added to the 7th Hussar Regiment as Rittmeister and appointed personal adjutant to Wilhelm.

On October 18, 1858, Loë became major and on January 7, 1861, he became a wing adjutant of King Wilhelm I. In 1862, he accompanied Prince Albrecht , Wilhelm's brother, on the campaign in the Caucasus . After his return in 1863 he was delegated to Paris as a military attaché , from where he went to Algeria in 1864 to take part in the fighting against the Kabyle . Further steps in his military career were the promotion to lieutenant colonel and the transfer to the headquarters on June 8, 1866. In this capacity Loë took part in the battle of Königgrätz during the war against Austria in the same year .

On March 5, 1867, Loë was commander of the King's Hussar Regiment (1st Rheinisches) No. 7 in Bonn and as such was promoted to colonel on March 22, 1868 . He led this regiment in 1870/71 during the war against France in the battles of Gravelotte , Amiens , the Hallue , Bapaume and Saint-Quentin and the siege of Metz . Awarded both classes of the Iron Cross , Loë was appointed commander of the 21st Cavalry Brigade after the peace treaty on May 23, 1871 .

On March 31, 1872 he joined the 3rd Guards Cavalry Brigade in the same capacity . After being promoted to major general on March 22, 1873 and appointed general à la suite to His Majesty on August 19, 1876, he became commander of the 5th division on May 13, 1879 and then lieutenant general in June 1879 . On September 18, 1880, he took over the function of adjutant general while remaining in his position as division commander. On January 12, 1884, he was initially assigned to lead the VIII Army Corps and on April 22, 1884, he was appointed Commanding General . On April 18, 1886, he was promoted to general of the cavalry . After he was in February 1893 with a diplomatic assignment to Pope Leo XIII. had been entrusted, he was appointed Colonel General of the Cavalry with the rank of General Field Marshal on September 8, 1895 and Commander-in-Chief of the Marches and Governor of Berlin .

Loë said goodbye on April 28, 1897 at his own request, as he was seriously ill. However, he remained in his position as adjutant general. In 1900 Loë was sent again on a diplomatic mission. With his appointment to the Prussian mansion for life , the king expressed his special confidence in the baron.

Loë was appointed Field Marshal General on January 1, 1905. In April 1907 Loë celebrated his 60th military anniversary in Bonn. Many great personalities brought their congratulations, including the Emperor, Prince and Princess Schaumburg-Lippe, the commanding generals von Deindes and Plötz, the regimental commanders of the VIII Army Corps, the Lord Mayor and many former senior officers.

He died on July 6, 1908 at around 11 p.m. in Bonn, of complications from a lung catarrh.

Political stance and role

Apart from members of the ruling princely houses, Loë was the only Catholic who achieved the rank of field marshal and royal adjutant general in the Prussian army during the empire . This, as well as his extensive relationship with the Hatzfeldt-Trachenberg family , brought him, since the 1970s , especially during the Kulturkampf , in opposition to the politics of Reich Chancellor Prince Bismarck , who, among other things, was involved in the affair of the marriage of his son Herbert with Loë's sister-in-law, the Princess Carolath-Bytom , took an abrupt negative position in the 1881st

Despite his Catholic faith, Loë was a staunch supporter of the duel among officers, which particularly underscored his loyalty to the Orthodox conventions of Protestant Prussian officers - especially at a time when Prussian officers of the Catholic faith repeatedly got into conflicts of authority when they refused, to duel for mercy.


Loë married Franziska, widowed von Nimptsch , née Countess von Hatzfeldt-Trachenberg (1833–1922) on May 24, 1859 . From this marriage three children, Helene and the twins Margarethe and Hubert emerged. Franziska also brought three children, Hermann, Guido and Maria Magdalena, with her from her first marriage to Paul von Nimptsch. His sister-in-law was Elisabeth zu Carolath-Beuthen , his step-sister-in-law Marie von Schleinitz . His brother was the member of the Reichstag, Otto von Loë .


In 1897 Loë became an honorary citizen of Bonn . On July 8, 1908, Loë was appointed Doctor honoris causa by the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität . For his services he also received numerous medals and decorations . These include u. a.

In Bonn, a street in the southern part of the city ​​is named after Walter von Loë: Loestrasse between Bonner Talweg and Prinz-Albert-Strasse .


Web links

Newspaper articles

Loë has been recognized in numerous newspaper articles, for example in the following newspapers:


  • Gräflich von Loë'sche Archiv, estate of Walther Freiherr von Loë

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bernhard von Bülow : Memorabilia. Vol. 4, Berlin 1931, pp. 252ff. and Harry Graf Kessler : Faces and Times. Frankfurt am Main 1962, p. 203.
  2. Cf. the relevant example of the three Count Schmising-Kerssenbrock, who were released on foot from the 1st Guard Regiment in 1864 because of this attitude, in: Ute Frevert : Ehrenmänner. The duel in civil society. Munich 1991, p. 111f.
  3. Honorary Citizen of the City of Bonn ( Memento of the original dated December 3, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Loestrasse in the Bonn street cadastre