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Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg

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Albrecht von Württemberg
Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg circa 1905
Duke Albrecht, ca. 1905
Native name
Albrecht Herzog von Württemberg
Born(1865-12-23)23 December 1865
Vienna, Austrian Empire
Died31 October 1939(1939-10-31) (aged 73)
Altshausen, Germany
Allegiance German Empire
Service/branch Imperial German Army
Years of service1883–1919
Commands heldGerman 4th Army (1914–1917)
Army Group Albrecht (1917–1918)
BattlesFirst World War
Spouse(s)Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria

Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg (German: Albrecht Herzog von Württemberg Albrecht Maria Alexander Philipp Joseph von Württemberg, 23 December 1865 – 31 October 1939) was the last Württemberger crown prince, German military commander of the First World War, and head of the House of Württemberg from 1921 to his death in 1939.

Early life

Duke Albrecht was born on 23 December 1865 in Vienna as the eldest child of Duke Philipp of Württemberg and his wife Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, daughter of Archduke Albert, Duke of Teschen.[1]

Albrecht entered the armies of the Kingdom of Württemberg and the German Empire in 1883 and rose quickly through its ranks and became the heir apparent to the throne of Württemberg.[1]

In 1910, Albrecht attended the funeral of King Edward VII.[2][3]

World War I

When World War I began, Duke Albrecht's VI Inspectorate Corps was formed into the 4th Army,[4] 123 battalions strong. As King William II had no sons, Albrecht was appointed the army's commander and assigned to the Ardennes, with Walther von Lüttwitz serving as his Chief of Staff. This army he led to victory alongside Crown Prince Wilhelm's 5th Army at the Battle of the Ardennes in August 1914. Following this victory, the 4th Army saw action in the First Battle of the Marne before being transferred to Flanders in October, where Duke Albrecht commanded them during the Battle of the Yser. Duke Albrecht also commanded the German forces during the Second Battle of Ypres, where poison gas was used on a large scale for the first time.[5]

Duke Albrecht was awarded the Pour le Mérite in August 1915 and was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall in August 1916. The newly formed Army Group Albrecht was placed under his command in February 1917 and he was responsible for the southern sector of the Western Front until the Armistice.


Duke Albrecht had become heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Württemberg following the death of his father in October 1917, but, following the German Empire's World War I defeat and the abdication of his cousin King Willhelm II of Württemberg following the German Revolution, he never succeeded to the throne. He became head of the House of Württemberg on the death of Wilhelm on October 2, 1921.

Duke Albrecht died at Altshausen Castle on October 29, 1939. His son Duke Philipp Albrecht succeeded him as head of the House of Württemberg.


Margaretha Sophie.jpg

Duke Albrecht was married in Vienna on 24 January 1893 to Archduchess Margarete Sophie of Austria,[6] a daughter of Archduke Carl Ludwig. They had seven children:


Decorations and awards


  1. ^ a b c Pawly 2003, p. 30.
  2. ^ Tuchman 2014, p. 16.
  3. ^ Hopkins 1910, p. 372.
  4. ^ Pawly 2003, p. 11.
  5. ^ Zabecki 2014, p. 1504.
  6. ^ born 13 May 1870 in Artstetten Castle; died 24 August 1902 in Gmunden.
  7. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36043). London. 19 January 1900. p. 7.


External links

Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg
Born: 23 December 1865 Died: 31 October 1939
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Wilhelm II
King of Württemberg
2 October 1921 – 31 October 1939
Reason for succession failure:
Kingdom abolished in 1918
Succeeded by
Duke Philipp Albrecht
Military offices
Preceded by
Formed from VI Army Inspectorate
(VI. Armee-Inspektion)
Commander, 4th Army
2 August 1914 – 25 February 1917
Succeeded by
General der Infanterie Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin