Georg Alexander von Müller

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Georg Alexander von Müller
Admiral Georg von Müller.png
Admiral Georg Alexander von Müller
Birth date 24 March 1854(1854-03-24)
Place of birth Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony, German Confederation
Death date 18 April 1940 (aged 86)
Place of death Hangelsberg
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch  Kaiserliche Marine
Years of service 1871–1919
Rank Admiral
Commands held Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet (Chef des Marine-Kabinetts)
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Pour le Mérite

Georg Alexander Müller, since 1900 von Müller (b. 24 March 1854 in Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony, German Empire; d. 18 April 1940 in Hangelsberg, Brandenburg, German Reich), was a German officer of the Imperial German Navy, finally Admiral and Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet in WWI.

Life

The admiral's son Hauptmann a. D. Dr. Sven von Müller with his wife Mady, 1931
Müller joined the Imperial Navy in 1871 and served in many different positions, including commander of a gunboat in East Asia, then officer on the staff of Prince Heinrich of Prussia. He was Adjutant from 1904 to Kaiser Wilhelm II. In 1906 he succeeded Gustav von Senden-Bibran as Chief of the German Imperial Naval Cabinet, serving until the end of the German Empire in 1918. By the start of World War I he had become an ally of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg in his attempts to control and moderate the Kaiser's actions. As one of the Kaiser's principal military decision makers in the run-up to the First World War, he was more of a pro-war opinion than not. During the October 1911 Second Moroccan Crisis, he told the Kaiser that "there are worse things than war." He saw a coming racial war in which the German race must be upheld against the Slav and Roman races.[1] He was serving in this position at the start of World War I. On 30 August the Kaiser named his brother Grossadmiral Prince Heinrich of Prussia as commander of the Baltic Sea Squadron (Oberfelshaber der Ostseestreikraefte). Müller advised against this as the Prince had held the largely ceremonial post of Navy Inspector General and was not really qualified for the post. The Kaiser agreed but saw the Baltic theater as not critical and intended to give his brother a capable staff. Only a few days later, Müller objected the mining by Prince Heinrich’s forces on 5 August of an area of Danish territorial waters, thus treating Danish neutrality. Finally, after it was reported that Heinrich had lost his nerve at the prospect of battle with the Russians, other arrangements were made on 9 October 1914 to keep him from commanding any important actions. Once war was declared with Britain in the early days of August 1914, he agreed with the Kaiser in favoring only a limited guerrilla war against Britain, with no use of capital ships, in order to allow a negotiated peace once France and Russia were defeated. As the war progressed and the Kaiser withdrew into a sheltered life at Imperial Headquarters in an atmosphere of "fear of the world and flight from reality", Müller worked with Generaloberst Moriz von Lyncker at great lengths to persuade the Kaiser to spend more time on the business of the government in Berlin. Lyncker and Müller had long realized Wilhelm II’s lack of effective leadership, but hoped to protect the institution of the monarchy from a revolution in Germany. Nor did they want reforms that would turn Germany into a constitutional monarchy because Germany's greatness rested on its semi-absolutist constitution and royal prerogative. For them the Kaiser had to fulfill his symbolic purpose through occasional appearances in public but not be trusted with real responsibility for decision-making. Finally, by October 1918, he had decided that the Kaiser should abdicate to save the monarchy. In January 1917 he acquiesced to the decision for the implementation of unrestricted U-boat warfare on the basis of Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff's memorandum during Pless Conference on 9 January 1917. In his memoirs, he dealt intensively with the personality of Wilhelm II.[2]

Who's Who

Admiral Georg von Muller (1854-1940) served as Kaiser Wilhelm II's Chief of the Naval Cabinet from 1906-18. Muller joined the navy in 1871 and became a protégé of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the ambitious Naval Minister, although Muller proved more receptive to notions of reform than Tirpitz. Having been adjutant to both the Kaiser and to Prince Heinrich, Muller enjoyed close relations with the Kaiser. His appointment as Chief of the Naval Cabinet in 1906 gave Muller an unusual degree of influence over naval policy, since all naval documents had to pass through Muller before reaching the Kaiser. Muller shared the Kaiser's disinclination to risk the German High Seas Fleet in action against Britain's Royal Navy, a view that was of critical importance in determining naval strategy during the ensuing First World War. Similarly Muller was opposed to Tirpitz's sponsorship of a policy of unrestricted naval warfare, well aware of the effect such a policy would have upon the neutral powers. Muller's attitude over this matter in particular served to engender enmity in his former mentor Tirpitz. However the Kaiser's decision to authorise unrestricted submarine warfare in January 1917 brought about a likewise change of heart in Muller. Taking the Kaiser's cue he set about attempting to persuade German Chancellor Theobald von Bethman-Hollweg of the merits of the new policy. However his volte-face over the issue, extreme as it was, served merely to weaken Muller's credibility in both military and political quarters, although he retained the support of the Kaiser himself. The increasing power of Hindenburg and Ludendorff's Third Supreme Command led to the marginalisation of Muller's (and the Kaiser's) influence. He was formally retired upon Reinhard Scheer's appointment as Supreme Naval Commander in August 1918, and was scheduled to be replaced by Adolf von Trotha before revolution engulfed Germany in November that year. Muller's war diaries were subsequently translated and published in English. He died in 1940.[3]

Family

Georg was the son of the Saxon tenant farmer's son Prof. Dr. phil. Alexander Müller (1828–1906)[4] and his wife, the pastor's daughter Clara Therese, née Kurzwelly (1830–1898). His father was first a chemistry teacher at the trade school in Chemnitz, then later a professor of agricultural chemistry at the Agricultural Academy in Stockholm and the owner of the Stensjöholm estate near Ryssby (Sweden). His brother was the well-known landscape painter Prof. Dr. phil. Konrad Müller-Kurzwelly (1855–1914). His maternal grandfather was Lieutenant Colonel Erich von Monbart (1836–1907) from Benrath.

Marriage

Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant) Müller married on 26 November 1889 in Küstrin his fiancée Elisabeth Julie Nanny Luise von Monbart (b. 24 June 1868 in Heiligenstadt),[5] sister of female writer Helene Kessler, née von Monbart (pseudonym: Hans von Kahlenberg). The marriage produced three children:

Promotions (day/month/year)

Admiral Georg von Müller II.gif
  • 31.5.1871 Kadett (Crew 71)
  • 19.9.1972 Seekadett
  • 19.12.1874 Unterleutnant zur See
  • 13.8.1878 Leutnant zur See
  • 22.3.1886 Kapitänleutnant
    • 1.4.1889 bis 30.9.1891 zum Marinekabinett (Naval Cabinet) kommandiert
    • April 1900 bis 1902 Abteilungsvorstand im Marinekabinett
  • 19.6.1893 Korvettenkapitän mit Patent vom 19.5.1893
  • 12.4.1897 Fregattenkapitän
    • seit der Rangliste 1898 mit dem Rang als Oberstleutnant
  • 22.3.1899 Kapitän zur See
    • 27.1.1902 Flügeladjutant
    • 17.9.1904 bis 27.5.1906 diensttuender Flügeladjutant
  • 27.1.1905 Konter-Admiral
    • Diensttuender Admiral à la suite Seiner Majestät des Kaisers und Königs
    • 28.5./8.7.1906 bis 29.10.1918 Chef des Marinekabinetts
  • 17.9.1907 Vize-Admiral
  • 29.8.1910 Admiral
    • 29.8.1910 Vortragender Generaladjutant (Reporting Adjutant General) to Kaiser Wilhelm II

Awards and decorations

  • Friedrichs-Orden, Ritter I. Klasse (WF3a)
  • Rettungsmedaille am Band
  • Wasa-Orden, Ritterkreuz (SW3)
    • 1893/94 renamed in Ritterkreuz I. Klasse (SW3a)
  • Orden der Eisernen Krone (Österreich), Ritter III. Klasse (ÖEK3)
  • Roter Adlerorden, IV. Klasse
  • Preußisches Dienstauszeichnungskreuz
  • Krone zum Roten Adlerorden IV. Klasse
  • Preußischer Kronenorden, III. Klasse
  • Albrechts-Orden, Offizierkreuz (SA3)
  • Verdienstorden Philipps des Großmütigen, Ritterkreuz I. Klasse mit der Krone (GHVP3amKr/HP3amKr)
  • Orden Heinrichs des Löwen, Komtur II. Klasse (BrHL2b/BrH2b)
  • Sankt-Stanislaus-Orden, II. Klasse (RSt2)
  • Zentenarmedaille, 1897
  • House Order of Hohenzollern (Königlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern), Ritterkreuz
  • Orden der Württembergischen Krone, Ehrenritterkreuz (WK2c)
  • Orden vom Doppelten Drachen, II. Klasse, 2. Stufe (CD2b/CDII.2)
  • St.-Annen-Orden, II. Klasse (RA2)
  • Roter Adlerorden, III. Klasse mit der Schleife und der Krone
  • Orden der Aufgehenden Sonne, III. Klasse (JVAS3/JV3)
  • Orden des Heiligen Schatzes, Kommandeurkreuz (JZ3)
  • Stern zum Sankt-Stanislaus-Orden II. Klasse (RSt2mSt)
  • Weißer Elefantenorden (Siam), Großoffizierkreuz (SEO2/SE2)
  • Brillanten zum St.-Annen-Orden II. Klasse (RA2mBr)
  • Preußischer Kronenorden, II. Klasse
  • Albrechts-Orden, Komturkreuz II. Klasse (SA2b)
  • Orden der Krone von Italien, Großoffizier (JK2)
  • Roter Adlerorden, II. Klasse mit Eichenlaub und der Krone
  • Orden vom Zähringer Löwen, Komturkreuz I. Klasse (BZ2a)
  • Lippischer Hausorden, Ehrenkreuz I. Klasse (LDH1)
  • Greifen-Orden, Großkomturkreuz (MG2a)
  • Oldenburgischer Haus- und Verdienstorden des Herzogs Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Ehren-Großkomturkreuz (OV2a)
  • Orden der Württembergischen Krone, Kommenturkreuz (WK2b)
  • Erlöser-Orden, Großkommandeurkreuz (GE2a)
  • Königlicher Viktoria-Orden, Kommandeur (GV3)
  • Orden der Krone von Italien, Großkreuz (JK1/ItKr1)
  • Orden unserer Lieben Frau zur Empfängnis von Villa Vicosa, Großkreuz (PVV1/PV1)
  • Schwertorden, Kommandeur I. Klasse (SS2a) am 19. Juli 1905
  • Orden für Verdienste zur See (Spanien), IV. Klasse bzw. Großkreuz (SMK4)
  • Erinnerungszeichen zur Silbernen Hochzeit 1906
  • Königlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern, Komturkreuz
  • Orden des heiligen Olav, Großkreuz (NO1)
  • Stern zum Preußischen Kronenorden II. Klasse
  • Orden vom Zähringer Löwen, Großkreuz (BZ1)
  • Verdienstorden Philipps des Großmütigen, Großkreuz (HP1)
  • Danebrogorden, Großkreuz (DD1) am 3. Juli 1907
  • Königlicher Viktoria-Orden, Großkreuz (GV1)
  • Orden von Oranien-Nassau, Großkreuz (NN1)
  • Sankt-Stanislaus-Orden, I. Klasse (RSt1)
  • Stern zum Roten Adlerorden II. Klasse mit Eichenlaub und der Krone
  • Militärverdienstorden (Bayern), II. Klasse mit Stern (BMV2mSt)
  • Oldenburgischer Haus- und Verdienstorden des Herzogs Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Ehren-Großkreuz (OV1)
  • Albrechts-Orden, Großkreuz (SA1)
  • Erlöser-Orden, Großkreuz (GE1)
  • Orden des Heiligen Schatzes, I. Klasse (JZ1)
  • Ritterorden der hl. Mauritius und Lazarus, Großkreuz (JM1)
  • Orden der Eisernen Krone (Österreich), Ritter I. Klasse (ÖEK1)
  • Schwertorden, Großkreuz (SS1) am 6. Juni 1908
  • Osmanie-Orden, I. Klasse (TO1)
  • Preußischer Kronenorden (Order of the Crown of Prussia), I. Klasse
  • Sankt-Annen-Orden, I. Klasse (RA1)
  • Friedrichs-Orden, Großkreuz mit der Krone (WF1mKr)
  • Kronenorden (Belgien), Großkreuz (BKO1)
  • Kaiserlich-Königlicher Orden vom Weißen Adler (RWA)
  • Roter Adlerorden, I. Klasse mit Eichenlaub und der Krone
  • Königlicher Hausorden von Hohenzollern, Stern der Komture
  • Militärverdienstorden (Bayern), I. Klasse (BMV1)
  • Großkreuz des Roten Adlerordens mit Eichenlaub und der Krone (Grand Cross of the Order of the Red Eagle with Oak Leaves with the Crown)
  • Eisernes Kreuz (1914) II. und I. Klasse
  • Großkomtur des Königlichen Hausordens von Hohenzollern mit Schwerten
  • Fürstlich Hohenzollern'sches Ehrenzeichen, Ehrenkreuz I. Klasse mit Schwertern (HEK1⚔)
  • Orden Berthold des Ersten, Großkreuz mit Schwertern (BBI1⚔)
  • Militärverdienstorden (Bayern), Großkreuz mit Schwertern (BMV.G.Kr⚔)
  • Hanseatenkreuz Hamburg
  • Lippisches Kriegsverdienstkreuz (LKr)
  • Friedrich-August-Kreuz, I. Klasse (OFA1)
  • Grand Cross of the Saxon Albert Order (Albrechts-Orden) with the golden Star and Swords (mit goldenem Stern und Schwertern; SA1mgSt⚔)
  • Kreuz für treue Dienste (SLK)
  • Großkreuz des Ordens der Württembergischen Krone mit Schwertern (WK1⚔)
  • Großkreuz des Friedrichs-Ordens mit Krone (WF1mKr)
  • Schwarzer Adlerorden[6] (Order of the Black Eagle) on 1 August 1916
  • Pour le Mérite on 24 March 1918
  • Ehrenkreuz für Frontkämpfer

Works

  • The Kaiser and His Court: The Diaries Note Books and Letters of Admiral Georg Alexander Von Muller Chief of the Naval Cabinet 1914–1918; Harcourt Brace and World (1964).

External links

References

  1. Helmuth von Moltke and the origins of the First World War by Annika Mombauer; Cambridge University Press, 2001, 325 pages. pp. 122, 153.
  2. Georg Alexander von Müller, military-history.fandom.com
  3. Who's Who - Georg von Muller
  4. Müller, Georg Alexander von (preußischer Adel 1900), in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 18 (1997), pp. 391–392
  5. Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Briefadeligen Häuser, 1917, p. 606
  6. Rangliste der Kaiserlich Deutschen Marine für das Jahr 1918. Hrsg.: Marine-Kabinett. E.S. Mittler & Sohn Verlag. Berlin 1918, p. 6.