Richard von Conta

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Richard von Conta
German General Richard Heinrich Karl von Conta (WW1).jpg
Birth date 24 November 1856(1856-11-24)
Place of birth Tuchel,[1] Province of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
Death date 30 January 1941 (aged 84)
Place of death Frankfurt an der Oder, Gau March of Brandenburg, National Socialist Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch War and service flag of Prussia (1895–1918).png Prussian Army
Iron Cross of the Luftstreitkräfte.png Imperial German Army
Years of service 1874–1919
Rank General der Infanterie
Commands held 1st Division
IV Reserve Corps
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Pour le Mérite with Oak Leaves
House Order of Hohenzollern

Heinrich Karl Richard von Conta (24 November 1856–30 January 1941) was a German officer of the Prussian Army and of the Imperial German Army, at last General der Infanterie and Knight of the Order "Pour le Mérite" with Oak Leaves during World War I.

Life (chronology)

Richard von Conta and Otto von Garnier
Army commanders von Tannenberg, meeting 1924 in Königsberg, among them Wilhelm Heye, August von Mackensen and Paul von Hindenburg.
Grave (parents)
  • 23 July 1874 chargierter Fähnrich
    • coming from the cadet corps (Kadettenkorps) entering the 1. Westfälisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 13
    • serving at first in the 5th company (5. Kompanie) in Münster and Hamm
  • 12 October 1875 Sekonde-Lieutenant (at this time, his father was Oberst and Kommandant von Thorn)
    • 15 August 1878 adjutant of the 2nd battalion
  • 16 September 1885 Premier-Lieutenant
    • à la suite 37. Infanterie-Brigade
  • 27 January 1891 Hauptmann
    • commander of the 5th company/6. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 95 in Hildburghausen
    • commander of the 2th company/6. Thüringisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 95 in Gotha
    • adjutant of the XVI. Armeekorps in Metz (Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine), subordinated to the Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 98
  • 27 January 1898 Major
    • commander of the 1st battalion/Garde-Grenadier-Regiment Nr. 5 in Gotha
  • 15 September 1904 Oberstleutnant
    • in the staff of the Infanterie-Regiment „Kaiser Wilhelm” (2. Großherzoglich Hessisches) Nr. 116 in Gießen
  • 14 April 1907 Oberst
    • 21 May 1907 commander of the Füsilier-Regiment „von Gerdsdorff” (1. Kurhessisches) Nr. 80 in Wiesbaden
  • 20 March 1911 Generalmajor
    • commander of the 18. Infanterie-Brigade in Liegnitz
  • 1 January 1914 Generalleutnant


  • On 28 July 1914, Austro-Hungary declares war against Serbia. The full German Mobilisation Order was given by Erich von Falkenhayn (de), Minister of War, at 5 p.m. on August 2, Germany being the last of the four Great Continental Powers to mobilise.
    • 2 August 1914 1. Infanterie-Division as part of the 8. Armee
      • von Conta led his division as part of the I Corps and the 8th Army on the Eastern Front when World War I broke out. In August, he distinguished himself under General Hermann von François in the Battle of Tannenberg (de), specifically in the Battle of Usdau and in September 1914 in the First Battle of the Masurian Lakes. Between November 25 and 29, his division fought near Łódź and advanced towards Łowicz-Sanniki at the beginning of December 1914. At the turn of the year 1915 his division was in position in the Bolimow area on the Rawka-Bzura. In January 1915, Conta's division relocated to the Carpathian Front and served the South Army as a subordinate to General Alexander von Linsingen.
    • 20 July 1916 provisional commander of the Karpathenkorps
    • 7 August 1916 commander of the Karpathenkorps
    • 1 January 1918 commander of the IV. Reserve-Korps „Gruppe Conta” (redesignated from Karpathen-Korps)
  • 18 August 1918 General der Infanterie
    • 6 January 1919 retired / außer Dienst (a. D.)


Richard was born in 1856 as son of the later Prussian Generalmajor Karl (Carl) Richard von Conta (1821-1895)[2] and his wife Helene Cölestine Adelheid, née von Kahlden (1832-1893). He had six sisters and three brothers. His brother Alfred Bernhard Karl (1858–1927) also embarked on a military career and made it up to Generalleutnant, brother Georg Karl August (1865–1942) would become Major, the youngest brother Christian Eduard Eugen Walter (b. 20 September 1867 in Thorn) was senior governing council (Oberregierungsrat). Uncle Carl Bernhard von Conta (1816–1899) was also Prussian Generalleutnant and a veteran of the Prusso-Danish War, the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War.

Awards and decorations

  • Oldenburgischer Haus- und Verdienstorden des Herzogs Peter Friedrich Ludwig, Ritter II. Klasse (OV3b)
  • Herzoglich Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden, Ritterkreuz I. Klasse (HSEH3a/HSH3a)
  • Prussian Centenary Medal 1897 (Zentenarmedaille)
  • Red Eagle Order, 4th Class
  • Prussian Long Service Cross for 25 years (Königlich Preußisches Dienstauszeichnungskreuz)
  • Crown to the Red Eagle Order, 4th Class
  • Order of the Crown (Prussia), 3rd Class
  • Ehrenkreuz des Verdienstordens Philipps des Großmüthigen (HP3)
  • Red Eagle Order, 3rd Class with bow (mit der Schleife)
  • Order of the Crown (Prussia), 2nd Class
  • Red Eagle Order, 2nd Class with Oak Leaves
  • Star to the Order of the Crown (Prussia), 2nd Class
  • Iron Cross (1914), 2nd and 1st Class
  • House Order of Hohenzollern, Commander with Swords on 14 May 1915
  • Pour le Merite with Oak Leaves
    • Pour le Merite on 15 October 1916
    • Oak Leaves on 26 March 1918 (79th bestowal)
  • Order of the Crown (Prussia), 1st Class with Swords on the Ring in August 1918
  • Honour Cross of the World War 1914/1918


  1. The Tuchel district was a Prussian district in Germany that existed from 1875 to 1920
  2. Karl Richard von Conta