Paul von Ploetz (General)

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Ludwig Gustav Paul von Ploetz (born 21 August 1847 in Breslau; † 26 December 1930 in Wiesbaden) was a Prussian infantry general and politician.



Paul came from an old Pomeranian noble family, which came with Roloff de Plocech in 1290 after the sale of Lüdershagen to the city of Stralsund from the principality of Rügen to Hinterpommern. He was the son of the Prussian Colonel Theodor von Ploetz († 1887), last Brigadier of the 8th Gendarmerie Brigade, and his wife Amalie, née von Gellhorn († 1857).

Military career

Ploetz was transferred from the Cadet Corps on April 18, 1865, as a characterized ensign to the East Prussian Fusilier Regiment No. 33 at Cologne. On January 11, 1866, he received the patent to his rank, and in the same year took part in the battles of Münchengrätz and Königgrätz during the war against Austria. His promotion to second lieutenant followed on 20 July 1866, and as such Ploetz was adjutant of the I Battalion from 1 November 1868. In this position he also took part in the war against France in 1870/71 and was engaged in the battles around Gravelotte, Amiens, at the Hallue, at Bapaume and Saint-Quentin. He also took part in the siege of Metz and was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross.

After the Emperor’s Proclamation in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, Ploetz was appointed regimental adjutant on 1 February 1871 and promoted to premier lieutenant on 10 February 1872. As such he was commanded to the 7th Infantry Brigade from 13 June 1876, and here acted as adjutant. Leaving him in this command, Ploetz was transferred to the 1st Magdeburg Infantry Regiment No. 26 on 17 October 1876. After his promotion to captain, he served from March 1879 to mid-July 1885 as company commander in the grenadier regiment “König Friedrich Wilhelm IV.” (1st Pomeranian) No. 2 and was then commanded as adjutant to the General Command of the IX Army Corps.

As his military career progressed, Ploetz was transferred to the War Department as department chief on April 5, 1895, and here he was promoted to colonel on May 13, 1895. From 17 December 1896 to 11 August 1898, he acted as commander of the Queen Elisabeth Guard Grenadier Regiment No. 3 and was then ordered to Darmstadt to replace the commander of the 49th Infantry Brigade (1st Grand Ducal Hessian), who was on leave. He was then initially assigned to command this large unit on August 18, 1898, and appointed Ploetz commander of this brigade upon promotion to major general on November 25, 1898.

In 1901, Ploetz was promoted to Lieutenant General and on 9 September 1901, he was appointed Commander of the 15th Division in Cologne. This was followed by promotion to General der Infanterie on 16 October 1906, and as such Ploetz was Commanding General of the VIII Army Corps. On 27 January 1912, Wilhelm II placed him à la suite of the Queen Elisabeth Guard Grenadier Regiment No. 3. In addition, the King knighted him with the Order of the Black Eagle before Ploetz was made available on 25 June 1913 in approval of his resignation with the statutory pension.[1] In subsequent recognition of his many years of service, Ploetz was awarded the Cross and Star of the Commandery of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern on July 6, 1913, and the Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle on March 13, 1918[2] and on 13 March 1918 the Order of Merit of the Prussian Crown.

In his retirement, Ploetz was politically active from 1914 to 1918 as a member of the Prussian House of Lords. He was head of the entail on 1/2 the Stregow estate in Hinterpommern.


Ploetz married Anna Bang (1854-1921) on 5 April 1877 in Danzig. The marriage produced a daughter, Marie Paula (* 1881), who married Walter von Haxthausen (1864-1935), later a Prussian major general, on 3 July 1902.[3]


  • Ploetz, Paul von. In: Militär-Wochenblatt. No. 138 of 30 October 1909. p. 3146.
  • Officer muster roll of the Queen Elisabeth Guard Grenadier Regiment No. 3. E.S. Mittler & Sohn, Berlin 1910, p. 183.
  • Genealogical Handbook of the Nobility. Adelige Häuser A. Band XIII, Band 60 der Gesamtreihe, C. A. Starke Verlag, Limburg (Lahn) 1975, p. 450.

Individual references

  1. Military Weekly. No. 85, 28 June 1913, p. 1941.
  2. Military Weekly. No. 92 of 12 July 1913, p. 2077.
  3. Gothaisches Genealogisches Taschenbuch der Uradeligen Häuser. The native nobility (Uradel) in Germany. 1913. Fourteenth volume, Justus Perthes, Gotha 1912, p. 508.