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Günther von Etzel
Born (1862-12-14)December 14, 1862
Died January 21, 1948(1948-01-21) (aged 85)
Place of birth Madgeburg, Germany
Place of death Wiesbaden, Germany
Allegiance  German Empire
Service/branch Imperial German Army
Years of service 1881-1919
Rank Major General
Battles/wars World War I

Franz Hermann Günther von Etzel (December 14, 1862 – January 21, 1948) was a career soldier and general in the Imperial German Army, active in World War I.


A native of Magdeburg, Etzel entered the Prussian Army in 1881. On September 19, 1901, he was promoted to the rank of major and was sent on May 29, 1902 as military attache to the German Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, he was embedded within the Imperial Japanese Army and an official military observer.[1] He remained in Japan as a military attaché until 1906.[2]

After his return to Germany, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel on May 18, 1908 and assigned to the Kurmärkische Dragoon Regiment No. 14, a cavalry unit within the Prussian Army.

In the First World War, Etzel was made commander of the German 33rd Division, which participated in the initial German offensive on the Western Front.[3][4] He was later commander of the Guards Cavalry Division and promoted to lieutenant general on January 27, 1918. From June 23, 1918, as a major general, he commanded the German XVII Army Corps, and from August 27 of the same year, the German XVIII Army Corps.[5]

He resigned from service on April 4, 1919, and went into retirement. He died in Wiesbaden in 1948.


See also


  1. Sisemore, James D. (2003). "The Russo-Japanese War, Lessons Not Learned," p. 109. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
  2. Takenobu Yoshitarō. (1906). Japan Year Book, p. 80., p. 80, at Google Books
  3. 33. Infanterie-Division (Chronik 1914/1918)
  4. Histories of Two Hundred and Fifty-One Divisions of the German Army which Participated in the War (1914-1918), compiled from records of Intelligence section of the General Staff, American Expeditionary Forces, at General Headquarters, Chaumont, France 1919 (1920), pp. 402–404.
  5. Militä Gunther von Etzel
  6. Pour le Mérite ("Blue Max") recipients


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