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Paul Bronsart von Schellendorf
Paul Bronsart von Schellendorf
Born (1832-01-25)25 January 1832
Died 23 June 1891(1891-06-23) (aged 59)
Place of birth Danzig, Prussia
Place of death Schettnienen near Braunsberg, East Prussia
Allegiance Kingdom of Prussia Prussia
German Empire Imperial Germany
Service/branch Prussian Army
Years of service 1849-
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held I Corps
Battles/wars Franco-Prussian War
Other work Prussian Minister of War (1883-1889)

Paul Bronsart von Schellendorf (25 January 1832 – 23 June 1891) was a Prussian general and writer.

Life and career

Bronsart was born in Danzig (Gdańsk), Prussia. He entered the Prussian Guards in 1849, and was appointed to the general staff in 1861 as a captain; after three years of staff service he returned to regimental duty, but was soon reappointed to the staff, and lectured at the Prussian Military Academy, becoming major in 1865 and lieutenant colonel in 1869. During the Franco-Prussian War (1870) he was chief of a section on the General Staff, and conducted the preliminary negotiations for the surrender of the French at Sedan. After the war Bronsart was made a colonel and chief of staff of the Guard army corps, becoming major-general in 1876 and lieutenant general (with a division command) in 1881. Two years later he became war minister, and during his tenure of the post (1883–1889) many important reforms were carried out in the Prussian army, in particular the introduction of the magazine rifle. He was appointed in 1889 to command the I Corps at Königsberg. He died at his estate of Schettnienen near Braunsberg (Braniewo), in 1891 at the age of 59.[1]


Bronsart's military writings include two works of great importance:

  • Ein Rückblick auf die taktischen Rückblicke (2nd ed., Berlin, 1870), a pamphlet written in reply to Captain May's Tactical Retrospect of 1866; and
  • Der Dienst des Generalstabes (1st ed., Berlin, 1876; 3rd ed. revised by General Meckel, 1893; new ed. by the author's son, Major Bronsart von Schellendorf, Berlin, 1904), a comprehensive treatise on the duties of the general staff. The third edition of this work was soon after its publication translated into English and issued officially to the British army as The Duties of the General Staff. Major Bronsart's new edition of 1904 was re-issued in English by the General Staff, under the same title, in 1905.
  • Schellendorf, Paul Leopold Eduard Heinrich Anton Bronsart. (1893). Duties of the General Staff, translated by William Aldworth Home Hare. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Awards and decorations


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 
Political offices
Preceded by
Georg von Kameke
Prussian Minister of War
Succeeded by
Julius von Verdy du Vernois

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