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Prince Franz
File:Princefranzof bavaria.jpg
Prince Franz of Bavaria
Personal details
Born (1875-10-10)10 October 1875
Schloss Leutstetten, Starnberg, Bavaria
Died 25 January 1957(1957-01-25) (aged 81)
Schloss Leutstetten, Starnberg, Bavaria
Spouse(s) Princess Isabella Antonie of Croÿ

Prince Franz of Bavaria (German language: Franz Maria Luitpold Prinz von Bayern) (10 October 1875 – 25 January 1957) was a member of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach and a Major General in the Bavarian Army.

Early life and Military career[]

Franz was born at Schloss Leutstetten, Starnberg, Bavaria. He was the third son of King Ludwig III of Bavaria and his wife Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria-Este. Initially, Franz served as a commander of the 2. Infanterie-Regiments König, but shortly before the outbreak of World War I, he was given command of the 3. bayerische Infanteriebrigade, which was later renamed and became the 4. Infanterie-Brigade. Prince Franz led this brigade through its victories at Fort Douaumont, Passchendaele and Kemmelberg.

For his exemplary leadership during these operations he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph on 25 May 1916 and on 28 October 1916 was given command of the entire 4. Bayerische Infanterie-Division. In Spring 1918, Prince Franz was also awarded the Commander's Cross of the Military Order of Max Joseph and the prestigious Pour le Mérite, Prussia's highest military decoration, on 16 May 1918. However during the summer 1918, the 4. Bayerische Infanterie-Division suffered severe loses during the Battle of the Somme and was transferred to Italian Front on border protection duties, where it stayed for the remainder of the war.


On 12 July 1912 Prince Franz married Princess Isabella Antonie of Croÿ, the daughter of Duke Karl Alfred of Croÿ and Princess Ludmilla of Arenberg. The wedding took place at the Schloss Weilburg in Baden near Vienna, Austria-Hungary. The couple had six children:

  • Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1913–2008); married Princess Irmingard of Bavaria (1923–2010).
  • Princess Maria Elisabeth of Bavaria (1914–2011); married Prince Pedro Henrique of Orléans-Braganza (1909–1981).
  • Princess Adelgunde Maria of Bavaria (1917–2004); married Hoenning-O'Caroll (1906–1996).
  • Princess Eleonore Marie of Bavaria (1918–2009); married Konstantin of Waldburg-Zeil (1909–1972).
  • Princess Dorothea Therese of Bavaria (b. 1920); married Archduke Gottfried of Austria (1902–1984).
  • Prince Rasso of Bavaria (1926–2011); married Princess Theresa of Bavaria (b. 1931).


Prince Franz of Bavaria died on 25 January 1957 at Schloss Leutstetten in Starnberg, Bavaria and is buried in the Colombarium in the Michaelskirche in Munich, Bavaria.

Decorations and honors[]



Other German states

  • Baden: House Order of Fidelity
  • Brunswick: War Merit Cross, 2nd. Class
  • Hesse-Darmstadt: Ludewig Order
  • Lippe-Detmold: War Honor Cross for Heroic Deeds
  • Saxony: Order of the Rue Crown
  • Duchies of Saxe-Altenburg, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen: Ducal Saxe-Ernestine House Order, Grand Cross
  • Württemberg: Order of the Württemberg Crown, Grand Cross

Other countries


  • Das Bayernbuch vom Kriege 1914-1918, Konrad Krafft von Dellmensingen, Friedrichfranz Feeser, Chr. Belser AG, Verlagsbuchhandlung, Stuttgart 1930
  • Die Wittelsbacher. Geschichte unserer Familie. Adalbert, Prinz von Bayern. Prestel Verlag, München, 1979

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