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Walther Bronsart von Schellendorf
Walther Bronsart von Schellendorf
Born (1833-12-21)21 December 1833
Died 13 December 1914(1914-12-13) (aged 80)
Place of birth Danzig, Prussia
Place of death Gut Marienhof, Mecklenburg, Imperial Germany
Allegiance Kingdom of Prussia Prussia
German Empire Imperial Germany
Service/branch Prussian Army
Years of service 1852-
Rank General of the Infantry à la suite
Commands held 89th Infantry Brigade
34th Infantry Brigade
17th Division
III Army Corps
X Army Corps
Battles/wars Second Schleswig War
Franco-Prussian War
Awards Iron Cross
Order of the Black Eagle
Other work Prussian Minister of War (1893-1896)

Walther Franz Georg Bronsart von Schellendorff (21 December 1833, in Danzig – 13 December 1914, at Gut Marienhof, Amt Güstrow, Mecklenburg), Dr. jur. h.c., was a Prussian General of the Infantry à la suite, Adjutant-General to the Kaiser and King, and Prussian Minister of War.

He was born into an old Prussian noble family and was the son of the Prussian Lieutenant General Heinrich Bronsart von Schellendorff (1803–1874) and Antoinette de Rège (1810–1873).

On 26 September 1863 in Altona, Bronsart von Schellendorf married Harriet Donner (born 14 November 1841 in Altona; died 21 September 1917 at Gut Marienhof, Amt Güstrow), the daughter of the Hamburg business magnate and banker Bernhard Donner, adviser to the Danish government and landowner at Schloss Bredeneek, and of Helene Schröder (from a Freiherr family).

He was the younger brother of Paul Bronsart von Schellendorff, and became Minister of War 10 years after him.

Bronsart von Schellendorf left cadet school in 1851 and joined the 1st Infantry Regiment and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1852. After studying at the Allgemeine Kriegsschule (General War College; later the Prussian Military Academy) from 1855 to 1858 he was made adjutant of the I Corps in 1859, after having been assigned to the 8. Jäger-Bataillon. In 1860 he was moved to the topographical department of the General Staff and in 1862 was transferred to the General Staff as a Captain.

In the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Bronsart von Schellendorff participated in the Battle of Dybbøl. He experienced the Austro-Prussian War from the headquarters of the King of Prussia. He was subsequently made a Major.

From 1866 to 1869 Bronsart von Schellendorff was on the staff of the 17th Division. In 1869 he was placed in command of a battalion of the 87th Infantry Regiment. At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 he was Chief of Staff of the IX Army Corps and participated in all battles of this army corps during the war. From 1871 to 1875 he occupied the same post in the XIII Army Corps.

In 1875 Bronsart von Schellendorff was appointed commander of the 89th Infantry Brigade, and in 1879 Commander of the 34th Infantry Brigade. In 1880 he became a Major General and in 1881 was transferred as Chief of Staff to the X Army Corps.

In 1884 he became a Lieutenant General and at the same time commander of the 17th Division, and in 1888 was made general officer commanding (Kommandierender General) of the III Army Corps and in 1890 that of the X Army Corps. From January 1893 he did not have a fixed assignment, and was appointed Minister of War in October of that year. In this capacity, he defended the army against the criticisms of the Social Democrats, and announced a reform of the military criminal justice procedure as demanded by the Reichstag. Due to disagreements with the Military Cabinet, he resigned on 14 August 1896.

Bronsart von Schellendorff died in 1914 at Gut Marienhof in the Amtsbezirk Güstrow. He was also the owner of the Güstrow properties Groß- and Klein-Tessin.

Honours and decorations

Political offices
Preceded by
Hans von Kaltenborn-Stachau
Prussian Minister of War
Succeeded by
Heinrich von Gossler

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