Hans von Seeckt

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Seeckt, Hans von


Born Apr. 22, 1866, in Schleswig; died Dec. 27, 1936, in Berlin. German military and political figure. Colonel general.

Seeckt joined the army in 1885 and graduated from the Military Academy in 1899. He saw service in World War I as chief of staff of the Fourth Army in 1914–15, the Eleventh Army in 1915, and a group of forces operating against Serbia in 1915–16, Rumania in 1916, and Russia in 1917. From December 1917 to the end of the war he was chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Army. In 1919–20, Seeckt was chief of the troop administrative office, which was, in fact, a general staff, prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles. He was chief of administration for the ground forces from 1920 to 1926 (commander in chief of the Reichswehr). Seeckt created a professional Reichswehr to serve as the foundation for the future German mass army and conducted the secret preparations for the manufacture of armaments, which was forbidden Germany.

In the fall of 1923, during an acute political crisis, Seeckt concentrated all the executive power in his hands and suppressed the revolutionary movement. He was a deputy to the Reichstag from the People’s Party from 1930 to 1932 and advocated transferring power to the Nazis. In 1934–35, Seeckt was the chief military adviser of the German military mission to the Kuomintang government of China.

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As Hans von Seekt liked to say, the important thing is action.