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Konstantin Bernhard von Voigts-Rhetz

Konstantin Bernhard von Voigts-Rhetz
Born(1809-07-16)16 July 1809
Seesen, Duchy of Brunswick, Kingdom of Westphalia
Died14 April 1877(1877-04-14) (aged 67)
Allegiance Kingdom of Prussia
 German Empire
Service/branchPrussian Army
Imperial German Army
Years of service1827–1873
RankGeneral of the Infantry
Unit9th Infantry Brigade
7th Infantry Division
Commands heldX Army Corps
Battles/warsAustro-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
AwardsPour le Mérite with oak leaves
Order of St. George

Konstantin Bernhard von Voigts-Rhetz (16 July 1809 – 14 April 1877) was a Prussian general who served in the Austro-Prussian War and the Franco-Prussian War.


Voights-Rhetz was born in Seesen in the Duchy of Brunswick, then part of the short-lived Kingdom of Westphalia. He entered the Adolfinum-Gymnasium in Bückeburg at the age of 10, and would excel in math, science, history and geography.[1] Voigts-Rhetz entered the Prussian 9th Infantry Regiment in 1827 and was made an officer in 1829. Between 1833 and 1835 Voigts-Rhetz attended the Prussian Military Academy. In 1837 he was attached to the topography division. He joined the General Staff in 1839 and was promoted to captain in 1841 and major in 1847.

Voigts-Rhetz joined the staff of the V Corps in 1847. When revolutions broke out in 1848 he helped suppress the insurrection in Posen. After the insurrection was quelled Voigts-Rhetz engaged in a dispute with the royal commissioner for Posen, General Karl Wilhelm von Willisen. Both Voigts-Rhetz and Willisen used the press to justify their actions.

In 1852 Voigts-Rhetz became chief of staff of the V Corps. After being promoted to colonel in 1855 he was given command of the 9th Infantry Brigade in 1858, with the rank of a major-general. In 1859 he became a director in the Prussian War ministry. In 1860 he was given command of the Fortress of the German Confederation in Luxembourg. In 1863 he was promoted to lieutenant-general and given command of the 7th Infantry Division. In 1864 he became commander in chief of the garrison at Frankfurt am Main.

During the Austro-Prussian War Voigts-Rhetz served as chief of staff of the First Army, led by Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia. Voights-Rhetz was an opinionated soldier and critical of Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke, however was intelligent and courageous.[2] In this function he contributed to the Prussian victories at Münchengrätz, Gitschin and Sadowa. After the war he was made governor-general of the newly annexed Province of Hanover and commander of the newly established X Corps.

During the Franco-Prussian War Voigts-Rhetz's X Corps became part of the 2nd Army, again led by Prince Friedrich Karl. With these troops Voigts-Rhetz took part in the battles at Mars-la-Tour and Gravelotte. After Gravelotte, X Corps was part of the troops besieging Metz. After the fall of Metz Voigts-Rhetz and X Corps were sent to the Loire, where he was victorious at Beaune-la-Rolande. After the end of the war he remained in command of the Corps until he retired in 1873 due to health reasons. He was given a donation of 150.000 thalers for his services during the war.

Honours and awards

German States

Foreign Orders


Howard, Michael, The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France 1870–1871, New York: Routledge, 2001. ISBN 0-415-26671-8.

Wawro, Geoffrey, The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 978-0-521-61743-7

Wawro, Geoffrey, The Austro-Prussian War: Austria's War with Prussia and Italy in 1866, Cambridge University Press, 1997, ISBN 978-0-521-62951-5

Moltke, Helmuth von (1867). The Campaign of 1866 in Germany.

Craig, Gordon A. (1964). The Battle of Koniggratz: Prussia's Victory Over Austria, 1866.


  1. ^ Biographie, Deutsche. "Voigts-Rhetz, Constantin von - Deutsche Biographie". (in German). Retrieved 2021-12-17.
  2. ^ Craig 1964, p. 31.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Rangliste de Königlich Preußischen Armee (in German), Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn, 1876–1877, p. 219 – via
  4. ^ a b c d e "Königlich Preussische Ordensliste", Preussische Ordens-Liste (in German), Berlin, 1: 13, 20, 34, 924, 969, 1877 – via
  5. ^ Lehmann, Gustaf (1913). Die Ritter des Ordens pour le mérite 1812–1913 [The Knights of the Order of the Pour le Mérite] (in German). Vol. 2. Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn. p. 505.
  6. ^ "Königlich Preussische Ordensliste", Preussische Ordens-Liste (in German), Berlin, 3: 41, 1877 – via
  7. ^ "Herzoglicher Haus-orden Albrecht des Bären", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Herzogtum Anhalt, 1867, p. 21
  8. ^ "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden", Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtums Sachsen-Altenburg, 1869, p. 34
  9. ^ Staat Oldenburg (1876). Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg: für ... 1876. Schulze. p. 42.
  10. ^ V. M. Shabanov (2004). Military Order of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George: A Nominal List, 1769-1920. Moscow. p. 928. ISBN 5-89577-059-2.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
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Konstantin Bernhard von Voigts-Rhetz
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