My great grandfather...
Who's Who: Karl von Einem
Updated - Saturday, 18 August, 2001
Karl von Einem (1853-1934) was born in Herzberg on 1 January 1853.
Einem served as minister of war from 1903-09, during which time he championed the introduction of the machine gun and emphasised the increasing role of heavy artillery in modern warfare.
Einem was appointed General of VII Corps in 1909, and served in this capacity in von Bulow's Second Army until the First Battle of the Marne from the commencement of the war in August 1914.
Following the Marne Einem was given command of Third Army, succeeding General Max Klemens von Hausen. With his front line positioned between Reims and Argonne in Champagne, his forces saw action at both the First and Second Allied Champagne Offensives, and subsequently at all three Battles of the Aisne.
Having served the entirety of the war on the Western Front, on 10 November 1918 - the day before the armistice came into effect - Einem was given command of Army Group Crown Prince, formerly commanded by Crown Prince Wilhelm. He was tasked with the return of the army to Germany for demobilisation.
Upon his return to Germany von Einem retired from the army. Karl von Einem died in Muhlheim on 7 April 1934.
He was also instumental in introducing the "Big Bertha" gun. "This 43 ton howitzer could fire a 2,200 lb shell over 9 miles. Transported by Daimler-Benz tractors, it took its 200-man crew, over six hours to re-assemble it on the site."