Open main menu

Moriz Freiherr von Lyncker (30 January 1853 – 20 January 1932) was a Prussian officer of the German Empire and Chief of the Military Cabinet of Emperor Wilhelm II.

Moriz Freiherr von Lyncker
Alexius WW1 Moriz Freiherr von Lyncker.jpg
Born(1853-01-30)30 January 1853
Spandau, Thuringia, Germany
Died20 January 1932(1932-01-20) (aged 78)
Demnitz, Germany
AllegianceKingdom of Prussia Prussia
German Empire Imperial Germany
Service/branchPrussian Army
German Imperial Army
Years of service1870-1919
RankDR Generaloberst h 1918.gif Generaloberst
Commands held
Battles/warsFranco-Prussian War
First World War
Lyncker (right) is watching Wilhelm II. and the victor of Liège, General Otto von Emmich, 1914.



Lyncker was born in Spandau, Prussia into a military family, with his father, his father-in-law and two brothers being officers. He took part in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, and two of his sons died in the First World War.[1]

His association with the Prussian Royal Family began when he served as Aide-de-camp to Crown Prince Frederick as a Captain. Subsequently Lyncker was appointed military mentor to the adolescent Crown Prince Wilhelm and Prince Eitel Friedrich for three years until 1898. After resuming his regular career he successively commanded a Guards Regiment and Brigade before taking up leadership of the 19th Division at Hannover in 1905.

After the sudden death of the Chief of the Military Cabinet, General Dietrich von Hülsen-Haeseler, von Lyncker was on 17 November 1908 appointed to the post. He was responsible for personnel matters of the Prussian army and during First World War he was one of the closest aides to Kaiser Wilhelm II. He was present at the famous Imperial War Council of 8 December 1912.

He has been evaluated as "politically innocent, intellectually mediocre, with subservient devotion to Wilhelm II."[1]

On the other hand, as the First World War progressed and the Kaiser withdrew into an atmosphere of "fear of the world and flight from reality", he worked with Georg Alexander von Müller, Chief of the Imperial Naval Cabinet, at great lengths to persuade him to spend more time on the business of the government in Berlin.[2]

By 10 August 1914 he was considering replacing Helmuth von Moltke with Erich von Falkenhayn as Chief of the German General Staff. After the failure of the Battle of the Marne it was his duty to convince von Moltke to leave.

After 1915 he was ready to moderate Germany's aims to achieve peace, but still demanded that the Reich should retain Belgium or at least the Belgian ports for future use against Britain. Like Falkenhayn, he wanted a compromise peace with the Russian Empire and a substantial victory over Britain and France.

He died in Demnitz, Germany.


  • 1870: Fahnenjunker
  • 1895-1898: Leutnant ... Oberst
  • 1901: Generalmajor
  • 1905: Generalleutnant
  • 1909: General der Infanterie


Regarding personal names: Freiherr was a title before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Baron. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a legal class, titles preceded the full name when given (Graf Helmuth James von Moltke). Since 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), can be used, but are regarded as a dependent part of the surname, and thus come after any given names (Helmuth James Graf von Moltke). Titles and all dependent parts of surnames are ignored in alphabetical sorting. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.


  1. ^ a b The Entourage of Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1888-1918 by Isabel V. Hull; Cambridge University Press, 2004 p. 248; ISBN 0-521-53321-X, 9780521533218N
  2. ^ Historische Kommission bei der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Kaiser Wilhelm II. als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg: Quellen aus der militärischen Umgebung des Kaisers 1914-1918, bearb. v. Holger Afflerbach. München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2005. 1.051 S. EUR 118.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-3-486-57581-1.


  • Holger Afflerbach (Hrsg.): Kaiser Wilhelm II. als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg. Quellen aus der militärischen Umgebung des Kaisers 1914 - 1918, Munich: Oldenbourg 2005, ISBN 3-486-57581-3 (Umfangreiche Sammlung von Briefen Lynckers an seine Frau über den Kaiser in der Kriegszeit)
  • Ekkehart P. Guth (1987), "Lyncker, Moriz Freiherr von", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 15, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 587–588
  • Biographische Skizze in: Kaiser Wilhelm II als Oberster Kriegsherr im Ersten Weltkrieg, hrsg. von Holger Afflerbach, München 2005 (Inhaltsverzeichnis, Akademie Aktuell: Rezension), Heft 1/2007, S.37f.

External linksEdit