March 26, 2023

Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria And The Last Monarchs of War

"Haig's Enemy: Crown Prince Rupprecht and Germany's War on the Western Front" By Jonathan Boff. ‎Oxford University Press; 2018.

Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, Duke of Bavaria, Franconia and in Swabia, Count Palatine by (the) Rhine (Rupprecht Maria Luitpold Ferdinand; English: Robert Maria Leopold Ferdinand; 18 May 1869 – 2 August 1955), was the last heir apparent to the Bavarian throne. During the first half of the First World War he commanded the 6th Army on the Western Front. From August 1916, he commanded Army Group Rupprecht of Bavaria, which occupied the sector of the front opposite the British Expeditionary Force.

Rupprecht achieved the rank of field marshal (Generalfeldmarschall) in July 1916 and on 28 August that year assumed command of Army Group Rupprecht, consisting of the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th armies. Rupprecht has been considered by some[which?] one of the best royal commanders in the Imperial German Army of World War I, possibly even the only one to deserve his command. Rupprecht came to the conclusion - much earlier than most other German generals (towards the end of 1917) - that the war could not be won, given the ever-increasing material advantage of the Allies. He also opposed the "scorched-earth" policy during withdrawals, but his royal position made a resignation on those grounds impossible for him, even though he threatened it. He eventually resigned from his command on 11 November 1918 - the day of the armistice.
An excerpt from, "Monarchies and the Great War" Reviewed by Mario Draper, University of Kent, September 23, 2019:
The aim of this edited volume is to examine how monarchies acted (or were perceived to act) under the stresses of war and the degree to which this can inform our understanding about the survival or collapse of the various dynasties directly affected by the First World War. In a mammoth forty-page introduction, the two editors – along with input from Christopher Brennan – put forward strong revisionist arguments against the notions that monarchy, if not already a superfluous institution by 1914, certainly became so by war’s end. Instead, they call upon scholars to build on the preliminary work carried out by the contributors in this volume to ‘challenge and problematize both the idea of irrelevance of monarchy as an institution and thereby promote a more nuanced consideration of the ways in which dynasties seized the opportunities and expectations of their subjects’ (p. 23). In drawing together aspects of the British, German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, Italian, Belgian, and Japanese monarchies, Glencross and Rowbotham confidently demonstrate that the individuals involved, and the institution as a collective, were not ‘merely’ passive and symbolic but rather active and literal embodiments of national identities with the power to influence events that many have disregarded as beyond their control (p. 11).
An excerpt from, "Monarchies and the Great War" edited by Matthew Glencross and Judith Rowbotham, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, Pg. 3-4 (Source):

This is not, though, a volume primarily about war or its origins and causes. Instead it is one which focuses on how the institution of monarchy, in its various modern manifestations, performed (and perhaps more importantly, was perceived to perform) in the context of modern warfare. The lens used focuses on the expectations of contemporaries in relation to what monarchs should and could do, and the implications of that for the monarchic style of government. Using the First World War as the frame, the case studies in this collection explore the pressure that war placed upon individual monarchies, the public reactions to their performances, and how these do (or do not) relate to the survival or collapse of the bel- ligerent monarchies involved. What was, we believe, different about the events of July to September 1914 was the fact that, as the opening para- graphs to this Introduction underline, there was, as late as the last week of July, no expectation of war on a pan-European (let alone global) scale.

Apart from anything else, this meant that monarchs and their families (including sisters, cousins and aunts who might be married into families who would turn out to be on the opposing side) were, to a considerable extent, taken by surprise by the late summer escalation of tensions. Consequently, rulers and their relations had to react to the rapidly developing crisis on, essentially, a 'spur-of-the-moment' basis, including when. engaging their subjects in what they felt to be an appropriate reaction to this suddenly looming major conflict. In Britain, for instance, news- papers reported that, according to an announcement by the Prime Minister, George V had been in contact with Tsar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II to try to resolve the crisis-but until after the formal declaration of war, the constitutionally conscious King's main positive public initiative (besides cancelling attendance at Goodwood Races and Cowes Week) was to organise a day of prayer on Sunday 2 August, in which he took the lead.10 As this volume reveals, the intricacies of monarchical reactions to the imminent conflict depended heavily upon their character and the political framework in which they operated. The majority of case studies included here focus on European examples, but not exclusively the Ottoman Empire is also considered, as is Japan, as part of the process of exploring the impact and implications of modern warfare for the institution of monarchy throughout the twentieth century, and the extent to which there are common threads across those states. possessing a monarchical form of government.
Video Title: Who was Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria? | Jonathan Boff. Source: Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press). Date Published: February 3, 2018. 

Video Title: What Surprised You While Writing Haig’s Enemy? | Jonathan Boff. Source: Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press). Date Published: February 4, 2018.