Friedrich Adam Julius von Bernhardi
Bernhardi in or before 1910
|Born||22 November 1849|
St. Petersburg, Russia
|Died||12 November 1930 (aged 80)|
Hirschberg-Kunnersdorf, Lower Silesia, Germany
World War I
|Awards||Pour le Mérite|
Friedrich Adam Julius von Bernhardi (November 22, 1849 - December 11, 1930) was a Prussian general and military historian. He was a best-selling author prior to World War I. A militarist, he is perhaps best known for his bellicose book Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg (Germany and the Next War), printed in 1911. He advocated a policy of ruthless aggression and of complete disregard of treaties and regarded war as a "divine business".
During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), Bernhardi was a cavalry lieutenant in the 14th Hussars of the Prussian Army, and at the end of that conflict had the honor of being the first German to ride through the Arc de Triomphe when the Germans entered Paris.
From 1891 to 1894, he was German military attaché at Bern and was subsequently head of the military history department of the Grand General Staff in Berlin. He was appointed general in command of the VII Army Corps at Münster in Westphalia in 1907, but retired two years later and busied himself as a military writer. Widespread attention was excited by the memoirs of his father, the diplomat and historian Theodor von Bernhardi, which he published, and still more by his book Germany and the Next War. In Germany and the Next War, Bernhardi stated that war "is a biological necessity," and that it was in accordance with "the natural law, upon which all the laws of Nature rest, the law of the struggle for existence."
Bernhardi served during World War I as a general. He fought with success first in the Eastern Front on the Stochod river, where he stormed the bridgehead of Tsarecze, and afterwards on the Western Front, in particular at Armentières. He was awarded the Pour le Mérite on 20 August 1916, for his participation in the German defense against the Brusilov Offensive.