Oskar von Watter
Oskar Freiherr von Watter
|Born||2 September 1861|
Ludwigsburg, Kingdom of Württemberg
|Died||23 August 1939 77) (aged|
|Allegiance|| German Empire|
|Years of service||1879–1920|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Pour le Mérite with Oakleaves|
World War I
In April 1913 Von Watter took over the command of the 10th Brigade of Field Artillery, which he kept until 3 March 1915. With this force, General von Watter took part in the early fighting of World War I in France. Subsequently, he took over the 54th Infantry Division, which he commanded until 5 March 1918. This division was initially also deployed in France, but it was later sent to fight on the eastern front by the river Narew, and from September 1915 was again at the western front. On 23 December 1917 he was awarded the Pour le Mérite for military bravery. Until 11 November 1918 he was commander of the XXVI Reserve Corps. A few days before the end of the war, on 3 November 1918, he was awarded the oak leaves of the "Pour le Mérite" (signifying a second award).
On the orders of the Reich government, units of the Reichswehr and Freikorps under the command of Von Watter marched into the Ruhr area on 2 April 1920 and suppressed the Ruhr Uprising taking place. After extrajudicial shootings resulting in more than a thousand dead, on 12 April 1920 Von Watter issued the order that from then on, "illegal behaviour" would be dealt with – nine days after Reich President Friedrich Ebert had forbidden the summary trials taking place.
On his initiative, to the south of the castle Horst in Essen in 1934 a monument was erected in memory of the Freikorps soldiers who died in 1920 during the suppression of the Ruhr Uprising.