Rudolf Lange
Major, Battalion Commander, 237th Reserve Infantry Regiment
21 July 1918

He was awarded the Pour le Mérite for outstanding leadership and distinguished military planning and succesful operations on the western front during the spring 1918 German offensive. He was also given the award in recognition of leading his troops at Bouchavesnes and Merrière Woods.

Currently, in In Flanders Museum, Ypres, Belgium there is an exhibit about him and his work. This exhibition takes place from 23 October 2004 till 10 April 2005. He was an artist. A book, Rudolf Lange 1874-1918 Oorlogsgetuige is published by " In Flanders Fields Museum", Ieper, Belgium. The book was written by 4 authors. One can buy it in the museum shop of IFF at 25 Euro. It tells about his life, his diaries. It also shows lots of drawnings and aquarels. The text is written Dutch.

He was born at Minden ( Nordrhein-Westfalen) on 11 august 1874. In 1866 he enters the military cadet shool in Bensberg near Köln. Later he went ot Gross- Lichterfelde near Berlin. In 1907 he married Anna Gresser in the uniform of an Oberleutnant, and in 1911 he is promoted to Hauptman of 4/IR 55 and lives in Höxter, Friedrichstrasse 9.

At the beginning of WWI he is asigned to the staff of the VIIth R.K. which included the 13th and 14th R.D.'s. As a staff officer he sees some action near Chemin Des Dames ( Battle of the Aisne). On 24 October 1914 he is transferred to Flanders and becomes KompanieFuhrer of I/RIR213. On 30 November 1914 he is seriously wounded near Weidendrift and is evacuated to Germany. Five months later he returns to the front and KompanieFuhrer of II/RIR236 and saw action N of Ypres. On 23 September 1915 he gets EK I . At the end of 1915 he is transferred to II/ RIR 237 which is fighting in the Ypres Salient.

In August 1916 RIR 237 is transferred to the Eastern front and supports the KUK army in Galicia against the Russians. and on 25 November 1916 he is promoted to Major and receives Das Ritterkreuz mit Schwertern des Haus-Orden von Hohenzollern on 26 November 1916. In the begin of 1917, he's back on the Western Front, first in the Somme area later near Arras.

Between 14 May 1917 and 23/6/17 he was Regiment-Kommandeur of IR 114. During the summer, he is back with his Kameraden of the RIR 237, and remains in Flanders till march 1918. On 14/1/18 he receives the Lippisches Kriegsverdienstkreuz. From 21 March 1918 his batallion (II/RIR237) is part of the German spring offensive and on 15 July, Lange's Bn. participated in the last major attack of the German Army. Lange got fatally injured on this very day. He dies in Bonn on 9 September 1918 at 44 years of age. He received the PLM in hospital on 21 July 1918 and was buried in the old cemetery of Schwerin.

Photo and biographical information was provided by Joseph Bogaert

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