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Ulrich Wille (1848 – 1925)

On 11 November 1918, World War I ended when the armistice of Compiègne came into force. Fears sparked by the first general strike from 12 to 14 November, however, led to an extension of mobilisation in Switzerland. Finally, on 11 December 1918, General Wille, commander-in-chief of the Swiss military, handed over command and was discharged from his duties.

11.12.2018 | Communication Defence



Ulrich Wille was born on 5 April 1848 in Hamburg. His family moved to Zürich when he was one year old. The family originated from the canton of Neuchatel and had changed the family name from "Vuille" to Wille. In 1877, Ulrich Wille graduated with a degree in law. In 1867, Wille began his military career as an artillery soldier. In 1870/71, he took part in the mobilisation ordered because of the Franco-Prussian War.

Wille advocated the reform of the Swiss military according to what was called the Neue Richtung (new direction). He was inspired by the Prussian army model of military training based on discipline and technical drills, as opposed to the republican concept. On 3 August 1914, following the mobilisation on the outbreak of the Great War, the National Assembly appointed Ulrich Wille as the general.

After the war, Wille retired to Meilen where he died on 31 January 1925.


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Ulrich Wille

On 11 November 1918, World War I ended when the armistice of Compiègne came into force. Fears sparked by the first general strike from 12 to 14 November, however, led to an extension of mobilisation in Switzerland. Finally, on 11 December 1918, General Wille, commander-in-chief of the Swiss military, handed over command and was discharged from his duties.

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