Maximilian Fretter-Pico, born 06-02-1892 in Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, entered the Army Service on 20-09-1910, age 18, as a Fähnrich in the Feldartillerie Regiment „Großherzog“ (1. Badisches) Nr. 14, in Karlsruhe. He was a Lieutenant of a Ballonabwehrkanonen-Zug, a balloon anti aircraft regiment, with the German Army at the start of World War I at the very end of that conflict, he was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant. During the inter-war years, he remained in the German military, the Reichswehr , reaching the rank of Major by the time the Nazi Party came to power. In 1938, as a colonel, Oberst, he was sent to Turkey as a military attaché. Although he was recalled to Germany for the European War, he missed the campaigns in Poland and France. In Mar 1941, he was promoted to the rank of Major General. He landed in the Führer Reserve (see Adolf Hitler) (did you know) in April 1941. At the start of Operation Barbarossa, Fretter-Pico was given command of the 97th Jäger Division in Army Group South . On 27-12-1941, he was given command of the XXX Corps, which participated in the Battle of Sevastopol in southern Ukraine. He was known as a by-the-books General who lacked imagination, thus his commanding officer Erich von Manstein (see Manstein) did not rely upon him during the battle at Sevastopol. To prove himself, he launch an offensive at the southern end of the Russian defenses at Sevastopol. Although he made some minor advances, his attack caused too many casualties and it was frowned upon by Manstein as Fretter-Pico engaged his forces in a piecemeal fashion instead of attempting to overwhelm the Russian defenses. Fretter-Pico was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 15-01-1942, and a full General by June 1942. He remained the Commanding officer of the XXX Corps until mid-1944, and then commanded the 6th Army for the remainder of the year. His brother was Otto Fretter Pico who died age 73, on 30-07-1966. On 30-03-1945, Maximilian was given command of the IX Corps, an under-strength reserve unit. He was captured by American forces on 22-04-1945 and released in 1947.
Fretter-Pico died at Bad Wiessee, Bavaria, at the very old age of 92 and is buried with his wife Gertrude, born Soltmann, who died old age 92 on 26-12-1993, in Berlin, Kreuzberg, Friedhof der Jerusalem Gemeinde.