Kaiser Wilhelm II was the last Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia. He reigned for thirty years until his abdication on November 9th 1918. Wilhelm was a grandson of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Wilhelm was born in Berlin in January 1859. He became Kaiser in 1888 at the age of 29 on the death of his father Frederick III. He began a programme of naval expansion with the aim of having a naval force equal to Britain’s Royal Navy. He expanded German colonial territory and supported the Boers of South Africa against the British.
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in June 1914, Wilhelm supported the Austrians. World War I followed and Russia and her allies, Britain and France entered the war against Germany and Austria. During the war Wilhelm was an ineffective leader. He was forced to abdicate in 1918 following Germany’s military collapse. He went into exile in the Netherlands. He died there during World War II on June 4th 1941.
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was born in the year 1859 On This Day.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1905. By Eric Bieber