Ludwig III (1845-1921) was the King of Bavaria from 1913 until November 13th 1918, two days after the armistice that ended the war.
A scion of the Wittelsbach dynasty, Ludwig was born in Munich, given a liberal education and saw military service in the Austro-Prussian War.
Throughout his life, Ludwig showed great interested in economic, agricultural and technological progress – but as a devout Catholic, an elitist and a stubborn conservative, he was opposed to social and political change.
Ludwig ascended the throne in 1913, displacing his insane cousin, Otto, with the support of the Bavarian parliament.
At this time, Bavaria was, after Prussia, the second largest kingdom of the German Empire but it had significant autonomy. Its military, for example, was controlled by Munich rather than Berlin.
When war broke out in July-August 1914, Ludwig pledged his support for the kaiser and committed Bavaria’s three armies to the war effort. The war took its toll on Bavaria, however, and by 1917 the popularity of the king, viewed by many as a Prussian puppet, had plummeted.
When the German Revolution reached Bavaria in the final days of the war, Ludwig fled to Austria. It was there he later signed documents relinquishing political power. He died in exile in 1921.