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His Excellency in Full Military Dress
Reichskanzler of Nova Capile
1 January 2017 - Present
22 March 2010 - 9 August 2011
Helmuth von Epp
16 March 1944 (age 75)
Ilsa Knott (widowed)
University of Saxtonburg
Wilhelm Knott (b. 16 March 1944), is the current Reichskanzler of Nova Capile. He was appointed as Provisional Reichskanzler on 1 January 2017, the same day as the ratification of the Capilean Constitution, and was reelected to the position on 1 January 2018. As Reichskanzler, Knott has advocated for the suppression of extremist political groups with force, preemptive warfare, increased military spending, and conservative values.
Wilhelm Knott was born as Wilhelm August Christian Höpfner Knott on 16 March 1944, to a large and aristocratic family from Reiburg. His father, Justus Knott, was a civil servant and came from a long line of noblemen. His mother, Heidi Höpfner, also came from a distinguished aristocratic family. Wilhelm had six brothers and two sisters. He spent most of his childhood playing and roughhousing with the local children, but also proved a bright student.
Knott attended the prestigious Hermann Schoeffer Gymnasium as a teenager, where he graduated first in his class of 1962 and captain of the wrestling team. Immediately after graduation, Wilhelm enlisted in the Reichswehr, joining the 16. Infantry Division. He was deployed from 1963 to 1968 in the Capilean colony of Ethiopia, and fought against the Islamist rebels in the First Ethiopian Revolution (1965). While there, Knott met and married Ilsa Hof, daughter of Gebhard Hof, a wealthy landowner and cattle farmer. Together they had two sons, Maximilian and Wihelm Knott II, both of whom also became career officers.
Holding the rank of Corporal, First Class, he and the 16. Division were deployed to North Africa in 1969 at the onset of the Atzeran Invasion of Karifistan (1969-1970). Knott was wounded in the leg during the Battle of Quesar that same year, and was awarded the Medal of Sacrifice, Third Class. He was also promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and was rehabilitated in time to participate in the Arctic War (1970-1975). Wilhelm fought alongside the 16. Division from Cholov to Korelia, and was recommended for an officer's commission because of his successes commanding an infantry squadron.
Despite suffering a severe case of frostbite as well as an arm wound, Wilhelm fought and performed admirably in the Battle of Renias during that war, and was awarded the Ducal Cross, Second Class, as well as a promotion to Captain. Given leave to recover from 1973 to 1978, Knott spent those years with his family, and also studied at the University of Saxtonburg, graduating with a degree in Military Theory before once again returning to active duty. However, Knott's division was not deployed again until 1989, when the 16. Division was sent to fight on the side of the Loyalist forces in the First Columbian Civil War (1988-1991). Following a Loyalist victory, Knott, promoted to Major, remained garrisoned in Columbia.
In 1993, the Second Columbian Civil War began (1993-1998). Originally a struggle between domestic factions, the balance of power was tipped against Columbia and Capile when the German Empire intervened. Knott fought against the German invaders from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh. In the aftermath of that battle, which resulted in almost one million casualties, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1998, during the Battle of Mobile, Knott was wounded once more; he and his battalion were fighting in a holding action to allow allied troops to evacuate. He was decorated with the Ducal Cross, First Class, for his bravery, and was given leave to heal.
For several years, Knott lived with his family on his father-in-law's land in Ethiopia, helping to run the Hof ranching business. He was called back to duty, however, in 2003, with the outbreak of the Third Columbian Civil War (2003-2006). Wilhelm fought in the Battle of Barstow and the Battle of Los Angeles, receiving promotions to Colonel and then to Colonel-General. Just before the conclusion of the conflict, which saw Columbia return to being a sovereign monarchy, Knott was recalled to Capile and placed in charge of the 33. Infantry Division. He was ordered to assist allied German troops in quashing a turncoat rebellion within a German military base on Capilean territory. Following his success in that engagement, Knott was promoted to Brigadier General.
From 2006 to 2009 Knott was placed in command of colonial forces in Ethiopia, and assisted in quelling the Second Ethiopian Revolution (2008-2009), earning him the rank of Major General. At the age of sixty-five, after a long and successful military career, Major General Knott retired from the Reichswehr in the winter of 2009. This retirement was brief, however, as only a few months later he was offered and accepted the position of War Minister in the cabinet of Grand Duke Hans Wilhelm VII.
As War Minister, Wilhelm shifted funding away from the Stoßwehr and Armored Corps and back toward the Heer. This led to complaints from officers such as Walther Nemetz, Stoßwehr Field Marshal, who claimed that Knott was deliberately neglecting their branches. As a result, Grand Duke Hans Wilhelm VII dismissed Wilhelm in August 2011.
Following his dismissal, Knott returned to Ethiopia, taking over the Hof family business from his deceased father-in-law. Wilhelm lived a quiet life for several years, but in 2014 decided to turn the business over to his brother-in-law, Johannes Hof, and return to Nova Capile. Knott became a member of Saxtonburg's high society, and joined the Blumenhaus Club. The Club, named after its meetinghouse, was a network of powerful individuals who advocated a democratic alternative to absolute monarchy. Through the Club, Knott became acquainted with Adolphus Becker, Ludwig Schacht, and Crown Prince Klaus I.
On 16 February 2016, Hans Wilhelm VII unexpectedly died, leaving Klaus I as his successor. Immediately, Klaus began meeting with the Blumenhaus Club, especially Knott, Becker, and Schacht, to discuss the future of the Grand Duchy. The four men decided to co-author a Constitution that would reshape the Duchy's government. The document was written from February to April 2016, and was made public on 4 June. After further revision, it was ratified into law by Klaus I on 1 January 2017. Klaus I named Wilhelm Knott as the Provisional Reichskanzler.
Publically, Knott registered as a member of the Monarchist Party, and was appointed as the Party's President on 1 August 2016. Wilhelm spent most of his first year as Reichskanzler defining Capilean domestic policy with a series of sweeping reforms. Notably, he took a hard-line attitude toward the country's extremist Fascist and Communist political organizations, attempting to stop them from holding rallies and recruiting new members. Wilhelm also orchestrated legislation that created government-operated hospitals and schools, restricted civil rights, and imposed traditionalist values on Capile.
Knott caused controversy, as he was accused of being too conservative to accurately represent the Monarchist Party. The centrist and liberal wings of the Party threatened to split off, and many defected to the CDP. Knott also clashed directly with Klaus I, opposing him on the issues of immigration, welfare, and military spending. As a result, Klaus I largely broke with the Party, retiring from public life just before the 2018 Elections and only rarely attending Party functions.
Due to many monarchists boycotting the polls, the Monarchist Party vastly underperformed in the 2018 Elections; despite 68% of the population identifying with the Party, it won less than one-third of seats in the Volksrat. Despite carrying only 27% of the vote, Knott was reelected due to the sheer number of other candidates running for the position. (Walther Nemetz, VF candidate, took 16%, Fraternal Socialist Union candidate Terry Blücher 18%, and the thirty-seven other candidates 39%, collectively.)
The 2018 Elections resulted in a hung parliament in the Volksrat, and Wilhelm spent the majority of early 2018 negotiating a coalition with the CDP and VF. Due to the nature of this arrangement, it became extremely difficult for any party to pass legislation, and the government entered an apparent state of gridlock which has yet to be alleviated.
Policies For: Democracy, Constitutional Monarchy, Conservatism, Traditionalism, Militarism, Preemptive Warfare, Gunboat Diplomacy, Isolationism Against: Absolutism, Communism, Facism, Foreign Aid, Immigration, Welfare, Abortion, Recreational Drug Use, Euthenasia, Environmental Protections, Pacifism
For: Democracy, Constitutional Monarchy, Conservatism, Traditionalism, Militarism, Preemptive Warfare, Gunboat Diplomacy, Isolationism
Against: Absolutism, Communism, Facism, Foreign Aid, Immigration, Welfare, Abortion, Recreational Drug Use, Euthenasia, Environmental Protections, Pacifism