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Rundstedt served as 22nd Division's chief of staff during the invasion of Belgium, but he saw no action since his Division was held in reserve during the initial advance.
In December 1914, suffering from a lung ailment, he was promoted to Major and transferred to the military government of Antwerp.
The regiment was based at Kassel in Hesse-Kassel, which he came to regard as his home town and where he maintained a home until 1945.
He undertook further training at the military college (Kriegsschule) at Hannover, before being commissioned as a lieutenant in June 1893. In 1896 he was made regimental adjutant, and in 1903 he was sent to the prestigious War Academy (Kriegsakademie) in Berlin for a three-year staff officer training course.
During World War I, he served mainly as a staff officer.
In the inter-war years, he continued his military career, reaching the rank of Colonel General (Generaloberst) before retiring in 1938.
In October Rundstedt was posted to the staff of Military District (Wehrkreis) V, based in Stuttgart, under General Walter von Bergmann.
He briefly rejoined the General Staff, but this was abolished under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919.Bothmer described him as "a wholly excellent staff officer and amiable comrade." He was awarded the Iron Cross, first class, and was recommended for the Pour le Mérite, but did not receive it.He thus ended World War I, although still a major, with a high reputation as a staff officer.Rundstedt's mother, Adelheid Fischer, was of Huguenot (French Protestant) descent.
He was the eldest of four brothers, all of whom became Army officers.At the end of his course Rundstedt was described He married Luise “Bila” von Goetz in January 1902 and their only child, Hans Gerd von Rundstedt, was born in January 1903.