Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher

Fürst von Wahlstatt, 1742–1819

Generalfeldmarschall von Blücher

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher was born on 16 December 1742 at Rostock. At the age of 15 he joined a Swedish cavalry regiment at the rank of Leutnant. Blücher was captured near Friedland in 1760, at the Kavalpass border crossing to Pomerania, by hussars of the Prussian Husaren-Regiment von Belling (Nr. 8). Given the choice of a prisoner of war camp or service in the Prussian army, Blücher joined the von Belling regiment. In 1770 he participated in the campaign against Poland, which nearly cost him his military carreer. Young Rittmeister Blücher is said to have tortured a Polish priest to extract a confession from him. King Frederic the Great of Prussian wanted good relations with Poland, and Blücher fell into disgrace. Blücher left the Prussian army in 1773 when he was passed over for promotion. When Frederic the Great died in 1786, Blücher was recalled to active service. He was promoted to Major and returned to his old regiment to command a squadron of hussars.

Prussian Field-Marshal von Blücher
Prussian Field-Marshal von Blücher

In 1789 Blücher received the order Pour le Merite, followed by the order of the Red Eagle in 1794. He fought at Jena and Auerstedt in 1806, and received the order of the Black Eagle in 1807. Blücher served as commander in chief in Swedish Pomerania, and as gouvernor of Pomerania and Neumark until 1811. He was promoted to General of Cavalry in 1809, Supreme Commander of the Silesian Army in 1813, und General-Fieldmarshal on 21 October 1813, following the allied victory at the Battle of Nations at Leipzig.

During the night of 1 January 1814 Blücher's Silesian Army crossed the Rhine at Kaub. Paris fell to the allies on 31 March and Napoleon abdicated on 11 April. In 1815, Blücher again received the supreme command of the Prussian Army which fought victoriously at the Battle of Waterloo / Belle-Alliance on 18 June. Blücher became a member of the Prussian State Assembly in 1817. The first Blücher monument was erected during his lifetime at his birthplace Rostock. Blücher died on 12 September 1819 and was buried at his farm Krieblowitz in Silesia. On 26 August 1853, Blücher's cask was moved to his Mausoleum on the Katzbach river where he had fought his first major victory against the French Napoleonic Army.

Blücher Miniatures

Blücher's Campaign History

  • Swedish Pomerania, 1760
  • Poland, 1770
  • Palatinate, Engagement at Kirrweiler, Luxemburg, Kaiserslautern,
    Morschheim, Weidenthal, Edesheim, and Edenkoben, 1794
  • Jena and Auerstedt, 1806
  • Lützen, Bautzen, Katzbach, and Leipzig, 1813
  • Kaub, Champaubert, Montmirail, Chateau Thierry, La Rothière,
    Méry, Vauchamps, Craonne, and Laon, 1814
  • Ligny, and Waterloo, 1815

Bibliography

The marble bust of Generalfeldmarschall von Blücher pictured above may be seen at the Walhalle Ruhmes- und Ehrenhalle an der Donau at Regensburg, Germany.

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Prussian Napoleonic Miniatures