Portrait: Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher

Wednesday, 25 November 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Portrait

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher by Ernst Gebauer, around 1815

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher by Ernst Gebauer, around 1815

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt (16 December 1742 – 12 September 1819), Graf (count), later elevated to Fürst (sovereign prince) von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall (field marshal). He earned his greatest recognition after leading his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Blücher was born in Rostock, the son of a retired army captain. His military career began in 1758 as a hussar in the Swedish Army. He was captured by the Prussians in 1760 during the Pomeranian Campaign and thereafter joined the Prussian Army, serving as a hussar officer for Prussia during the remainder of the Seven Years’ War. In 1773, Blücher was forced to resign by Frederick the Great for insubordination. He worked as a farmer until the death of Frederick in 1786, when Blücher was reinstated and promoted to colonel. For his success in the French Revolutionary Wars, Blücher became a major general in 1794. He became a lieutenant general in 1801 and commanded the cavalry corps during the Napoleonic Wars in 1806.

'Old Blucher beating the Corsican Big Drum' by George Cruikshank Blücher Mausoleum in Krieblowitz © SchiDD/cc-by-sa-4.0 Blücher monument in front of the University of Rostock's main building, created by Johann Gottfried Schadow in collaboration with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe @ Darkone/cc-by-2.5 Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher by Ernst Gebauer, around 1815 Krieblowitz Palace, Blücher's late home, today again owned by the Blücher family, serving as hotel © SchiDD-cc-by-sa/4.0
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Blücher monument in front of the University of Rostock's main building, created by Johann Gottfried Schadow in collaboration with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe @ Darkone/cc-by-2.5
War broke out between Prussia and France again in 1813 and Blücher returned to active service at the age of 71. He was appointed full general over the Prussian field forces and clashed with Napoleon at the Battles of Lützen and Bautzen. Later he won a critical victory over the French at the Battle of Katzbach. Blücher commanded the Prussian Army of Silesia at the Battle of the Nations where Napoleon was decisively defeated. For his role, Blücher was made a field marshal and received his title of Prince of Wahlstatt. After Napoleon’s return in 1815, Blücher took command of the Prussian Army of the Lower Rhine and coordinated his force with that of the British and Allied forces under the Duke of Wellington. At the Battle of Ligny, he was severely injured and the Prussians retreated. After recovering, Blücher resumed command and joined Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, with the intervention of Blücher’s army playing a decisive role in the final allied victory.

Blücher was made an honorary citizen of Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock. Known for his fiery personality, he was nicknamed Marschall Vorwärts (“Marshal Forward”) by his soldiers because of his aggressive approach in warfare. Along with Paul von Hindenburg, he was the most highly decorated Prussian-German soldier in history: Blücher and Hindenburg are the only Prussian-German military officers to have been awarded the Star of the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross. A statue once stood in the square that bore his name, Blücherplatz in Breslau.

Read more on Blüchermuseum Kaub, Krobielowice Palace Hotel and Wikipedia Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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