Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Fürst von Wahlstatt
(16.12.1742 - 12.9.1819)
place of birth: Rostock, Grosherzogtum Mecklenburg-Schwerin
ill-educated but courageous Prussian field marshal nicknamed "Alte
Vorwärts" (Old Mr. Forward). He enlisted in a Swedish Morner
cavalry regiment against the wishes of his family and served in three
campaigns against the Prussians until captured near Friedland.
Changing sides, he was commissioned a cornet in the 8th Belling Hussars
and served with them for the remainder of the war.
Blücher retired in 1773
to run his family farm but was recalled with the rank of major in 1786
after Frederick the Great's death. Commanded 8th Hussars and handily
defeated the French at Landau in 1794. Fought at the Battle of Auerstädt in 1806 where he and Scharnhorst were captured. He
returned to active service in 1813 at the age of 71, fighting at Lützen
and Bautzen. His advance toward Leipzig wrecked Napoleon's
plans to use the city as a base of maneuver and brought about the great
Allied victory there. As field marshal, he invaded France in 1814
and headed for Paris, was checked by Napoleon at Brienne,
but defeated him at Laon. He was defeated by Napoleon in 1815 at Ligny,
Belgium. Gneisenau had him march to Wellington's aid at Waterloo,
defeating the French at Placentoit. Soon after, he retired to his
estate in Silesia. Von Blücher was one of only
two recipients to ever win the Grand Cross with Breast Star
(other honoree was von Hindenburg).
Großkreuz des EK ............