August Wilhelm Anton Graf Neidhardt von Gneisenau
(27.10.1760 - 23.08.1831)
place of birth:  Schildau, Sachsen  (Saxony)
Königreich Preußen:  Generalstabschef; Generalfeldmarschall

                          


The courageous and brilliant Prussian Field Marshal Graf von Gneisenau remained a strong supporter of German unity. He was the son of a Saxon artillery officer and served briefly in the Austrian cavalry (1778-80) before heading to Canada as a lieutenant in a mercenary Ansbach regiment (1782-83). Commissioned as a captain in the Prussian Army in 1786, he spent the next 20 years on garrison duty. 

Gneisenau fought at Jena
during the 1806 campaign and distinguished himself in the defense of Colberg. He worked with Scharnhorst from 1807-1813 as a reformer, establishing a general staff and developing the Krümper (reserves) system for clandestinely rebuilding the Prussian Army. Served as von Blücher's chief of staff during the 1813 campaign. He was also von Blücher's chief of staff during the Waterloo campaign (1815), fighting at Ligny and, when von Blücher was wounded, made the important decision to retreat to Wavre, which made possible the timely arrival of Prussian support for Wellington at Waterloo. Served briefly as governor of Berlin and then was promoted to field marshal in 1825 when he was given command of the Observation Army sent to protect Prussia's eastern border during the Polish insurrection of 1831. As Scharnhorst's right-hand man and successor as Chief of General Staff (1813-14), his attempts to promote liberal reforms in the army were thwarted by the aristocracy. Like Clausewitz, he died of cholera at the age of 71, in the Posen province.

     

Generalstabschef  .......... 00.07.1810  -  03.06.1814

Generalfeldmarschall ... 18.06.1825

Pour le Mérite ................. 31.03.1814