Johann David Ludwig Graf Yorck
(26.09.1759 - 04.10.1830)
place of birth: Potsdam, Brandenburg
Prussian count and field marshal Ludwig
von Wartenburg was born of English ancestry; he joined the Dutch Army
after being kicked out of the Prussian Army in 1779 for insubordination.
After seeing action in the East Indies as a captain, he returned to
Prussia in 1785 and was restored to service in the army. He was one of
the first to stress skirmish tactics. In command of an infantry brigade,
he fought at Jena in 1806. Was badly wounded and captured at Lübeck,
later repatriated after the Peace of Tilsit.
Graf Yorck was appointed Inspector General of Light Infantry in
1810 and played a major role in the reorganization of the army. As
Prussian corps commander in le Grande Army's 1812 invasion of Russia, he
was stopped at Riga and was later persuaded by Clausewitz to quit
Napoleon and negotiate the Convention of Tauroggen; this was a
bold decision which conferred neutral status to the Prussian Army and
was crucial to Prussia's regaining its independence. During the 1813
German campaign, he led troops at Bautzen, Katzbach, Wartenburg
and Leipzig. After fighting in France (1814) at Montmirail
and Laon, he was promoted to field marshal in 1821 and retired
from active service.
Pour le Mérite