Leberecht von Blücher Fürst von Wahlstatt
(16.12.1742 - 12.9.1819)
place of birth: Rostock, Grosherzogtum Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Rough, 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.
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).