Gerhard Johann David Graf von Scharnhorst
(12.11.1755 - 28.06.1813)
place of birth:  Bordenau, Provinz Hannover
Königreich Preußen:  Kriegsminister,  Generalstabschef,  General-Lieutenant


Prussian general and War Minister
von Scharnhorst first served in the Hannoverian Army as an artillery officer. He fought alongside the Duke of York in the Netherlands at Hondshoote and Menin (1793). Scharnhorst was commissioned in 1801 as a lieutenant colonel in the Prussian Army, he taught at the Berlin War Academy (one of his students was Clausewitz). Scharnhorst was wounded at Auerstadt (1806) where he was serving as the Duke of Brunswick's chief of staff, and then he was captured one month later alongside Field Marshal von Blücher at Ratkau.

General von Scharnhorst was appointed Prussian Minister of War and Chief of General Staff in 1808, and immediately he began to rebuild the army with Gneisenau's help. Napoleon's edict against foreigners serving in the Prussian Army (1810) forced him into retirement, but he was recalled in 1812 as von Blücher's chief of staff. He fought and was wounded at Lützen in 1813, succumbing one month later to his wounds. Von Scharnhorst's writings and reforms infused the Prussian Army with a sense of national pride, and his work greatly influenced subsequent military development. He devised the Krümpersystem under which resulted in a much larger number of Prussian recruits to be trained as soldiers than was permitted under the law; citizens were called to service for a short training period to be then replaced by another group.


Kriegsminister   25.07.1807  -  17.06.1810

Generalstabschef   01.03.1808  -  17.06.1810

General-Lieutenant  11.03.1813

Pour le Mérite  00.02.1807