Augustus von Gneisenau
Viceroy of Italy
into a Saxon military family, Augustus Gneisenau first served with
the Austrians before joining the British for their efforts to hold
on to America.
1786, he was commissioned by the Prussians and then began serious
study of military matters.
was at Jena and then made his reputation
in 1806 with a fine defence of Colberg against Napoleon
1807 and 1813, Gneisenau helped introduce sweeping reforms to the
Prussian army and the setting up of a general staff.
the War of German Liberation in 1813,
Gneisenau joined Field Marshal Blucher
as his deputy and their blend of skills was almost unbeatable.
was the strategic brains, while Blucher was the battlefield expert.
the 100 Days' Campaign, Gneisenau's
distrust of the British came to the fore and after the defeat at
Ligny was all for abandonning the
Duke of Wellington and his army and retreating towards Prussia.
by Blucher, Gneisenau ordered the Prussian army to Waterloo,
but clever staff work ensured a slow march that would give it time
to withdraw in safety if Bonaparte had already defeated the British
and Allied forces.
1815, Gneisenau continued to hold high military office and led an
army to quell a revolt in Poland in 1831.
died of cholera at Posen.