Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Schöler, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm von

Schöler, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm von (62/976)

Born on 24 May 1731 in Ohl, Kreis Gummersbach in the Westerwald hills, south of Bonn, where his father, Johann Jakob Wilhelm, was Amtsmann (steward). He entered Prussian military service on 4 February 1756 as Kondukteur (senior NCO) in the engineers in Wesel fortress on the lower Rhine. He served in the Seven Years War in the army of Herzog Ferdinand von Braunschweig at the battles of Bergen, Crefeld and Minden (where he was wounded), in 20 clashes and two sieges. On 18 May 1759, he was commissioned as Sklt, and on 29 November 1762, was promoted Kpt and Kiech in the Freikorps von Trümbach. On 1 June 1763, he was transferred to the engineers in Wesel. On 21 March 1769, he was ennobled . On 13 April 1788, he went with the rest of the garrison of Wesel to join the army of Prinz Heinrich von Preussen at Halberstadt for the war against Austria. On 30 July 1782, he was promoted to Maj in Wesel, and on 18 October 1789, was promoted to Obstlt. On 20 May 1792, he was promoted to Obst. From 1792 to 1793, he served in the war with France. On 4 May 1793 - transferred to Dutch service as GQM (Chief of Staff) under the Prince of Orange for a period. On 9 November 1794, he was awarded the PLM for his work on the defences of Wesel fortress. On 31 December 1796, he was appointed Brigadier General of the fortresses in the Mark (Brandenburg), Magdeburg and Westphalia, and on 20 May 1799, he was promoted to GM. On 13 October 1805, he was appointed commandant of Wesel, and  29 March 1806, was appointed commandant of Hameln fortress. On 22 November 1806 he shamefully surrendered Hameln to Gen Dumonceau`s Dutch division of 6,000 men with no siege artillery, while he occupied a strong fortress, in good repair, well stocked and with 10,000 soldiers inside its walls. At this point he was 75 years old and in no fit condition for such a responsible post. On 9 December 1809, he was court martialled, cashiered, stripped of his PLM and sentenced to life imprisonment. On 25 January 1810, he was permitted to serve his sentence in Spandau town. He was pardoned in 1814 and died on 6 Mar 1817 in Cleve, in the Rhineland.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: March 2012

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