Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Sydow, Hans Joachim Friedrich von

Sydow, Hans Joachim Friedrich von (1225)

Born on 12 May 1762 in Zernikow, Kreis Westprignitz, mid way between Neustrelitz and Oranienburg; his father, Georg Friedrich, was a retired Leutnant of the KürR von Schnaich Nr 6 and Herr auf Zernikow. He entered Prussian military service in 1775 as Junker, HusR von Belling Nr 8, and on 31 March 1778, was commissioned as Kornett; he served in the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778/9 at the clashes of Zwickau and Gabel. On 15 June 1783, he was promoted to Sklt, and on 6 June 1792, was promoted to Prlt. In the war against France from 1793 – 1795 he fought in the clashes at Edesheim, Diedesheim, Kirrweiler, at the siege of Landau and the battle of Kaiserslautern, where he was wounded and won the PLM (approved on 7 June 1794). On 29 April 1794, he was promoted to Strtmstr, and on 4 January 1797, was promoted to Rtmstr and ChEs. On 15 June 1800, he was promoted to Maj, in the HusR von Blücher Nr 8. In the war of 1806/7 he fought at Auerstädt (again wounded), in the clash at Lychen and was captured at the capitulation of Ratkau on 7 November 1806. He was then placed on the inactive list until 28 February 1809, when he was given command of the Pommeranian HusR. Due to the effects of his wound he had to resign on 22 March of that year and was inactive until 6 April 1813, when he volunteered his services and became CO of the Pommeranian NKR. On 16 May 1813, he was given command of the Pommeranian LW Brigade. The date of his promotion to Obstlt is not known. On 8 June 1813, he was appointed to command the Kurmark LWK Brigade in GM von Oppen`s Reserve Cavalry Division of von Bülow`s III Corps in the Army of the North. On 8 December 1813, he was promoted to Obst and given command of the Reserve Cavalry Brigade in IV Corps. In the Wars of Liberation he fought in the battles of 1813 at Gross-Beeren, Dennewitz, Leipzig, the clash of  Wittstock (awarded the EK II) and the storm of Arnhem (awarded the Swedish Order of the Sword II). In 1814 he served in the battles of Laon and Paris the siege of Zutphen, for which he was awarded the EK I on 2 March 1814. On 27 August 1814, he was appointed to command the Pommeranian LW division. On 13 May 1815, he was promoted to GM. In 1815 he fought at Waterloo. Of his actions here, Prinz Wilhelm von Preussen wrote:

`… übernahm freiwillig das Kommando der 1. Kavallerie-Brigade nach dem Tode des Kommandeurs derselben, des Grafen Schwerin. Mehrere Male brachte er die Tirailleurs der Infanterie, wenn sie weichen wollten, wieder zum stehenund feuerte sie an. Durch unermüdeten Eifer und durch seine kaltblütige Unerschrockenheit trug er vieles dazu bei, die Kontenance der Kavallerie auf diesem wichtigen Punkte im Zentrum unserer Stellung zu erhöhen und zu befestigen.` (He voluntarily took over command of the 1.Kavallerie-Brigade, following the death of its commander, Graf Schwerin. He brought the skirmishers of the infantry to a halt several times, when they were about to break, and fired them up again. By his tireless efforts and icy calm, he contributed much to the spirit of the cavalry at this vital point in the centre of our position)

On 23 July 1815, he was given command of a brigade in IV Corps, and on 2 October 1815, was awarded oakleaves to his PLM for Waterloo. On 30 October 1815, he received a gift of Thlr 2,000 from the king. On 23 November 1815, he was appointed Inspector General of the Kösliner LW. On 10 December 1816, he was awarded the Russian OStA I. On 22 February 1820, he was appointed to command the 4th LW Brigade. He retired on 23 April 1822, with the rank of GL and a pension of  Thlr 1,000p.a. He died in Zernikow on 27 April 1823. Von Sydow was highly thought of by von Belling and by von Blücher

Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2012


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