Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern, August Wilhelm von

By: Digby Smith

 

August Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern, Herzog von. Born on 10. Oktober 1715 in Braunschweig; died on 2. August 1781 in Stettin (now Szczecin). August Wilhelm was the son of Herzog Ernst Ferdinand von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern. August Wilhelm was the founder of the younger Bevern line. He was commissioned into Prussian military service in 1731. In 1734 he took part in the War of the Polish Succession under King Friedrich Wilhelm I on the Rhine, as a member of the royal suite. In 1739 he was promoted to Obst and appointed to command IR von Kalkstein Nr 25. In 1740, he took part in the First Silesian War under Friedrich II, at the sieges of Brieg (now Brzeg) on the upper Rive Oder and Neisse (now Nysa, north of the Czech border). By this time he had been promoted Oberst and had been appointed Chef of IR Nr 7 in 1741, and he was wounded in the battle of Mollwitz on 10 April 1741. In the Second Silesian War, he fought at Hohenfriedberg as GM, having been promoted in 1743. In 1746 he was appointed Cmdt of Stettin, and in 1750, he was promoted to GL. He never married and was a confirmed bachelor. At the start of the Seven Years` War, he commanded a brigade on the Prussian left wing in the battle of Lobositz (now Lovosice) on 1 October 1756; when his men ran out of ammunition, he ordered a bayonet charge, which decided the battle against the Austrians. He also fought at Reichenberg on 21 April 1757, where he commanded and defeated the Austrian General Graf von Königsegg. He also fought at Prague on 6 May of that year, where he commanded part of the right wing in that Prussian victory. At the Prussian defeat in the battle of Kolin, on 18 June 1757, he commanded on the right wing. The Herzog was accused by GM von Retzow (commander of the Grenadiergardebtaillon Nr 6) of having willfully failed to go to the aid of GL von Winterfeldt, when the latter was defeated and mortally wounded in the clash at Moys on 7 September 1757. It was considered that this charge was baseless. He was then appointed C-in-C in Silesia, but was twice defeated by the Austrians under Herzog Karl von Lothringen in the battle of Breslau (22 November) and was captured next day. In May 1758, he returned from captivity, he was appointed governor of Stettin. Next year, he was promoted to GoI. In August 1762, he conducted another siege of Schweidnitz; Austrian FM von Daun attempted to relieve that place on 16 August, but was driven off by von Bevern in the battle of Reichenbach (now Dzierzoniow) about 18  km southeast of the fortress. The place fell on 9 October. The Herzog died on 2 August 1781 as governor of Stettin.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: April 2010

 

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