Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Weltzien, Heinrich Wilhelm von

Weltzien, Heinrich Wilhelm von (1241)

Born on 4 May 1759 in Finkenberg near Rostock, east of Lübeck; his father, Alexander Ernst, was Herr auf Finkenberg. On 18 May 1772, Heinrich entered Prussian military service as a Kadett in Berlin, and on 5 March 1773, progressed to the Academie Militaire, also in Berlin. On 1 March 1778, he was commissioned Sklt in the Gren Bn von Gillern Nr 6. On 1 June 1787, light infantry regiments (Füsiliere) were formed in the Prussian army and von Weltzien transferred to Füs Bn von Gillern Nr 9. On 15 February 1789, he was promoted to Prlt, in the Füs Bn von Prosch Nr 9. In the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778/9, he fought with distinction in the clash at Lewin (?), and on 2 December 1791, was promoted to Stkpt in the Oberschlesische Füs Bde. In the war against France from 1792 – 1795 he fought in the clashes at Hochheim, Alsheim, Limbach, Tann, Busenberg, Neustadt, Tuerkheim, Obernheim, Diedesheim and Schorleberg, the battles of Kaiserslautern (awarded the PLM) and Pirmasens and the siege of Verdun. His commander, Maj von Bülow (later Graf von Dennewitz) wrote in his report of the action at the Schorleberg:

`Auf dem Schorleberge hat sich Major (sic) von Weltzien dadurch hervorgetan, dass er ohne den Befehl abzuwarten, sich mit der Leib-Compagnie des Bataillons von Pless in des Feindes Flanque warf, ihn angrif und dadurch zum guten Ausgang der Sache beitrug. Er hat ein gutes Coup d`oeuil in Ansehung der Beurteilung eines Terrains, in wie fern es für leichte Truppen brauchbar, die niedere und mittlere Taktik hat er sich eigen gemacht, indessen sind grosse militärische Ausarbeitung und Entwürfe ausser seiner Sphäre. `

(Major(sic) von Weltzien distinguished himself on the Schorleberge, in that he – without awaiting orders – took the Leib-Compagnie of the Battalion von Pless and attacked the enemy flank and helped to achieve victory. He has a good eye in reading the terrain for indications of how it might be of use to light troopsand he has mastered simple and middle tactics, although grand military solutions and plans are out of his sphere.)

On 30 September 1797,  – promoted Maj (this incongruency is not explained) in the Füs Bn von Bülow Nr 24. In this year von Weltzien had a serious row with his commander, Obstlt von Bülow, was court-martialled and sentenced to six months fortress arrest in Graudenz on 18 February 1803. His sentence was lifted on 9 July 1803 and he was transferred to the 1. Warsaw Füs Bde. In the war of 1806/7 he fought in the clash at Halle, on 17 October, where he was captured and sent to Nancy; he was released at the end of June 1807. On 10 December 1808, he was appointed commander of the Füs Bn, of the 2. West Prussian IR Nr 7, and on 20 May 1809, he was again promoted Obstlt. On 16 February 1810, he was appointed CO of light troops in the Niederschlesische Bde, and on 24 May 1811, was transferred to be commander of light troops in the Oberschlesische Bde. On 8 February 1812, he was promoted to Obst, and on 11 March 1812, was made acting commandant of Neisse (now Nysa) fortress, in southern Silesia. On 10 August 1812, he received a gift of Thlr 200 from the king. On 11 April 1813, he was appointed commandant of Glatz fortress, now Klodzko, west of Neisse. On 26 May 1813, he was given command of a Silesian LW Bde. He fought in the battles of Gross-Görschen, Bautzen, the Katzbach, Wartenburg (where he won the EK II) and Leipzig (where he won the EK I and the Russian OStS II). On 27 December 1813, he was appointed commander of the blockading force at Erfurt, in Thuringia. On 31 March 1815, he was appointed commandant of Koblenz fortress on the Rhine, and on 31 May 1815, he was promoted to GM. On 3 October 1815, he was appointed Insp Gen of the LW in Oppeln district, now Opole, on the upper River Oder. On 3 July 1817, he was appointed commandant of Kosel fortress, southeast of Cottbus; on 13 June 1825, he retired as GL, and on 18 June 1825, was awarded the Dienstkreuz. He died on 16 July 1827 in Liegnitz, now Legnica, west of Breslau.  


Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2012


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