Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Wrangel, August Friedrich Freiherr von

Wrangel, August Friedrich Freiherr von (1275)

Born on 22 April 1774 in the castle in Pollnow, Kreis Schlawe, near the Baltic coast, between Szczecin and Gdansk in Poland; his father, Friedrich Ernst, was a Prussian general. On 10 March 1787, he entered the military academy in Berlin, and on 26 April 1787, became an applicant to be a knight in the Order of St John. On 11 March 1793, he was appointed Frch in the IR von Braun Nr 13. On 7 September 1793, he transferred at his father`s wish to become commissioned as a Kornett in the HusR von der Trenck Nr 7. He served in the war in Poland 1794/5 in the clashes at Czekoczyn, Blonie and at the siege of Warsaw. On 5 March 1795, he was promoted to Sklt, and on 19 November 1798, was appointed ADC to General von Köhler. On 16 April 1801, he was married. On 2 August 1803, he was promoted to Prlt, and on 10 December 1804, to Strtmstr. On 28 June 1806, he transferred to HusR von Schimmelpfennig Nr 6 as a supernumary officer. In the war of 1806/7 he was attached to the staff of the Russian GdK von Bennigsen on 4 December 1806; he fought at Pultusk with distinction (awarded the PLM). On 13 March 1807, he was permitted to wear the star of the Russian OStA II, which was sent to him by the Czar. On 16 May 1807, he was promoted to Maj, and on 14 September 1807, was sent to Warsaw to take possession of all governmental files and archives. On 10 December 1807, he returned to Königsberg. On 30 March 1808, he salary was increased to Thlr 800 p.a. On 5 May 1808, he was permitted to wear the Russian OV IV. On 14 December 1808, he went with king Friedrich Wilhelm III to Berlin, and on 5 December 1809, he was appointed ADC to the King with a salary of Thlr 1,900 p.a. and five forage rations. On 23 May 1812, he was invested as a knight in the Order of St John.

During the campaign in Russia in 1812 he was sent by the king as special attache to General von Grawert, the first commander of the Prussian corps in the invasion. He carried the following secret verbal orders: `1. Alles Blutvergiessen womöglich soweit verhindern, als es die Ehre der Truppen erlauben würde. 2. Im Falle eines allgemeinen Rückzuges sich von der französischen Armee zu trennen und das preussische Korps in Graudenz zu konzentrieren, ohne Franzosen oder Russen in der Festung aufzunehmen.3. Daselbst die weiteren Befehle des Königs abzuwarten. ` (1. Avoid all possible casualties that the honour of the troops will permit. 2. In the case of a general withdrawal, part from the  French army and concentrate the Prussian corps in Graudenz, without allowing either the French or the Russians to enter the fortress. 3. Wait there for further orders from the king.) When von Wrangel reached the HQ of the Prussian corps in the field, von Grawert was already ill and von Yorck had assumed command so he delivered his message to him. This must have had great influence on Yorck`s conduct in concluding the Convention of Tauroggen with the Russians in December 1812.

On 14 Mar 1813, he was promoted to Obstlt, and on 18 March 1813, was awarded the Russian OV III. On 1 June 1813, he was given command of Blücher`s Reserve Cavalry until 8 June, when he was called back to be ADC to the king again. On 25 June 1813, he was promoted Obst, and on 13 August, was appointed to command the Reserve Cavalry of II Corps. On 24 September 1813, he was granted the pay of a GM. In the Wars of Liberation he fought at Leipzig (won the EK II, Swedish Order of the Sword and the Austrian Order of Leopold); in 1814, he fought at Etoges and Montmirail (won the EK I). On 8 January 1814, he was permitted to wear the Russian OStG IV. On 30 May 1814, he was promoted GM; on 31 May 1814, he relinquished the post of ADC to the king. On 13 November 1815, he was appointed Insp Gen of the LW in the Duchy of Berg, on the lower Rhine. On 2 August 1816, he was appointed Insp Gen of the LW in the Gumbinnen district (now Gusev, east of Kaliningrad, Russia). On 5 September 1818, he was given command of the 1. Division, and on 18 January 1821, was awarded the RAO III. On 26 September 1823, he assumed command of the 15. Division, and on 30 March 1824, was promoted GL. On 18 June 1825, he was awarded the Dienstkreuz, and on 13 September 1825, was awarded the RAO II with oakleaves. On 18 January 1831, he was awarded the Star to RAO II with oakleaves. On 30 March 1832, he was appointed governor of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad). He retired on 23 October 1832, and died in Berlin in 1851.

 

Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2012

 

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