Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Ziethen, Wieprecht Hans Karl Friedrich Ernst Heinrich von

Ziethen, Wieprecht Hans Karl Friedrich Ernst Heinrich von (1315)

MG . Commander, 11th Brigade, II Corps in 1813.

Born on 5 March 1770 in Dechtow, Kreis Osthavelland, west of Berlin; his father, Ernst Dietrich, had been a Rittmeister in the R Gens d`Armes (Kür R Nr 10), and he was nephew to the legendary General Hans Joachim von Ziethen. He entered military service on 26 May 1785 as Junker in the  Hus R von Zieten Nr 2 (his uncle`s regiment); on 2 February 1788 he was commissioned as Kornett and on 10 June 1790, was promoted to Sklt. From 1792 - 1794 he served in the war against the French on the upper Rhine and fought at Kloppenheim, the storm of Frankfurt; Valmy and the battle of Kaiserslautern. On 5 December 1792 he was awarded the PLM. On 5 June 1793 he was appointed Adj to Gen Graf Kalkreuth and on 7 December 1793 he was promoted to Ritt and transferred to the army staff. In 1795, he was appointed Adj to the West Prussian Cavalry Inspectorate. On 12 June 1800, he was promoted Maj and appointed Adj to Gen Kalkreuth in the South Prussian Cavalry Inpectorate. In the campaign of 1806, he fought at Auerstädt then on the Alle River. On 20 December 1806, he was appointed to command the Hus R Württemberg Nr 4. On 8 February 1807, he was appointed commander of the 2nd Hus Bde. He then fought at Labiau, East Prussia, on 17 January 1807. Later that year, he fought at Friedland (14 June)and covered L`Estocq`s withdrawal on Königsberg. On 21 June 1807, he was promoted to Obst Lt, and on 5 December 1808, was appointed to command the 1st Schl Hus R Nr 4. On 20 May 1809, he was promoted to Obst. On 9 September 1810, he was awarded the RAO III, and on 14 March 1813, was promoted to GM. On 31 March, he was given command of the 11th Bde. He fought at Gross-Görschen (where he won the EK II). His best day was at Haynau on 26 May, where he won the EK I. He was distinguished at Dresden, where he was awarded oakleaves to his PLM. Also fought at Kulm, where he contributed much to the allied victory and was awarded the RAO II. His corps commander, von Kleist, wrote of von Zieten at the battle of Dresden:

`Der General von Zieten, mit der von ihm bekannten Entschlossenheit und Einsicht, nahm das Verhau im Grossen Garten und trieb den Feind bis in die Vorstadt. Eine Batterie des Feindes aus dem Hofgartenschen Garten flankierte die Strasse vom Grossen Garten bis zum Schlage und machte es unmöglich, von dieser Seite in die Vorstadt einzudringen, zumal der Feind den Schlag verpallisadiert und auf alle mögliche Art in Verteidigungszustand gesetzt hatte. Dem General von Zieten, der bis zum Abend den Grossen Garten behauptet hatte, gab ich nunmehr den Befehl, die Truppen bis zum Schloss zurückzuziehen, dergestalt, dass er die Hälfte des Gartens besetzt hielt. Unter den Offizierien, die sich an diesem Tage auf eine vorzuegliche Weise ausgezeichnet haben, glänzt vor allen Dingen der General von Zieten, ein Mann, der die WAHRE Stütze des Staates genannt zu werden verdient und auf den das Vaterland stolz sein kann.`

(General von Ziethen, with his customarydecisiveness and skill, took the thicket in the Grossen Gartenand drove the enemy back into the suburbs. An enemy battery flanked the road from the Grossen Garten to the barrier and made it impossible to advance into the suburbs, particularly as the enemy had pallisaded the barrier and taken all necessary defensive measures. I now ordered  General von Ziethen, who had held the Grossen Garten until the evening, to withdraw the troops to the castle and to retain command of half the Garten. Of all the officers who distinguished themselves this day, General von Ziethen shines out, as a man who deserves to be called  a REAL pillar of the state and of whom the fatherland can be proud.

On 16 October, in the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig, he was distinguished at Wachau, and two days later, was again distinguished in the storm of Probstheida. On 13 December, he was promoted to GL. In 1814, he fought at Laon and Paris, and on 31 May, was awarded the RAO I. On19 March 1815, he was appointed to command I Corps. He fought at Ligny on 16 June and held his ground despite losses of 11,000 and got to Waterloo on time two days later. On 11 July 1815, he was awarded the HOSA Ch. On 3 October 1815, he was appointed GOC of the Prussian corps in France and received a gift of Thr 25,000. On 21 May 1816, he was awarded the Russian OStG III, and on 2 July 1816, was awarded the French Military Service Order, GC. On 3 September 1817, he was ennobled as a Graf. On 11 February 1819, he was appointed GOC in Silesia, and on 20 February, he was awarded the British Order of the Bath GC. On 3 April 1820, he was appointed GOC of VI Corps, and on 14 September 1824, he was appointed Chef of Hus R Nr 4. On 19 July 1825, he was awarded the Military Service Cross. On  20 June 1829, he was awarded the Russian OAN. On 17 October 1830, he was awarded the Russian OStS, and on 26 May 1835, was awarded diamonds to his HOSA. On 31 December of that year, he was awarded the Russian OStA II. On 6 February 1839, he retired as GFM, and on 18 July 1844, was awarded a crown to his PLM. Like his famous uncle under Frederic the Great, Zieten had proved to be an excellent hussar officer.  Wieprecht died on 3 May 1848 in Warmbrunn in the Riesengebirge, now Jelenia Gora, in the Czech Republic.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2013

 

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