Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Isenburg-Birstein, Karl Friedrich Ludwig Moritz, Fürst von

By: Digby Smith

Isenburg-Birstein, Karl Friedrich Ludwig Moritz, Fürst von (1057)

Born in Birstein, northeast of Hanau, on 29 June 1766. He attended the Kriegsschule (war school) in Pfeffels (according to Six, he attended the school in Colmar). In 1784 he entered Austrian military service as Lt in the IR Tillier and in 1785 - served in the war in the Netherlands. In 1786 (Six: 17 October 1787) he was promoted to Kpt in the IR Reisky Nr 13. Also in 1786 he fought in the war against the Turks. In 1790 he was promoted to Maj. His regiment was in Görz and Trieste. From 1791 - 1795 he served in the war against France in Italy and the Netherlands. In 1793 he was appointed commander of a battalion in the IR  D`Alton Nr 15. He left Austrian service after a distinguished career in 1794 with the rank of Obstlt.

On 28 August 1801 he became a knight in the Order of St Hubertus and in the Order of St John. According to Six, he entered Prussian service on 25 October 1802. On 3 February 1803 he acceded to the throne of his principality. According to Priessdorf, he entered Prussian military service as GM on 13 October 1803. According to Six he entered French service in 1804.

On 12 July 1806 his state joined the Confederation of the Rhine; he thus left Prussian service and became a French general (Six: on 12 December 1806). On 1 November 1805 he raised a regiment for French service from Prussian PWs and deserters in Mainz.

It bore his name until 3 August 1811, when it became the 2e Régiment Etranger. In 1808 he went to Spain with the regiment According to Six, he became a brigade commander in Musnier`s 1st Division; on 8 November 1808 he transferred to Leval`s 2nd (German) Division of Lefebvre`s IV Corps. On 7 May 1809 he returned to France for reasons of health and left French service on 23 June 1810. In 1810 two companies of his regiment drowned in an accident in the River Rhone. In 1814 the allies confiscated his estates which were split between Hessen-Kassel and Hessen-Darmstadt. He died on 21 March 1820 in Birstein.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: February 2011


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