Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Oppen, Adolf Friedrich von

By: Digby Smith

Oppen, Adolf Friedrich von

Major General. Commander, Reserve Cavalry, III Corps in 1813.

Born on 4 December 1762 in Alt-Gatersleben, Kreis Aschersleben, between Magdeburg and Halle / Saale; died on 27 August 1834 as Herr von Seyde, Kreis Solin. He entered Prussian military service on 4 October 1776 as Est Junker in the Kür R von Seelhorst Nr 6, and on 9 June 1778, was commissioned as Kornett. In 1778 - 1779 he served in the war against Austria. On 13 November 1785, he was promoted to Lt, Kür R von Rohr Nr 6. In 1787, he went on campaign against the republicans in the Netherlands. On 11 Mar 1792, he was promoted to Prlt. From 1792 - 1795 he was on campaign on the Rhine; serving at Valmy, the sieges of Verdun and Mainz; in the latter city, he met Goethe. He was wounded at Landau. He also fought in the battle of Kaiserslautern, at the Weissenburg lines, Ober-Ursel, Hochheim, Meckenheim, Edinghofen and am Schänzel. On 10 April 1795, he was promoted to Stritt, and on 6 October 1797, Ritt. On 17 July 1798, he transferred to the Garde du Corps (Kür R Nr 13) in Berlin, and on 3 October of that year, was promoted to Maj; he was frequently the king`s guest at table.

On 24 January 1803, he was appointed to command  Drag R Wobeser Nr 14. On 5 January 1805, he was awarded a gift of Thr 1,000 by the king. In the campaign of 1806 he was in Rüchel`s corps which came up too late to fight at Jena. At Weimar on the day of the battle of Jena, he sacrificed his cavalry to save the Prussian infantry. Oppen was very strong physically and he charged and cut down the French general commanding the opposing force there. He was wounded in chest and shoulder and was captured at the capitulation of Prenzlau on 28 October. He was exchanged on 1 May 1807, and on 17 June was promoted to Obst Lt; next day, he was awarded the PLM for his actions at Weimar. On 4 October 1808, he was appointed to command the  Drag R Königin. From 21 November 1808 - 27 April 1810, he acted as temporary brigade commander of the Pommeranian LWC. On 18 September 1810, this command was confirmed. On 12 Novenber 1811, he retired as GM due to the effects of his wounds from Weimar. On 5 Mar 1813, he was reactivated as GOC the Reserve Cavalry in von Bülow`s corps. He fought at Zeddenick (where he was distinguished), at Möckern on 5 April, where he cut down a French cavalry officer and was wounded in the face. He also fought at Hoyerswerda, Vehlitz (where he won the EK II) and Luckau, On 8 June he was awarded the OSA II with diamonds. On 11 July he was awarded the EK I. He also fought at Wittstock, Gross-Beeren, Dennewitz (for which he received the HOSA I and the RAO III. At Leipzig he won the Swedish OS.He also fought at the storm of Arnhem. On 6 January 1814, he was promoted to GL, and on 18 February 1815 he was appointed to command a brigade in Magdeburg. on 20 March of that year, he was appointed commander of a brigade in Tauentzien`s corps but saw no action. He retired, for the second time, on 21 February 1816. On 18 June 1825, he was awarded the RAO I. Oppen was the legendary German officer and nobleman; he wrote several pamphlets on cavalry tactics.


Placed on the Napoleon Series: July 2011


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