Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Preussen, Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Prinz von

Preussen, Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Prinz von (1122)

Born on 30 December 1781 in Berlin castle, son of King Friedrich Wilhelm II. He entered military service on 5 September 1795 as Frch, in the Leibkompagnie, 1. Bn Garde Nr 15a. On 3 January 1798, he was commissioned as Stkpt. On 3 July 1800, he was appointed to the Order of St John (Johanniter-Ordens zu Sonnenburg). On 5 October 1805, he was promoted to Obst and awarded the HOSA Ch. He fought in the war of 1806 at Auerstädt where he had his horse shot from under him; Scharnhorst gave him his instead. On 11 November 1806, he was promoted to GM and on 10 December 1806, he took over the task of organizing the infantry in Königsberg. On 10 March 1807, he was appointed Chef of IR von Schöning Nr 11. In 1812, he was appointed Grand Master of the Order of St John. In the 1813 campaign he served on the staff in Wittgenstein`s headquarters and was awarded the EK II. On 14 March 1813, he was promoted to GL and on 31 May 1814, he was again promoted to GdI. On 29 April 1816, he was given command of the Westphalian Grenadier LW Bn. After 1815 he moved to Rome and devoted himself to the study of art and the collection of a library; he lived the life of a hermit, dying in Rome on 12 Jul 1846.

Even in 1807 Prinz Heinrich was a supporter of the idea that commissions should be given to members of the non-nobility if they were of the right quality. He presented his ideas to the king and on 26 December 1806 Friedrich Wilhelm III replied:

`Es ist allerdings Meine Absicht junge Leute bürgerlicher Abkunft, welche als Junker oder Offiziere in der Armee angestellt zu werden wünschen, annehmen zu lassen, wenn sie eine anständige Erziehung erhalten haben, sich tadellos betragen und ihr sonstigen Verhältnisse nicht dem Stande, welchem sie sich widmen wollen, entgegen stehen. In Absicht der Feld-Kriegs-Commissariats Offizianten, welche der Gegenstand Ihres gefälligen Schreibens vom 23. Sind, wuerde es also auf eine nähere Pruefung der Subjecte ankommen.`  (It is, however, my opinion that young men of non-noble birth, who wish to be appointed officer cadets or officers in the army, should be accepted if they have had a good education, have conducted themselves in an exemplary manner and if their other circumstances do not stand in the way of their chosen careers. In the case of the officials of the Field War Commissariat, which was the subject of your letter of the 23rd, there would have to be a closer examination of the topic,`)

Placed on the Napoleon Series: October 2011

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