Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815: Putlitz, Edler zu, Friedrich Wilhelm Otto Gans

Putlitz, Edler zu, Friedrich Wilhelm Otto Gans (1180)

Born on 11 March 1750 in Wolfshagen, Kreis Westprignitz, northwest of Berlin, his father, Rudolf Christian, was Herr auf Scharpenhufe, Kreis Osterburg, north of Magdeburg. He entered Prussian military service in 1756 as Gfkpl in the IR Prinz Ferdinand von Preussen Nr 34. On 29 May 1765, he was promoted to Frch; on 5 June 1771, he was commissioned as Sklt. He served in the war of 1778/9, and on 2 December 1780, he was dismissed from Prussian service for unknown reasons. He then entered Dutch service until 2 November 1786, when he reentered Prussian service as Stkpt, in the Light IR von Chaumontet, a Freicorps. On 1 June 1787, he was transferred to Füs Bn von Thadden Nr 13 in the Niederschlesischen-Füsilier-Brigade. On 26 April 1789, he was promoted to Maj in Füs Bn von Rabenau Nr 13. He fought in the war against France from 1792 to 1795 and was badly wounded in the raid on Bitsch fortress, in Alsace, on 17 November 1793, so much so that he was unfit for field service for some months afterwards. On 12 September 1797, he was appointed Chef of Füs Bn Nr 22 in the Oberschlesischen-Füs-Brigade. On 24 May 1800, he was appointed to command the 3. (Musketier) Bn of the IR von Grävenitz Nr 57. In the war of 1806/7 he fought in the defence of Glogau, Silesia (now Glogow) and was very much against the decision of the governor of Glogau, GL von Reinhard, to capitulate to the French on 2 December 1806. He was very badly wounded in the clash at Glatz (now Klodzko, Poland) on 24 Jun 1807 and his life was saved only by his faithful servant, Sachek, who threw himself on top of his master`s body. On 12 November 1807, he was appointed Deputy Inspector of the Silesian light infantry, and on 8 February 1808 he was appointed governor of Glatz fortress. On 27 July 1808, he was promoted to Obstlt, and on 17 February 1809, he was appointed to command the Silesian Schützen-Bn. On 11 April 1810, he was awarded the PLM for his actions at Glatz, and on 27 May 1810, he was appointed commandant of Graudenz city. On 4 February 1811, he was promoted to Obst and on 9 August 1811, he took over from GFM Courbiere as governor of the fortress at the latter`s death. He retired on 17 March 1812, as GM with a pension of Thlr 800 p.a. On 26 May 1813, he was reactivated and appointed GOC of a Landwehr infantry division. He fought in the clashes at Lübnitz and Hagelberg (where he was awarded the EK II) and the sieges of Magdeburg and Wesel, the latter from 5 March 1814. On 21 August 1813, he took his command (two Kurmark LW Bdes of  Boguslawsky and von der Marwitz, four Kurmark LW cavalry squadrons and ½ a 6 pdr foot battery) and conducted a fighting withdrawal from Havelberg and Spandau via Genthin to Brandenburg an der Havel to join General von Hirschfeld`s command. Together they defeated Marshal Oudinot`s force at Hagelberg on 27 August. In this action, von Putlitz broke a collar bone in a fall from his horse and was off duty until 10 September 1813. On 26 Apr 1814, he was appointed temporary commandant of Glogau fortress. He retired for the second time on 3 October 1815, with a pension of Thlr 1,500 p.a. Zu Puttlitz died on 12 January 1837 in Jauer, between Dresden and Bautzen.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: November 2011

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