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Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars  1793-1815

Prussian Generals of the Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815: Losthin, Michael Heinrich von

By: Digby Smith

Losthin, Michael Heinrich von (1218)

Born on 6 September 1762 in Vargow, Kreis Stolp, Pomerania, his father, Christian Gneomar, was Herr auf Vargow. On 16 May 1773, young Losthin entered the cadet training school in Stolp, but on 28 April 1775, he transferred to the officer cadet school in Berlin. On 17 March 1780, he was appointed Frch in the IR Graf von Tauentzien Nr 31, and on 9 September 1781, he was promoted to Sklt. On 1 October 1783, he was appointed ADC to General Graf von Tauentzien and on  21 September 1785, he was appointed ADC to GM von Götzen. On 23 September 1789, he was promoted to Kpt on the army staff. In 1795 he was appointed ADC on the staff of the army in Warsaw. On 3 January 1798, he was promoted to Maj and on 14 March 1799 he was given command of a battalion in the IR von Klinkowström Nr 49, which became IR von Malschitsky that same year. Later in 1799, he was given command of the grenadier battalion 38/49. In the war of 1806/7 he fought at Jena, Kanth and Salzbeuren and in the defence of Glatz (where he was distinguished) as CO of a grenadier battalion newly raised in the fortress. Graf Götzen, commandant of the fortress, wrote:

`Das Benehmen des Grenadier-Bataillons von Losthin verdient gewiss umsomehr alle Bewunderung, als erst neu formiert war und nicht allein bei dem Sturm auf das Lager von Glatz am 24.6.1807, sondern auch bei den vorhergehenden Gefechten die grösste Bravour und einen seltenen Esprit de Corps bewies. Sämtliche Offiziere haben sich sehr gut benommen und koennen nur der Major von Losthin und der Leutnant von Bühnau besonders ausgezeichnet werden.` (`The conduct of the Grenadier Battalion von Losthin deserves that much more admiration, not only in view of the fact that it had only just been formed, but that it had shown great courage and esprit de corps in previous engagements. `The conduct of all officers was very good and only Major von Losthin and Leutnant von Bühnau were especially distinguished.`)  

Despite this recommendation for the PLM none was forthcoming until 1810 when Graf von Götzen made the king aware of the omission. On 7 May 1807, Losthin was appointed Sous-Inspecteur of the Silesian light infantry until 12 November 1807, when he handed over this task to Maj von Putlitz. On 28 July 1808, he was promoted to Obstlt and on 17 February 1809, he was appointed CO, 2. Silesian IR. On 12 June 1810, he was finally awarded the PLM for his actions in the war of 1806/7. On 4 February 1811, he was promoted to Obst and on 8 May 1813, he took over the task of raising eight Reserve Battalions for the two infantry regiments of the Oberschlesische Brigade. On 23 May 1813, he was given command of a brigade of Silesian LW and on 18 June 1813, his brigade became the 2. LW Bde in von Yorck`s I Corps. In 1813 he fought at the Katzbach (where he was distinguished), Wartenburg (where he won the EK II) and was wounded at Leipzig (and won the  EK I). On 30 May 1814, he was promoted to GM; on 30 September 1814, he was appointed GOC of a Silesian LW division. On 23 March 1815, he was appointed GOC of a brigade in IV Corps and fought at Waterloo. He retired on 15 September 1815, as GL with a pension of Thlr 1,500 p.a.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: June 2011


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