1815 -2015: Remembrance of the Battle of Waterloo - opponents of Napoleon: 'Marshall Vorwärts' - von Blücher

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher was born on December 16th. 1742 in Rostock
in the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in northern Germany. His family had
been landowners in northern Germany since the 13th. century.

At the age of 16 he joined the Swedish Army as Husar. During that time Sweden
was at war with Prussia in the Seven Years' War. As Husar he gained much
experience of light cavalry work.


von Blücher - Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1772, his spirit led him into excesses of all kinds such as an execution
of a priest, suspected of supporting the Polish uprisings in 1772.

Due to this action von Blücher was passed over for promotion to Major,
but he sent a rude letter to King Frederick the Great and the King replied:
'Cavalry Captain von Blücher can go to the devil'.

von Blücher settled down to farming. He was married twice. The first time
was in 1773 to Karoline Amalie von Mehling (1756-1791) and in 1795 to
Amalie von Colomb, sister of General Peter von Colomb. He had 7 children
from his first marriage, 3 of them survived childhood.

von Blücher - Source picture: Wikipedia

During the lifetime of Frederick the Great, von Blücher was unable to return
to the army. In 1786 the King died and he was reinstated as major in his old
regiment: the Red Hussars (1787). von Blücher took part in the expedition
to the Netherlands in 1787. The next year he was promoted to
lieutenant colonel. In 1789 he received the highest military order of Prussia:
'Pour le Mérite' and in 1794 von Blücher became colonel of the Red Hussars.

von Blücher took part inter alia in  @

Battle of Jena-Auerstedt
Battle of Prenzlau
Battle of Lübeck
War of Liberation (1813)
Battle of Brienne

In 1814, King Frederick William III of Prussia created Blücher
Prince of Wahlstatt.

By the return of Napoleon from Elba, von Blücher was put in command of
the Army of the Lower Rhine.

In 1815, the Prussians sustained a serious defeat at the outset at Ligny. This
took place on June 16th. After batting his wounds in brandy, Blücher rejoined
his army.

Then von Blücher led his army on a hard march along muddy paths and they
arrived on the field of Waterloo in the late afternoon.

The Battle was hanging in balance and the army of von Blücher intervened
with a crushing effect.

von Blucher died on September 12th. 1819. After his death an imposing
mausoleum was built for his remains.

Blücher was nicknamed 'Marshall Vorwärts' by his soldiers, due to his
aggressive approach in warfare.