Gneisenau, August, Graf Neithardt von

Gneisenau, August, Graf Neithardt von

(ou`go͝ost gräf nīt`härt fən gənī`zənou), 1760–1831, Prussian field marshal. In the Napoleonic Wars he fought at Jena (1806) and, as a major, won fame for his valiant defense of Kolberg. After Prussia's capitulation to Napoleon I (1807), he served with General von ScharnhorstScharnhorst, Gerhard Johann David von
, 1755–1813, Prussian general. A Hanoverian army officer, military writer, and director of the war college, he entered Prussian service in 1801.
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 on the military reorganization commission and helped reform the defeated Prussian army. The army's leading strategist during Prussia's War of Liberation against the French (1813–15), he was chief of staff to the commander of the army, BlücherBlücher, Gebhard Leberecht von
, 1742–1819, Prussian field marshal, an outstanding military opponent of Napoleon I. An officer in the army of King Frederick II from 1760, he incurred royal displeasure when, believing himself passed over for promotion, he abruptly
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. He retired from active service in 1816, when the need for military reform had passed, but returned to lead an expedition against the Polish insurrection, in which he was killed.
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