Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Blucher. Gebhard Leberecht Von, Field Marshal and Prince of Wahlstadt, was born at Rostock in 1742, and at the age of fourteen enlisted in the Swedish service. He was taken prisoner by the Prussians and induced to join their ranks. Disgusted at not getting promotion he retired for fifteen years to his estates in Silesia, and only returned to his regiment on the death of Frederick the Great. He now speedily earned distinction by his gallant conduct in the campaigns of 1793-94; and in 1802 he took Erfurt and Muhlhausen. After the disaster at Jena he led a masterly retreat to Lubeck, where he was captured after a bloody and obstinate fight. Having been exchanged for General Victor, he again resumed his duties in the field, and was actively employed in Pomerania until the peace of Tilsit. Napoleon's influence led to his temporary retirement, but when Prussia took up arms again in 1813 he was recalled, and in spite of his age displayed great vigour at Lutzen, Bautzen, Katzbach, and Mackern, playing moreover a conspicuous part in the final victory at Leipzig, where he received his baton as Field Marshal. In 1814 he entered France at the head of the Silesian army, and after successful engagements at Nancy, La Rothiere, and Laon, he entered Paris, and would have sacked the city but for Wellington's intervention. "Marshal Vorwarts," as he was now nicknamed, received every honour that could be bestowed upon him, and the Iron Cross was instituted for his special distinction. He visited England during the brief spell of peace, and is said to have exclaimed in admiration, on seeing London, "What a place to sack!" In 1815 he was once more called from his Silesian farm to command the Prussian army in the Waterloo campaign. Defeated after a stubborn fight at Ligny, "the old devil," as Napoleon called him, narrowly escaped with his life, but arrived forty-eight hours later in time to put a finishing stroke to Wellington's great victory. Once more he marched as a conqueror to Paris, where he remained for several months. He died in 1819 at Kublowitz. Blucher is said to have been absolutely ignorant of the science of war, and to have been intellectually incapable of forming or criticising any strategical plan, but his courage, tenacity, and activity made him a very useful commander under the control of skilled advisers.