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Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia (1828–1885)


Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia 20 March 1828 – 15 June 1885 was the son of Prince Charles of Prussia 1801–1883 and his wife, Princess Marie of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach 1808–1877 Prince Friedrich Karl was a grandson of King Frederick William III of Prussia and a nephew of Frederick William IV and William I He was born in Berlin at the Royal Palace

As a military commander, the Prince had a major influence on the Royal Prussian Army's advances in training and tactics in the 1850s and 1860s He defeated the Austrian army at the Battle of Königgrätz in 1866 and the French Army of the Rhine at the Battle of Mars-la-Tour, overseeing the extinction of the Army of the Rhine at the Siege of Metz in 1870

Contents

  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Family and Children
  • 3 Honours
  • 4 Ancestry
  • 5 Portrayal in media
  • 6 References

Biography

Friedrich Karl was born on 20 March 1828 as the only son of Prince Charles of Prussia, the brother of future Prussian king William I From 1842 to 1846, Frederick Charles was under the military tutelage of then major Albrecht von Roon In 1845, the Prince joined the army and was sent to an infantry company Roon accompanied the Prince to the University of Bonn in 1846 He was the first Hohenzollern prince to study in a university He became a member of the Corps Borussia Bonn in 1847 and was awarded Prussia's Lifesaving Medal for rescuing a child from the Rhine the same year After his studies, the Prince went back to his regiment in 1848, where he was promoted to captain His company was issued the breech-loading Dreyse needle gun and the Prince produced an article on its probable future impact, writing that the troops could be prevented from firing off all their ammunition through good training and discipline He served on Friedrich Graf von Wrangel's staff during the First Schleswig War of 1848 He shifted to the cavalry branch in October 1848 and was promoted to major in June 1849 He partook in a campaign in the Baden Revolution of 1849, during which he was wounded twice while leading a Guards Hussar squadron at the battle of Wiesenthal against Baden rebels He continued to lead his squadron up till 1852

In 1851, the Prince wrote a radical field manual for light troops, underlining the importance of training individual soldiers to take the initiative and not wait for orders During the following peace years he was promoted to colonel in 1852 and granted the command of the Guards Dragoon Regiment, where he introduced realistic field exercises and insisted on combat readiness He became major general and commander of the 1st Guards Cavalry Brigade in 1854 and lieutenant general in 1856 He commanded the 1st Guards Infantry Division from 19 February to 18 September 1857, but resigned after encountering significant opposition to his approach on training In 1859, he published the study On French Tactics, which highlighted the decisiveness of troop morale In 1860, the Prince published a military book, titled, "Eine militärische Denkschrift von P F K", which contained a series of reform proposals As commander of III Army Corps from 1 July 1860 to 17 July 1870, the Prince implemented his reforms and turned his corps into a leader in Prussian military innovation

Promoted to General der Kavallerie, the Prince took part in the Second Schleswig War of 1864 against Denmark, where he held command over the Prussian troops in the Austro-Prussian expeditionary force and defeated the Danes at the Battle of Dybbøl In May 1864, he became supreme commander of the Austro-Prussian allied army and conquered Jutland

He served with distinction in the Austro-Prussian War, where he commanded the First Army; consisting of the II, III and IV corps Arriving first at Königgrätz, the First Army single-handedly held the numerically superior Austrians at bay for seven hours from 08:00 to 15:00, inflicting such massive casualties on the Austrians that it took the arrival of just one division from his cousin the Crown Prince Frederick William's Second Army to complete the victory and cause the Austrians to order a general withdrawal at 15:00 The First Army then marched on Vienna

He was elected to the North German Reichstag in the 1867 North German federal election, representing the East Prussian constituency of Labiau-Wehlau

At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, the Prince was given command of the Second Army, and defeated the French Army of the Rhine at the Battle of Mars-la-Tour on 16 August 1870, cutting off its escape route to the west The battle was followed by another victory at Gravelotte-StPrivat on 18 August and the encirclement and annihilation of the Army of the Rhine at the Siege of Metz After the fall of Metz on 27 October, his army was sent to the Loire to clear the area around Orléans, where French armies, first under Aurelle de Paladines, then under Chanzy, were trying to march north to relieve Paris He won battles at Orléans on 2 December and Le Mans from 10–12 January 1871 For his services he was promoted to the rank of Generalfeldmarschall After the war, the Prince was made Inspector-General and was given the rank of Field Marshal of Russia by Alexander II of Russia

He died of a heart attack at Jagdschloss Glienicke on 15 June 1885

Family and Children

On 29 November 1854 at Dessau he married Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau 1837–1906, daughter of Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt He had met her at a hunt They had five children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Princess Marie Elisabeth Luise Friederike of Prussia 14 September 1855 20 June 1888 married twice 1 Prince Henry of the Netherlands; 2 Prince Albert of Saxe-Altenburg
Princess Elisabeth Anna of Prussia 8 February 1857 28 August 1895 married Frederick Augustus II, Grand Duke of Oldenburg
Princess Anna Victoria Charlotte Augusta Adelheid of Prussia 26 February 1858[1] 6 May 1858[1]
Princess Luise Margarete Alexandra Victoria Agnes of Prussia 25 July 1860 14 March 1917 married Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn
Prince Joachim Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Leopold of Prussia 14 November 1865 13 September 1931 married Princess Louise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg

Honours

He received the following decorations and awards:[2]

German honours
  • Prussia:
    • Knight of the Black Eagle, 20 March 1838; with Collar, 1846
    • Pour le Mérite, with Crown and Oak Leaves
    • Grand Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, Order of the Red Eagle
    • Knight 1st Class, Order of the Prussian Crown
    • Grand Commander with Star and Swords, Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
    • Knight of Justice, Johanniter Order
    • Grand Cross, Iron Cross
    • Lifesaving Medal
    • Service Award Cross
  • Hohenzollern: Cross of Honour 1st Class with Swords, Princely House Order of Hohenzollern
  • Anhalt: Grand Cross, Order of Albert the Bear, 1853; with Swords, 1864[3]
  •  Baden:[4]
    • Knight, House Order of Fidelity, 1849
    • Commander, Military Karl-Friedrich Merit Order, 1849; Grand Cross, 1871[5]
    • Grand Cross, Order of the Zähringer Lion, 1849
  •  Bavaria:
    • Knight of St Hubert
    • Grand Cross, Military Order of Max Joseph
  •  Brunswick: Grand Cross, Order of Henry the Lion
  • Ernestine duchies: Grand Cross, Saxe-Ernestine House Order, 1854[6]
  •  Hanover:
    • Knight of St George, 1864[7]
    • Grand Cross, Royal Guelphic Order
  • Hesse-Kassel: Grand Cross, Order of the Golden Lion, 22 May 1850[8]
  • Hesse and by Rhine: Grand Cross, Ludwig Order, 20 December 1846[9]
  • Lippe-Detmold: Military Merit Medal
  • Mecklenburg:
    • Grand Cross with Crown in Ore, House Order of the Wendish Crown
    • Cross for Distinction in War Strelitz
  •  Oldenburg: Grand Cross with Golden Crown, House and Merit Order of Peter Frederick Louis, 18 September 1861; with Swords, 7 September 1870[10]
  •  Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach: Grand Cross, Order of the White Falcon, 1845[11]
  •  Kingdom of Saxony:
    • Knight of the Rue Crown
    • Grand Cross, Military Order of Saint Henry
  •  Schaumburg-Lippe: Military Merit Medal
  •  Württemberg: Grand Cross, Military Merit Order
Foreign honours
  •  Austrian Empire:
    • Grand Cross, Royal Hungarian Order of St Stephen, 1852[12]
    • Commander, Military Order of Maria Theresa
  •  Belgium: Grand Cordon, Royal Order of Leopold I
  • Kingdom of Greece: Grand Cross, Order of the Redeemer
  •  Kingdom of Hawaii: Grand Cross, Royal Order of Kalākaua, 1881[13]
  •  Netherlands:
    • Grand Cross, Military William Order
    • Grand Cross, Order of the Netherlands Lion
  •  Ottoman Empire:
    • Order of the Medjidie, 1st Class with Diamonds
    • Osmanieh Order, 1st Class with Diamonds
  • Beylik of Tunis: Husainid House Order
  • Romania: Grand Cross, Order of the Star of Romania
  •  Russian Empire:
    • Knight of St Andrew
    • Knight of St Alexander Nevsky
    • Knight of the White Eagle
    • Knight 1st Class, Order of Saint Anna
    • Knight 1st Class, Order of St Stanislaus
    • Imperial Order of St George, 2nd Class
  •  Kingdom of Sardinia:
    • Knight of the Annunciation
    • Grand Cross, Military Order of Savoy
    • Gold Medal of Military Valour, 3 July 1866[14]
  • Siam: Knight, Order of the Royal House of Chakri
  •  Spain: Knight of the Golden Fleece, 1871[15]
  • Sweden-Norway: Knight of the Seraphim, 19 July 1874[16]
  •  United Kingdom: Honorary Grand Cross military, Order of the Bath, 3 July 1878[17][18]

Ancestry

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Portrayal in media

  • He is portrayed by German actor Barnaby Metschurat in the Danish miniserie 1864

References

  1. ^ a b "Anna Victoria Charlotte Auguste Adelheid von Preussen" Find A Grave 13 November 2007 Retrieved 25 September 2019mw-parser-output citecitationmw-parser-output citation qmw-parser-output id-lock-free a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-free amw-parser-output id-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output id-lock-registration a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-limited a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-registration amw-parser-output id-lock-subscription a,mw-parser-output citation cs1-lock-subscription amw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registrationmw-parser-output cs1-subscription span,mw-parser-output cs1-registration spanmw-parser-output cs1-ws-icon amw-parser-output codecs1-codemw-parser-output cs1-hidden-errormw-parser-output cs1-visible-errormw-parser-output cs1-maintmw-parser-output cs1-subscription,mw-parser-output cs1-registration,mw-parser-output cs1-formatmw-parser-output cs1-kern-left,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-leftmw-parser-output cs1-kern-right,mw-parser-output cs1-kern-wl-rightmw-parser-output citation mw-selflink
  2. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Preußen 1884-85, Genealogy p 2
  3. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch für des Herzogtum Anhalt 1883, "Herzoglicher Haus-Orden Albrecht des Bären" p 15
  4. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden 1862, "Großherzogliche Orden" pp 32, 37, 44
  5. ^ Hof- und Staats Baden 1873, "Großherzogliche Orden", p 63
  6. ^ Staatshandbücher für das Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha 1884, "Herzogliche Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden" p 30
  7. ^ Staat Hannover 1865 Hof- und Staatshandbuch für das Königreich Hannover: 1865 Berenberg p 38
  8. ^ Kurfürstlich Hessisches Hof- und Staatshandbuch: 1855 Waisenhaus 1855 p 12
  9. ^ Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Hessen 1879, "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen" p 10
  10. ^ Hof- und Staatshandbuch des Großherzogtums Oldenburg: für das Jahr 1872/73, "Der Großherzogliche Haus-und Verdienst Orden" p 31
  11. ^ Staatshandbuch für das Großherzogtum Sachsen / Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach 1880, "Großherzogliche Hausorden" p 13
  12. ^ "A Szent István Rend tagjai" Archived 22 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Kalakaua to his sister, 4 August 1881, quoted in Greer, Richard A editor, 1967 "The Royal Tourist—Kalakaua's Letters Home from Tokio to London", Hawaiian Journal of History, vol 5, p 104
  14. ^ "Hohenzollern Principe Federico Carlo" in Italian, Il sito ufficiale della Presidenza della Repubblica Retrieved 2018-08-14
  15. ^ Boettger, T F "Chevaliers de la Toisón d'Or - Knights of the Golden Fleece" La Confrérie Amicale Retrieved 25 September 2019
  16. ^ Sveriges statskalender in Swedish, 1877, p 369 – via runebergorg
  17. ^ "Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia", The Irish Times, 27 July 1878
  18. ^ Shaw, Wm A 1906 The Knights of England, I, London, p 197


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