Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher Prussian field marshal, a commander during the Napoleonic Wars, who was important in the victory of Waterloo.Blücher enlisted in the Swedish cavalry in 1756 and served until he was captured in 1760 by the Prussians, for whom he thereafter fought. He distinguished himself against the French in 1793–94 and commanded the Prussian rear guard at the Battle of Jena (1806).
Around this time he met Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst, who served as one of his principal staff officers until Scharnhorst’s death in June 1813. After the Peace of Tilsit (1807) von Blücher was employed for a time in the War Department and then went into retirement. In 1813, when war between France and Prussia broke out again, Blücher, then 71 years old, returned to active service.
He took part in the battles of Lützen and Bautzen in May 1813, and three months later at Wahlstatt (Legnickie Pole), on the Katzbach (Kaczawa) River, he decisively defeated the French under Marshal Jacques-
After Napoleon’s return in 1815, Blücher again assumed command of the Prussian troops in Belgium, with August von Gneisenau as his invaluable chief of staff. Blücher immediately set about coordinating his force with that of the British and Allied forces under the Duke of Wellington. At Ligny (June 16, 1815) he was defeated by Napoleon; but, in order to ensure cooperation with Wellington later, he withdrew his army toward Wavre, although by so doing he endangered his own communications.
His troops took no part in the early stages of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18, 1815); but, urged on by Gneisenau, they made an exhausting countermarch and appeared on the French right flank at a critical stage of the battle. This action, together with a general advance by the British, completed Napoleon’s defeat. Blücher’s cavalry continued the pursuit of the French toward Paris throughout the night.
Blücher was described by a contemporary as a rough, ill-
|The Waterloo Lion hill|
|Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte|
|The Duke of Wellington|
|Field Marshal Prince Blücher|
|The Prince of Orange|
|The attack on Hougoumont farm|
|Wellington's heavy cavalry charge|
|The fall of La Haye Sainte farm|
|Marshal Ney launches the French cavalry|
|The Old Guard advances|
|The battle is lost|
|The last stand of the Old Guard|
|History related websites|