August Wilhelm (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern)

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Duke August Wilhelm, engraving by Philipp Andreas Kilian

August Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (born October 10, 1715 in Braunschweig ; † August 2, 1781 in Stettin ) was Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern , Governor of Stettin and Prussian infantry general from the House of Welfs .


August Wilhelm was the son of Duke Ernst Ferdinand . The Walkenried hunting lodge was built for him between 1725 and 1730 . He is the founder of the so-called younger line Bevern . 1731 he became a captain in the Prussian military service .

Under Friedrich Wilhelm I , he took part in the Rhine campaign of the War of the Polish Succession in 1734 . He served there under his uncle Ferdinand Albrecht II (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) , the Reichsmarschall , as a major . On May 5, 1735 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and in 1739 to colonel . In June 1741 he became regiment owner of the "Braunschweig-Bevern zu Fuß regiment" , now named after him, but already in October took over the higher-ranking "Bredow walking regiment" .

Under Frederick II he took part in the sieges of Brieg and Neisse in the First Silesian War. He was wounded in the battle of Mollwitz . On May 12, 1742 he was promoted to major general. During the Second Silesian War he fought in the Battle of Hohenfriedberg . There he led a brigade as major general . In 1746 he became the commander of Stettin and in July 1747 he became the governor there. On May 17, 1750 he became lieutenant general and received the Order of the Black Eagle .

All his life August Wilhelm led the life of a bachelor. A non-commissioned officer in his regiment reported: “Although he was polite towards the opposite sex, such things were never allowed to come too close to him; I don't know how to remember ever having noticed a woman in a government house, and how he remained unmarried throughout his life. " If he was averse to women, he kept a large number of animals, especially dogs, "Who had permission to use his bed, as well as other animals."

Honor roll for August Wilhelm on the Rheinsberg obelisk

At the beginning of the Seven Years' War , August Wilhelm led a column of Pomeranian regiments to Saxony and Bohemia and commanded the left wing in the battle of Lobositz on October 1, 1756 - where he decided the victory with a bayonet attack when the ammunition ran out .

On April 21, 1757 he defeated the Austrians under General Christian Moritz von Königsegg-Rothenfels in a battle near Reichenberg , whereupon he united with Field Marshal Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin and in the victorious battle of Prague on May 6, 1757 part of the right Wing commanded. Then he was sent against Leopold Joseph Count Daun with 20,000 men , but did not dare to attack the same, whereupon Friedrich II did and lost the Battle of Kolin on June 18, 1757 .

At the end of August August Wilhelm received the supreme command in Silesia . But he was first defeated on September 7, 1757 in the Battle of Moys and on November 22, 1757 in the Battle of Breslau by the superior Imperial Army under Duke Charles of Lorraine . The following morning he was captured while on a scouting ride.

Returning from captivity in May 1758, he went to the Gouvernement of Stettin and held the fortress against the Russians and Swedes until the armistice of 1762. On February 28, 1759 he was promoted to general of the infantry . In 1762 August Wilhelm concluded an armistice with the Russians in Stargard , then went back into the field and won the battle of Reichenbach on August 16, 1762 over the Austrians under Daun. He died on August 2, 1781 as governor of Szczecin.

Meyers Konversations-Lexikon describes him as an excellent tactician and brave soldier, but denies him as a general the independence of the spirit and the power of will. Prince Heinrich of Prussia dedicated a plaque on his Rheinsberg obelisk to him .


  • Trial and excerpt of a history of the Elector of Brandenburg and subsequently the Royal Prussian Army. With an introduction by Hans Droysen . Reprint of the 1886 edition. Biblio-Verlag: Osnabrück 1976. Born with foreword by Hans Bleckwenn . ISBN 3-7648-0998-1


Individual evidence

  1. Prittwitz, (Lit.), p. 25.
  2. Prittwitz, (Lit.), p. 26: “His governor's house was therefore completely like a menagerie, because there you could see wild tusks, a young bear, various tame deer, storks, cranes, ravens and monkeys, and Tame deer ran around town, which the washers and hackers were not very welcome ”, ibid.
predecessor Office successor
Ernst Ferdinand Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern
Friedrich Karl Ferdinand