Carl Philipp von Wrede

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Carl Philipp von Wrede, lithograph by Franz Hanfstaengl , 1828. Wrede's signature:
Signature Carl Philipp von Wrede.PNG

Carl Philipp Joseph von Wrede or Karl Philipp von Wrede (from 1814 Prince of Wrede ; born April 29, 1767 in Heidelberg , † December 12, 1838 in Ellingen ) was a Bavarian field marshal and diplomat and advisor at the Bavarian court.


Family and first years of employment

Wrede was born as the son of Ferdinand Joseph Wreden and his wife Katharina. Born Freiin von Jünger. He was the youngest of thirteen children. His father was a member of the Electoral Palatinate government and land clerk in the Heidelberg district office ; In 1790, during the imperial vicariate, his employer, Elector Karl Theodor , raised him to the status of hereditary nobility and baron , at that time the family name was shortened to “ Wrede ”. After completing his studies, Carl Philipp Wrede (n) took up the position of court judge and assessor at the Heidelberg Oberamt in 1787 . As early as 1785 he appeared as a forester in Lindenfels .

Military career

Portrait of the Field Marshal, by Joseph Karl Stieler (1781-1858)

First coalition war (1792–1797)

In the summer of 1792, Wredes was appointed as the Palatinate Land Commissioner in the troop corps of the Austrian Feldzeugmeister, Prince Hohenlohe , who gathered his troops in the vicinity of Schwetzingen . After being appointed Oberlandeskommissär, he was responsible for the Austrian army under Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser on the Rhine, and in this role he accompanied the campaigns against France until 1798.

Appointed titular colonel on June 18, 1794, Wrede was appointed Chief War Commissioner in the Rhine Palatinate on March 1, 1798 because of his services acquired in the wars. On February 28, 1798, Elector Carl Theodor appointed him colonel-forester in the Electorate of the Palatinate.

Second coalition war (1799–1802)

On August 19, 1799, with effect from June 18, 1794, he was appointed the real Colonel in the General Staff and was immediately commissioned to raise a volunteer corps in the Rhine Palatinate and put it on standby. To this end, he set up his own battalion, partly through general advertising, with which he participated in the campaign against France in 1799 in the battles near Obrigheim and Langenzell (November 4th), Wimpfen (November 20th) and Lobenfeld (December 3rd) distinguished by personal bravery and tactical skill. For this he received the Electoral Palatinate-Bavarian Military Medal of Honor on December 11, 1799 .

By electoral decree of March 30, 1800, Wrede was appointed brigadier of the Rhineland-Palatinate brigade of subsidiary troops with major general rank, which was subordinate to the division of Lieutenant General von Zweybrücken . In the battles at Messkirch on May 5, 1800 and at Memmingen on May 10, 1800 he proved himself particularly well that he was appointed major general of the infantry on May 14, 1800 at the age of 33 years.

In the Battle of Hohenlinden on December 3, 1800, Wrede tried with his last reserves to turn the tide, but had to realize that there was nothing more to be gained on the battlefield. So he collected the remains of his and Austrian troops and made his way through the French lines to Dorfen . After the peace agreement he became a member of the commission for the formation of the Bavarian Army under the chairmanship of Wilhelm in Bavaria .

In March 1801 Wrede was sent on a diplomatic mission to Vienna , but in 1802 he took over his Palatinate brigade again and occupied the prince-bishopric of Würzburg , which had fallen to Bavaria . He stayed there until March 1803 and took over the Swabian brigade in Ulm .

On September 28, 1804 he was promoted to lieutenant general.

Third coalition war (1805)

At the beginning of the campaign against Austria in 1805 he was Vice-Commander of the Bavarian Army Corps consisting of six brigades, with Lieutenant General von Deroy in command . On October 11, 1805, he surprised the strong outposts of the Austrian General Michael von Kienmayer and took most of them prisoner. The next day he moved into Munich, which had been abandoned by the Austrian troops, and was greeted with a storm by the townspeople. After a short stay he pursued the Austrians with about 240 mounted men from the 1st Dragoons and 3rd Chevaulegers regiments until the horses and men were exhausted and brought in several hundred prisoners, horses and luggage. Because Deroys was wounded on November 2, 1805, Wrede took command of the Bavarian Army Corps in accordance with an army order of November 13, 1805. Despite being numerically inferior, he demonstrated his military abilities in the lost battle of Iglau (December 2nd to 5th, 1805) against Archduke Ferdinand . After the conclusion of the peace he became the commander of the Bavarian troops stationed in Swabia and, during Deroy's absence, of the Bavarian troops stationed in Tyrol and Bavaria. With an army order of March 1, 1806, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Military Max Joseph Order .

Fourth coalition war (1806-1807)

Due to illness, Wrede was initially unable to take part in the 1806 campaign, but only met on 4th / 5th. April 1807 with his 2nd division, which had been led by Crown Prince Ludwig from the beginning of March until then , in Pultusk . During the battle at Poplawi , which took place on May 16, he again distinguished himself in particular. After his return he was given general command in Swabia based in Augsburg by army order of December 24, 1807 .

Fifth coalition war (1809)

During the campaign of 1809 he was first under the orders of the French Marshal Bessieres , was defeated by the Austrians under Hiller in the battle near Neumarkt (April 24) due to poor dispositions and then occupied Salzburg (April 29), where he had over 500 men, including 13 Officers who captured him and fell into his hands with significant supplies. From Salzburg he worked under the command of the French general François-Joseph Lefebvre in the subjugation of Tyrol and marched on May 19, 1809 in Innsbruck . During this campaign, Wrede imposed a death sentence on May 12, 1809 against Matthias Wißhofer , who was pardoned by Lefebvre on the same day. On May 23, 1809, Wrede received orders to move with his 2nd division in forced marches towards Vienna. In the battle of Wagram on July 6, 1809, he suffered such injuries from a grazing shot with a cannonball that he had to be taken to the hospital.

After the Peace of Schönbrunn (October 14, 1809) he undertook another campaign in Tyrol and on November 1, 1809 occupied Innsbruck for the second time, stormed the Bergisel the next day and helped to suppress the Tyrolean uprising . When Napoleon gave him the hereditary count status on August 15, 1809 , he received an army order from July 14, 1810, to accept the dignity of count.

On January 1, 1811, he was appointed general of the cavalry .

Sixth Coalition War (1812-1814)

During the war against Russia, Wrede led the 2nd Bavarian Division, with which he left in March 1812. After the heavy, costly battles with Poloczk on the Daugava (16 to 22 August 1812) and the death of Deroys he took command of the division. From 18 to 20 October 1812 there were again battles near Poloczk and the city was evacuated. Then he led his corps, which had melted down to around 3800, mainly due to illness, to Vilna (December 9, 1812). The Bavarian contingent was already in dissolution when Wrede formed a barrier guard with around 300 men and 20 Chevaulegers , which was completely wiped out on the Niemen on December 12, 1812. With the replacement troops arriving from Bavaria, he set up a new army corps at Plozk (December 29, 1812), but returned to Bavaria. Here he set up a corps of 20,000 men in July 1813, marched to the Inn on August 13 and took up positions near Braunau .

French prisoners of war on the transport through Baiern 1814.

After the Treaty of Ried (October 8, 1813), which brought the Kingdom of Bavaria into the alliance against Napoleon, not least at the instigation of Wrede, he and his Bavarian-Austrian army of around 50,000 men moved to the Main . In the battles near Hanau (October 28th to 31st, 1813) he had to leave the battlefield to Napoleon and was seriously injured by a shotgun bullet on October 31st. Released from the hospital, he immediately returned to his army corps at Emmendingen on December 13, 1813, and led it against France. After fighting at Brienne and Rosnay-l'Hospital (February 1 and 2, 1814), at Bar-sur-Aube (February 27, 1814) and Arcis-sur-Aube (March 20 and 21, 1814 ) again particularly distinguished, he was elevated to field marshal by army order of March 7, 1814 . In addition, on June 9, 1814, he was awarded the title of prince and left the princely rule of Ellingen .

After the war he was given the task of regulating the situation in the areas around Würzburg and Aschaffenburg acquired by the Kingdom of Bavaria . In September 1814 Wrede traveled to the congress in Vienna to represent Bavaria's interests there.

Return and defeat of Napoleon (1815)

After Napoleon's return from Elba in 1815, Wrede led the Bavarian Army in the direction of France as commander in chief and waited on the Rhine for reinforcement by a Russian army corps. Not until June 23, after the decision had already been made at Waterloo , did the Bavarians advance further and drive out weak French border security units near Sarreguemines. Wrede's troops were three days late to march into Paris.

On November 28, 1815 he was appointed inspector general of the army and fortresses.

High command of the Bavarian Army

On September 26, 1822, Wrede was given top management of Army affairs. Previously, the king had personally exercised supreme command of the army. Wredes authority, which existed until 1829, called itself "Army Command". On October 19, 1822, Wredes was appointed Grand Chancellor of the Military Max Joseph Order. The big maneuvers at Ingolstadt in 1823 and at Nuremberg in 1824 were personally led by Wrede and incorporated into regulations. On April 29, 1831 he became the owner of the 9th Line Infantry Regiment with the stipulation that the regiment would in future be called "Wrede" (In Würzburg , on the Neunerplatz named after the regiment, there is a memorial to the fallen of the 9th . Infantry Regiments). After the unrest following the Hambach Festival of 1832, Carl Philipp von Wrede moved into the Bavarian Rhine district as commander-in-chief of an 8,000-man army corps .

Political career

After 1815, Wrede made a name for himself politically as a representative of a conservative, constitutional monarchy. After the overthrow of Count Montgelas , which he helped to bring about , he worked as a minister without portfolio (division) on the constitution of 1818. With the opening of the Chamber of Estates in the same year, he was appointed the first President of the Chamber of Reichsräte and retained this position until his death.

Property ownership

Advertising poster for the Fürstlich Wredeschen Gutsverwaltung, for Mondsee cheese , around 1900

As early as 1809, Wrede had been raised to the rank of French count by Emperor Napoleon for his meritorious campaigns on the side of France and received the abandoned monasteries Mondsee and Monastery Suben ( Upper Austria ) from him. The former Mondsee Monastery subsequently became a castle with its own domain, which he was allowed to keep after Napoleon's downfall. The now Schloss Mondsee was owned by Wredes descendants from the Almeida family until 1985, after the last bearer of the name, Princess Ignatia von Wrede, died in 1905. In their own farm, they produced and sold Mondsee cheese , a specialty of the area, which Wrede had begun large-scale production around 1830. The municipality of Mondsee also owes him the promotion of agriculture and the improvement of traffic conditions by building new roads and extensive technical measures. The Marschall-Wrede-Platz is named after him in his honor.

In 1815, Ellingen Castle became the residence of Prince von Wrede after King Maximilian I Joseph had handed it over to Field Marshal Carl Philipp von Wrede that year. The new owner subsequently had some rooms furnished with silk and paper wallpaper as well as furniture, glass and bronze figures from Paris . Around 1939 the von Wrede family sold the castle to the Bavarian state and moved their residence to Sandsee Castle .

Family relationships

Carl Philipp von Wrede was married to Sophie Aloysia Agathe Countess von Wiser-Siegelsbach (1771–1837), granddaughter of Count Franz Joseph von Wiser (1679–1755) and daughter of Count Friedrich Joseph von Wiser-Siegelsbach (1714–1775) since 1795 with whom he had numerous children; they and their descendants make up the Bavarian aristocratic family Wrede. The later regional presidents of the Palatinate, Karl Theodor von Wrede (1797–1871) and Eugen von Wrede (1806–1845) were the sons of the field marshal; Eugen founded the city of Ludwigshafen am Rhein .

The Field Marshal's nephew (son of his sister Louise Josefa) was the Bavarian Major General Wilhelm von Horn (1784–1847).

Post fame

Wredes monument in the Feldherrnhalle

Wrede is still remembered today by its monument in the Feldherrnhalle and numerous street names in Bavaria and the Rhine Palatinate.

In the late reaction era, Ernst Moritz Arndt , who had already polemicized against Wrede during the Napoleonic wars, accused him posthumously of plundering in the book On my walks and changes with the baron Heinrich Karl Friedrich von Stein . At the time of the Bavarian-Napoleonic alliance, Wrede had not only neglected his soldiers, whom Arndt accused of “rawness, indecency and plundering addiction”, “not only neglected a lot, but also gave them the worst example” by adding “entirely in the French marshal's style” in the Silesian Oels He had all the ducal lock silver placed in his field baggage with his departure. ”In the year the book was published, the aged Arndt was sentenced to prison and a fine for defamation.


Orders and decorations

Grand Cross of the Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order
Coat of arms of the Princes of Wrede (from 1814)
Bronze statue in the Munich Feldherrnhalle

Nobility and class surveys

  • 1809: Awarded the French hereditary count (by Napoleon on August 15, 1809)
  • 1810: Bavarian approval to accept the French count (according to army order of July 14, 1810)
  • 1814: Awarded the Bavarian prince status and princely rule Ellingen (on June 9, 1814)

Other awards

  • 1814: Appointment as field marshal (according to army order of March 7, 1814)
  • 1817: Honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences
  • 1822: Appointment as Grand Chancellor of the Military Max Joseph Order on October 19, 1822
  • 1831: Appointment as owner of the 9th Line Infantry Regiment with the award of the designation "Wrede" on April 20, 1831
  • 1844: Statue in the Feldherrnhalle in Munich, ceremoniously unveiled in the presence of King Ludwig I on October 8, 1844. King Ludwig I erected statues of his beloved Wrede in Munich and Heidelberg.
  • 1863: Inscription in memory of Wrede in the Liberation Hall, inaugurated in 1863
  • 1972: Naming of the Fürst Wrede barracks in Munich by the Bundeswehr on April 14, 1972 (formerly Will barracks )
  • Wrede's bust is in the Hall of Fame on Theresienwiese in Munich.
  • The Vorwerk XXIV of the fortress Ingolstadt as well as the Vorwerk III and IV of the fortress Germersheim received the name "Wredefeste"

See also


  • Napoleon in Bavaria. The battle of Elchingen. The liberation of Munich. Weissenhorn. 2010. ( )
  • Baptist Schrettinger (Order Archivist): The Royal Bavarian Military Max Joseph Order and its members. Munich 1882.
  • Hasso Dormann: Field Marshal Prince Wrede. The adventurous life of a Bavarian military leader. Munich 1982. ISBN 3799161627 .
  • Karl Theodor von HeigelWrede, Karl Philipp Prince of . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 44, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1898, pp. 246-252.
  • Annett Haberlah-Pohl: New Elite With Traditional Identity? The princes von Wrede as climbers in the Bavarian nobility. in: Franconia 2. Neustadt an der Aisch 2010. pp. 193–205.
  • The Bavarian generals of the Napoleonic war era. Volume 1. Digitized
  • Hellmut G. Haasis, folk festival, social protest and conspiracy. 150 years of the Hambach Festival , Heidelberg; Verlag Das Wunderhorn; 1981; XIX, 255 pp.
  • Alexander Winter: Karl Philipp Fürst von Wrede as advisor to King Max Joseph and Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1813-1825). Munich 1968 (= Miscellanea Bavarica Monacensia. Issue 7).

Web links

Commons : Carl Philipp von Wrede  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Achim Fuchs: Bayerisches Armeekommando in: Historisches Lexikon Bayerns
  2. Erik Schlicht: Zellerau street names of military origin. In: Friedrich-Koenig-Gymnasium Würzburg. Annual report 1978/79. Würzburg 1979, pp. 125–127 (from the material appendix to the specialist work The decisive years of German history 1866 and 1870/71 as reflected in the history of the Ninth Infantry Regiment in Würzburg ), here: p. 125.
  3. Website on the history of Mondsee, with reference to the von Wrede family and the cheese they produce ( Memento from August 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Historical advertising poster for Mondsee cheese from the Fürst Wrede dairy
  5. ^ Genealogical website on Sophie Aloysia Agathe von Wiser
  6. Genealogical website of the couple, with children
  7. So Arndt wrote in his book Blick aus der Zeit auf die Zeit , p. 39 , published in 1814 : “Instead, Baiern demands where it begs, it thumps where it is silent, it defies where it should bend, and its so-called Prince-Field-Marshal Wrede, whom we have only ever known as a French marshal due to his pomp, his arrogance and greed, and who, because of the bad and student-like order of the Battle of Hanau, have truly not come to know as a general, steps in like the miles gloriosus des Plautus with huge Spanish steps and wants to deal with the cheek, [...] "
  8. Ernst Moritz Arndt : On my walks and conversations with the baron Heinrich Karl Friedrich von Stein . Berlin 1858, pp. 218-219
  9., Nuremberg, Germany: "Historic event" for Prince Wrede . September 11, 2012 ( [accessed October 22, 2018]).