Christoph Wilhelm von Kalckstein

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Christoph Wilhelm von Kalckstein

Christoph Wilhelm von Kalckstein (born October 17, 1682 in Ottlau, district of Marienwerder , † June 2, 1759 in Berlin ) had been Prussian field marshal since May 24, 1747 .


Kalckstein comes from an old Prussian general family that has lived in West Prussia since the 15th century . His father Christoph Albrecht von Kalckstein was a royal Polish lieutenant colonel as well as a gentleman on Knauten and Wogau in the Prussian Eylau district , his mother Marie Agnes von Lehwaldt came from the Ottlau family. In 1702 Kalckstein began his military career with the Hessian-Kassel Grenadier Regiment, in which he also experienced the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 . In the course of this war he was appointed adjutant to the Hereditary Prince Friedrich von Hessen-Kassel - who later became King of Sweden  . At the end of 1709 Kalckstein changed to Prussian service and became a major in the body regiment on foot. Allegedly, he is said to have brought lock step with him, which Prince Leopold von Dessau then took over. On November 7, 1712, Kalckstein and 300 men conquered the Moers citadel by hand. In 1715 Kalckstein took part in the Pomeranian War against the Swedes . On November 15, 1715 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and on August 17, 1718 to colonel .

In 1718 a special task was added for Kalckstein: Friedrich Wilhelm I made him the tutor of the six-year-old Crown Prince Friedrich . He held this post for almost eleven years. At first there were no difficulties, but from 1722 the relationship between king and crown prince deteriorated increasingly. In the meantime, on October 17, 1723, Kalckstein became commander of the von Glasenapp infantry regiment (No. 1). From 1725 Kalckstein had to monitor the prince around the clock, for which four officers of the guard were subordinate to him. In order to defuse the tension, he tried to mediate between father and son. The trip to Dresden in 1728 gave hope that relations would improve, but in 1730 there was a complete break between the king and his son, which shocked Kalckstein very much.

At this point in time, Kalckstein had already been relieved of his job as a prince tutor, as his wife had unexpectedly died on January 25, 1729. He took over the chief position of the Count Rutowski Infantry Regiment (No. 25). For the next thirty years he was a model educator for his regiment, which because of his training was one of the army's core forces. On May 2, 1733 Kalckstein was promoted to major general. Three years later, on November 5, he was given the supervision of the Royal Charité Hospital . The king also appointed him chairman of a commission that was supposed to settle all disputes between the regiments that had arisen in relation to advertising.

On February 3, 1741, Kalckstein was promoted to lieutenant general by his former pupil - now King Friedrich II . In the Battle of Mollwitz Kalckstein contributed to the victory by swinging the left wing . On May 4, 1741, he succeeded in conquering Brieg , with which the Prussians fell into the hands of important war materials. For his services he was rewarded with the Order of the Black Eagle on May 9th, 1741 and was made governor of the Glogau fortress . Kalckstein then proved himself one more time in the battle of Chotusitz . After the First Silesian War on February 14, 1743, Kalckstein received the Drostei Dinslaken in the Duchy of Kleve . In 1744 he was there when Prague was taken. On January 16, 1745 he reached the rank of general of the infantry . In the Second Silesian War Kalckstein led the second meeting with 14 regiments in the battles of Hohenfriedberg . He also led the second meeting in the Battle of Thrush , but this time five battalions.

Kalckstein experienced the high point of his military career on May 24, 1747 when he was promoted to field marshal . After he had already received an annual pension of 1,000 thalers from the king, he became the heir to Knauten , Wogau , Mühlhausen and Schultitten in 1752 . At the Seven Years' War Kalckstein did not participate more. However, after the death of the heir to the throne August Wilhelm in 1758, he was appointed guardian and tutor of the prince's sons.

Adolph Menzel : Kalckstein's coffin in the Garrison Church (1873)

Kalckstein was buried in the crypt of the Berlin garrison church. The Pomeranian town of Kalkstein, which belongs to Bugewitz , was named after him.

Historical classification

Frederick II valued his tutor - even beyond the military. Long after he was king, his letters testified to his concern and concern for the welfare of his old tutor. Kalckstein was more of a military educator than a general, because his services to the army are primarily in the field of soldier training.


On July 6, 1713, in Spandau , Kalckstein married Christophera Erna Lukretia Brandt von Lindau, who was eighteen years his junior . The marriage resulted in two sons and two daughters. Lieutenant General Ludwig Karl von Kalckstein was her youngest son. His eldest son died in 1758 as a captain from injuries sustained in the battle of Kolin . The daughter Sophie Wilhelmine Frederike (* 1723; † April 16, 1755) married Lieutenant General Friedrich von Wylich († January 12, 1770) on April 14, 1746 .

His sister Amalie Charlotte married the later Field Marshal Adam Christoph von Flanß in 1709 .