Edwin von Manteuffel

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Edwin von Manteuffel, portrayed by Richard Brend'amour
Signature Edwin von Manteuffel.PNG
Edwin von Manteuffel, portrayed by Heinrich von Angeli (1879)

Edwin Karl Rochus Freiherr von Manteuffel (born February 24, 1809 in Dresden , † June 17, 1885 in Karlsbad ) was a Prussian field marshal .



He was the son of the secret trainee Hans Carl Erdmann Freiherr von Manteuffel and his wife Isabella Johanna Wilhelmine, née Countess zu Lynar, widowed Countess von Wartensleben (1781–1849).

Military career

After attending the School of Our Lady in Magdeburg , Manteuffel joined the Guard Dragoons Regiment of the Prussian Army in Berlin on May 1, 1827 and was promoted to Second Lieutenant on May 15, 1828 . From 1833 to 1836 he graduated from the General War School . Manteuffel made it possible for him to study at Berlin University , where he became a student and friend of the historian Leopold von Ranke . On May 14, 1839 he was appointed adjutant to the governor of Berlin , General von Müffling . At that time it was very difficult to get promotions in peacetime, and it took a full twelve years before he was finally promoted to Prime Lieutenant on January 11, 1842 .

On December 21, 1843 he was promoted to Rittmeister and appointed adjutant to Prince Albrecht of Prussia . Even before the March Revolution , he accompanied the prince to the St. Petersburg court, where Tsar Nicholas particularly honored the young officer. As a result, it was later used repeatedly for military missions in Russia .

On May 18, 1848 he was promoted to wing adjudant to the king and major on October 15 of the same year . On July 13, 1852 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and on October 1, 1853 he was appointed commander of the 5th Uhlan Regiment . In this capacity Manteuffel rose to colonel in mid-July 1854 and took command of the 3rd Cavalry Brigade on December 18, 1856, leaving his position as wing adjutant . In 1857, under the presidency of his cousin Otto Theodor von Manteuffel , he became head of the personal affairs department in the War Ministry , which at the time was to be equated with the head of the military cabinet. On May 22, 1858 he was promoted to major general, in the same year Prince Wilhelm took over the reign and then came to the government as king. In contrast to his cousin, Manteuffel was able to hold onto as head of department and consolidated his position on January 7, 1861, when he was appointed adjutant general to the king.

On October 18, 1861 Manteuffel was promoted to lieutenant general, at the same time he was together with Roon , whose appointment Manteuffel had operated, permanent advisor to the monarch. He also rendered outstanding services to Moltke's appointment as chief of staff , so that one has to say that this chief of the military cabinet had an almost unparalleled lucky hand. But his political activity was overestimated and he was often ascribed a very adverse reactionary influence. This is what Karl Twesten called him in 1861 in his brochure What can still save us, an ominous man in an ominous position . Manteuffel responded to this attack on his official position with a challenge to a duel , which brought Twesten a wound and Manteuffel a brief arrest in Magdeburg .

German Wars of Unification

Document dated July 20, 1866 with Manteuffel's signature: Frankfurt am Main has to pay 25 million gulden war contribution to the field war coffers of the Main Army within 24 hours .
Family castle in Toporów

Manteuffel took part as lieutenant general in the second German-Danish War in 1864 and took part in the battles near Missunde and the Schlei crossing near Arnis .

King Wilhelm I gave him supreme command of the Prussian troops in the Elbe duchies and appointed him governor of the Duchy of Schleswig on August 22, 1865 . On September 15, 1865 he took over his office and soon afterwards he moved into the Bielke Palace, which was set up as a government building in Friedrichsberg in Schleswig ; The headquarters of the Danish army was previously housed in the stately building.

1867 awarded him the municipal bodies, the Schleswig honorary citizenship .

In the German War of 1866, he was given the task of occupying neighboring Holstein , which was under Austrian military administration, before the Austrians could get help from Hanover . On June 7th he crossed the Eider, occupied Itzehoe on the 10th and stood in Altona on the Elbe on the 12th.

After the occupation of the Duchy of Holstein , which had previously been under Austrian military administration, his area of ​​responsibility was expanded to include this region in 1866. With the complete integration of Schleswig-Holstein into the Prussian state, his office ceased.

After Manteuffel had occupied Holstein without a fight, his 15,000-strong corps moved into Hanover via Harburg and Celle on June 15. On June 18, he took the Guelph capital by surprise and wanted to undertake further operations against the enemy federal army . But the king had appointed General Vogel von Falckenstein , not him, as commander-in-chief in the western theater of war. It was only after Falckenstein was recalled to Bohemia that the king fulfilled Manteuffel's wish and on July 20th gave him supreme command of the Main Army and the management of the campaign against southern Germany. So at the end of July he defeated the Württembergers at Tauberbischofsheim and the Bavarians at Gerchsheim and Roßbrunn . Manteuffel received the order Pour le Mérite for these services , on September 20, 1866 he was appointed general of the cavalry and chief of the 5th Dragoon Regiment. From October 30, 1866 to January 1867, he was the commanding general of the IX. Army Corps ordered. On August 3, 1868, he was then commanding general of the 1st Army Corps in Königsberg .

With the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War , his East Prussian corps was sent to the 1st Army of General von Steinmetz in Lorraine. His troops fought in the battle of Colombey -Nouilly and then prevented the French Marshal Bazaine from breaking through the Metz siege ring . On October 20, 1870, he was given command of the 1st Army and captured Metz , Thionville and Montmédy . After that, his troops secured the northern flank of the main German armies during the siege of Paris . On November 27th he defeated General Farre in the battle of Amiens and occupied the city, after which he turned to Rouen , where he remained until December 17th. After the approach of the French Northern Army under General Faidherbe, he returned south and defeated the enemy on December 23rd and 24th in the Battle of the Hallue . Faidherbe had to retreat via Arras on Douai, from where he launched a third offensive, which was repulsed by General Goeben in early January 1871 .

On January 11, 1871, Manteuffel was recalled from Northern France and took over command of the Southern Army . Immediately with the VII and II Corps he dared the bold move across the Côte d'Or into the rear of the enemy fighting near Belfort on the Lisaine , pushed them to the Swiss border near Pontarlier and forced 87,000 men from February 1st Bourbaki army to move to Switzerland. As a reward, Manteuffel received the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross on March 22nd, the Order of the Black Eagle on June 16, as well as a donation of 300,000 thalers.

The endowment enabled him to acquire an estate and castle in Topper in 1874 . The manor and castle, called 'Hunters Palace' by the family, were in their possession for at least twelve more years.

Reich Governor

After the end of the war, Manteuffel remained in France as commander in chief of the occupation army , where he worked closely with the French plenipotentiary, Count de Saint-Vallier . He did not leave France until September 1873 - when he was promoted to General Field Marshal on September 19, 1873. In July 1879, Alsace-Lorraine entered into a new legal relationship with the Reich . The Reichslande received a governor and their own ministry. Edwin von Manteuffel was appointed the first governor to hold a high federal princely rank, who had proven himself extraordinarily in the military administrative posts in Schleswig and in France after the war. As adjutant in this position, Bogdan Graf von Hutten-Czapski had been at his side since 1884 .


On June 17, 1885, he died while taking a cure in Karlsbad. Emperor Franz Joseph , against whom he had once waged war, had his coffin escorted home by an Austrian honorary escort. He was buried in the Frankfurt main cemetery next to the old portal. His memoir, which was published in 1874, was written by his adjutant, then Captain Paul von Collas .


Manteuffel married Hertha von Witzleben (1815–1879) on January 16, 1845 in Berlin. She was the daughter of the future Prussian Lieutenant General and Minister of War Job von Witzleben (1783-1837). The marriage had four children:

The couple and their eldest son, who died of the long-term effects of his wounding in the Battle of Gravelotte , were given their final resting place in Toporów


In Berlin there has been Manteuffelstrasse in Lichterfelde and Tempelhof in his honor since the 19th century . After 1945 they were temporarily called Waldteufelweg and Klotzstraße. A Manteuffelstraße in the “Generalsviertel” of Berlin-Lichtenrade, which was renamed Graffstraße in 1946, was given the name Klausdorfer Weg in 1949 to eliminate multiple names. In Hamburg there is also a Manteuffelstrasse, on which the command academy of the Bundeswehr is located. The Fort Manteuffel , and later St. Julien , (1867-1875) the fortress of Metz was named after him.

He was chief of the Rhenish Dragoon Regiment No. 5 and owner of the Russian 4th Dragoon Regiment. Kaiser Wilhelm II. Decreed by AKO on 27 January 1889 that the Rheinische Dragoons. 5 henceforth commemorating have to bear the designation Dragoon Regiment "Freiherr von Manteuffel" (Rhenish) No. 5.

Manteuffel was canon of the Merseburg cathedral chapter .

See also


Web links

Commons : Edwin von Manteuffel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Manteuffelstrasse (Lichterfelde). In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  2. ^ Manteuffelstrasse (Tempelhof). In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  3. ^ Klausdorfer Weg. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein (near  Kaupert )
  4. ^ W. Kohlhammer: Journal for Church History . Volume 58, 1939, p. 167.