Hans Ernst Karl von Zieten

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Hans Ernst Karl von Zieten, portrayed by Franz Krüger

Hans Ernst Karl von Zieten , from 1817 Count von Zieten (born March 5, 1770 in Dechtow ; † May 3, 1848 in Warmbrunn ) was a Prussian officer , most recently Field Marshal General .



Hans Ernst Karl was the second hussar general named Zieten . The Frederician general Hans Joachim von Zieten (called "Zieten from the bush") and the later Field Marshal Count Hans Ernst Karl von Zieten are not related to each other. Both families do not have a common progenitor, even if one speaks of an older line of the later Counts of Zieten on Dechtow in Havelland and the younger line on Wustrau in general.

He was the son of Ernst Dietrich von Zieten (1739–1798), Herr auf Dechtow and his wife Charlotte Sophie Margarethe, née von Moeller.

Military career

In the body regiment of Zieten, in which Hans Ernst von Zieten was accepted as a flag junior while Frederick the Great was still alive , the young second lieutenant received his officer license in 1789 . In 1793 he served as an adjutant to Lieutenant General Friedrich von Kalckreuth , who later became General Field Marshal. Due to his cavalry skills, he was entrusted with the post of inspection adjutant in 1799 and promoted to major the following year .

In the campaigns against Napoleon he proved himself as a cavalry leader and corps leader. His military success earned him a promotion out of order to colonel on February 18, 1809 . At Scharnhorst's suggestion, he became a member of a commission for the "abolition of the cavalry drill regulations". Promoted to major general on March 20, 1813 , he achieved an important success on May 26, 1813, which strengthened the Prussian reputation before the Armistice of Poischwitz : at Haynau he was able to lure the troops of the French general Maison into an ambush and defeat the Facilitate the withdrawal of the Allied troops from Bautzen to Liegnitz . For this success he received the Iron Cross 1st Class.

In the fighting in France in 1814 he did the same in the battle of Laon , where he circumvented the enemy and thereby helped to decide the victory. Most of the guns and ammunition wagons in this battle were captured by Zieten's squadrons.

In the campaign of 1815

After Napoleon returned from Elba, a new armed conflict against France became necessary. Zieten was given command of the I. Corps under the command of Blucher . On June 16, 1815, his troops carried the brunt of the battle at the Battle of Ligny on the village line of Ligny, Brye and St. Amand. On June 18, the day of the Battle of Waterloo , he brought the Duke of Wellington an aid that was decisive for the outcome of the battle. In the afternoon the French attacked with great violence, and the British left wing was seriously disturbed. Zieten had received orders from Blücher to stop, but Müffling's convincing advice , who was on Wellington's staff, succeeded in persuading Zieten to intervene in the battle. This caused panic among the French and contributed to the victorious outcome of the battle. The battle victoriously waged by General Zieten at Issy on July 20 was significant for the surrender of Paris .

For a time there was a tense relationship between Gneisenau and Zieten. Gneisenau's assessment of Zieten's character is all the more important: “General von Zieten is one of our best sub-generals. He never sees any difficulties and does what he is asked to do without decency. ” As Commander-in-Chief of the Prussian Occupation Corps, Zieten was in France for over three years. In 1817 he was raised to the rank of count and received a gift of 25,000 thalers.

On February 11, 1819 Zieten was commanding general of the Silesian VI. Corps . On September 14, 1824 he was appointed chief of the 4th Hussar Regiment and promoted to general of the cavalry on June 16, 1825 .

As an enthusiastic rider, Zieten, who received the rank of Field Marshal General in 1839 with the requested farewell, was also later interested in all questions about the cavalry and was consulted for appropriate expert opinions.

Zieten has received several awards for his services. On December 5, 1792 he was knight of the Pour le Mérite , received the oak leaves for the Battle of Dresden on September 5, 1813 and the golden crown on July 18, 1844. On the occasion of his 50th anniversary in service, he received the diamonds for the Order of the Black Eagle on May 26, 1835 . Zieten was also the holder of the Order of the Red Eagle First Class (1814), the Grand Cross of the French Order of Military Merit (1816), the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Bath (1819), the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky (1829) and the Order of Andrew (1835) as well as the Grand Cross of the ku St. Stephen's Order (1830).


Zieten was married to Josephine, née Countess von Berlo-Suys (1776-1814), since January 31, 1797. The marriage had three children:

  • Josephine Clementine (October 23, 1799 - February 24, 1862) ⚭ May 5, 1821 Leopold Christian Gotthard Count von Schaffgotsch († October 19, 1864), Prussian Chamberlain and Lord of Maywaldau
  • Leopold Karl (* May 23, 1802; † May 19, 1870), secret government and district administrator
⚭ Ernestine Hedwig Countess von Schaffgotsch (born January 12, 1805, † July 31, 1846)
⚭ July 9, 1849 Agnes Juliane Henriette Ernestine zu Lippe-Biesterfeld widowed Biron von Kurland (* April 30, 1810; † April 21, 1887)


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