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Knobelsdorff, originally a cavalry officer, had received awards in the Silesian Wars and was commander of the regiments of Brunswick-Severn on foot and black on foot before 1776 as a colonel and chief of the regiment took Stojentin walk in Stendal. In the War of the Bavarian Succession in 1778, he led a brigade in the army of Prince Henry, and distinguished himself in it. In the campaign against Holland in 1787, he led the division on the left wing. The army leader at that time was the Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick. At the outbreak of war in 1792 against France, he remained in Stendal, while his regiment joined the corps of the Duke of Brunswick. However, as the worsening war situation in March 1793, when the Duke fell ill and had to leave the coalition forces, Knobelsdorff took over for him as the supreme commander of the Prussian troops. In the summer of 1793, Knobelsdorff was promoted to lieutenant general and given a special praise of the king. As a frequent guest of the king, he was promoted to field marshal general and was still one in the autumn of 1799, when he participated in maneuvers at Potsdam. When he suffered in December 1799 in Stendal from a stroke, his soldier's life ended in the city of his regiment. Knobelsdorff stood in front of the lodge in Stendal "The Golden Crown" for years as Worshipful Master. He was formed as a famous person and known as a great hunter and nature and the environment lover and knew the Stendal Letzlinger Heath very well, which he used for hiking and hunting trips. One of his most famous pupils is General Ernst von Ruchel, inspector general of the Prussian military education and Mitverlierer the Battle of Jena on 14 October 1806.