August von Werder

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August von Werder
Von Werder.jpg
Werder in 1870
Born(1808-09-12)12 September 1808
Schloßberg, East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
Died12 September 1887(1887-09-12) (aged 79)
Grüssow, Pomerania, German Empire
Allegiance Kingdom of Prussia
 North German Confederation
 German Empire
Service/branchPrussian Army
Imperial German Army
Years of service1825–1879
RankGeneral of the Infantry
Battles/warsCaucasian War
Austro-Prussian War

Franco-Prussian War

AwardsPour le Mérite
Order of the Red Eagle
Grand Cross of the Iron Cross

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich August Leopold Graf[a] von Werder (12 September 1808 – 12 September 1887) was a Prussian general.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and assignments[edit]

Werder was born in Schloßberg near Norkitten in the Province of East Prussia. He entered the Prussian Gardes du Corps in 1825, transferring the following year into the Guard Infantry, with which he served for many years as a subaltern. In 1839 he was appointed an instructor in the Cadet Corps, and later he was employed in the topographical bureau of the Great General Staff. In 1842-1843 he took part in the Russian operations in the Caucasus, and on his return to Germany in 1846, was placed, as a captain, on the staff. In 1848 he married. Regimental and staff duty alternately occupied him until 1863, when he was made major-general, and given the command of a brigade of Guard Infantry.[1]

Command in the wars against Denmark and France[edit]

In the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Werder commanded the 3rd Division, which was part of the Second Army. Despite a lack of supply, Werder distinguished himself at Gitschin and Königgratz. He returned home with the rank of lieutenant-general and the Order Pour le Mérite. In 1870, at first employed with the 3rd Army Headquarters and in command of the Württemberg and Baden forces, he was after the Battle of Wörth entrusted with the operations against Strasbourg, which he captured after a long and famous siege.[1]

Promoted general of infantry, and assigned to command the new XIVth Army Corps, Werder defeated the French at Dijon and at Nuits, and, when Charles-Denis Bourbaki's army moved forward to relieve Belfort, turned upon him and fought the desperate action of Battle of Villersexel, which enabled him to cover the Germans besieging Belfort. On 15, 16 and 17 January 1871, Werder with greatly inferior forces succeeded in holding his own on the Battle of the Lisaine against all Bourbaki's efforts to reach Belfort, a victory which aroused great enthusiasm in southern Germany.[1][2] In the course of this enthusiastic prevailing mood, a monument - the Siegesdenkmal - was erected in Freiburg im Breisgau to honor his services and the victory of the German people in the Franco-Prussian War.[citation needed]


After the war Werder commanded the Baden forces, now called the XlVth Army Corps, until he retired in 1879. On his retirement he was raised to the dignity of count. He died in 1887 at Grüssow in Pomerania. The 30th (4th Rhenish) Infantry regiment carried his name, and there is a statue of Werder at Freiburg im Breisgau.[1][2]

Honours and awards[edit]


  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Until 1919, Graf was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin. In Germany, it has formed part of family names since 1919.


  1. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ a b Biographie, Deutsche. "Werder, August Graf von - Deutsche Biographie". (in German). Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rangliste de Königlich Preußischen Armee (in German), Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn, 1887, p. 157 – via
  4. ^ a b c d Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (in German), vol. 1, Berlin, 1886, pp. 7, 22, 932, 1013 – via
  5. ^ Lehmann, Gustaf (1913). Die Ritter des Ordens pour le mérite 1812–1913 [The Knights of the Order of the Pour le Mérite] (in German). Vol. 2. Berlin: Ernst Siegfried Mittler & Sohn. p. 478.
  6. ^ Königlich Preussische Ordensliste (in German), vol. 3, Berlin, 1877, p. 5 – via
  7. ^ "Ritter-Orden: Oesterreichisch-kaiserlicher Leopolds-orden", Hof- und Staatshandbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie, Vienna, 1879, p. 78, retrieved 2 September 2021 – via
  8. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Großherzogtum Baden, Karlsruhe, 1884, pp. 61, 63, 125 – via
  9. ^ "Großherzogliche Orden und Ehrenzeichen", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Grossherzogtums Hessen, Darmstadt: Im Verlag der Invalidenanstalt, 1883, p. 24 – via
  10. ^ "Herzogliche Orden", Staats- und Adreß-Handbuch des Herzogthums Nassau, Wiesbaden, 1866, p. 18 – via
  11. ^ V. M. Shabanov (2004). Military Order of the Holy Great Martyr and Victorious George: A Nominal List, 1769-1920. Moscow. p. 928. ISBN 5-89577-059-2.
  12. ^ "Königliche Orden", Hof- und Staats-Handbuch des Königreich Württemberg, Stuttgart, 1881, pp. 37, 54 – via