Friedrich August von Finck

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Friedrich August von Finck (1718 – February 24, 1766) was a Prussian soldier and writer.


Finck was born in Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He first saw active service in 1734 on the Rhine, as a member of the suite of Anton Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Soon after this he transferred to the Austrian service, and thence went to Russia, where he served until the fall of his patron Marshal Munnich put an end to his prospects of advancement. In 1742 he went to Berlin, and Frederick the Great made him his aide-de-camp, with the rank of major. Good service brought him rapid promotion in the Seven Years' War. After the Battle of Kolin (June 18, 1757) he was made colonel, and at the end of 1757 major-general.

At the beginning of 1759 Finck became lieutenant-general, and in this rank commanded a corps at the disastrous battle of Kunersdorf, where he did good service both on the field of battle and (Frederick having in despair handed over to him the command) in the rallying of the beaten Prussians. Later in the year Finck fought in concert with General Wunsch a widespread combat, called the action of Korbitz (September 21) in which the Austrians and the contingents of the minor states of the Empire were sharply defeated. For this action Frederick gave Finck the Black Eagle.[1]

But the subsequent catastrophe of the Battle of Maxen abruptly put an end to Finck's active career. The Prussians had capitulated Dresden to the Austrians on September 4, and Finck was ordered by the king to Maxen (a village in the Pirna region of Saxony) to cut off the enemy's movement. Although dangerously exposed, and with inadequate forces, Finck dared not disobey his master, although he advised the king of his inadequate resources. Cut off by greatly superior numbers, he was forced to surrender with some 14,000 men (November 21, 1759). After the peace, Frederick sent him before a court-martial, which sentenced him to be cashiered. He also was imprisoned for a year in the fortress at Spandau. At the expiry of this term Finck entered Danish service as general of infantry. He died at Copenhagen in 1766, still feeling wronged by Frederick's inexorable rigor.


Finck left a work called Gedanken über militärische Gegenstande (Berlin, 1788).


Friedrich August von Finck is not related to the family of August von Finck, Sr.


  1. ^ Seyfarth, Beilagen, ii, pp. 621-630.



  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Finck, Friedrich August von". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  This work in turn cites:
    • Denkwurdigkeiten der militärischen Gesellschaft, vol. ii. (Berlin, 1802–1805)
    • Report of the Finck court-martial in Zeitschrift für Kunst, Wissenschaft und Geschichte des Krieges, pt. 81 (Berlin, 1851)
    • Life of Finck in manuscript in the library of the Great General Staff