1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Müffling, Friedrich Karl Ferdinand

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18
Müffling, Friedrich Karl Ferdinand
See also Karl Freiherr von Müffling on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.

MÜFFLING, FRIEDRICH KARL FERDINAND, Freiherr von, called WEISS (1775-1851), Prussian general field marshal, was born on the 12th of June 1775, and entered the Prussian army in 1790. In 1799 he contributed to a military dictionary edited by Lieutenant W. von Leipziger, and in the winter of 1802-1803, being then a subaltern, he was appointed to the newly-formed general staff as “quartermaster-lieutenant.” He had already done survey work, and was now charged with survey duties under the astronomer F. X. von Zach (1754-1832). In 1805, when in view of a war with France the army was placed on a war footing, Müffling was promoted captain and assigned to the general staffs, successively, of General von Wartensleben, Prince Hohenlohe and Blücher. In 1806 he served under Hohenlohe, the duke of Saxe-Weimar, and Blücher, and was included in the capitulation of the latter's corps at Rattkau, after which he entered the civil service of the duke of Weimar. He rejoined the army on the outbreak of the War of Liberation in 1813, and was placed on the headquarters staff of the army of Silesia. His business qualities and common sense were greatly valued, though the temperamental differences between Müffling and Gneisenau often led to friction, especially as the former was in a measure the representative of the antiquated “topographical” school of strategists, to whom (rightly in the main) the disaster of Jena was attributed. In the interval between the first occupation of Paris and the Hundred Days, Müffling served as chief of the staff to the Russian general Barclay de Tolly and to General Kleist von Nollendorf. He was Prussian commissioner at the duke of Wellington's headquarters in the Waterloo campaign, and was involved in the various controversies which centred round the events of the i6th of June 1815. After the final fall of Napoleon he served on the staff of the army of occupation in France and was for some months military governor of Paris. He spent a part of his time on the Rhine in survey work, and was employed by Frederick William III. in various diplomatic missions. In 1821 he became chief of the general staff at Berlin, and though he has been accused of indulging his taste for topographical work at the expense of training for war, his work was not wasted, for he gave an excellent organization to the general staff, and executed elaborate and useful surveys. In 1829 he visited Constantinople and St Petersburg in connexion with negotiations for peace between Russia and Turkey. He took a prominent part in the military and civil history of Prussia, and from 1838-1847 was governor of Berlin. Failing health compelled his retirement in the latter year, and he died on the 16th of January 1851, at his estate of Ringhofen near Berlin.

Under the initials of C(arl) von W(eiss), he wrote various important works on military art and history: Operations plan der preuss-sächs. Armee 1806 (Weimar, 1807); marginalia on the archduke Charles's Grundsätze der hoheren Kriegskunst für die Generäle der oesterr. Armee, and on Rühle von Lilienstern's Bericht über die Vorgänge bei der Hohenloheschen Armee 1806; Die preussisch-russische Kampagne bis zum Waffenstillstande 1813 (Berlin, 1813); Geschichte der Armeen unter Wellington und Blücher 1815 (Stuttgart, 1817); Zur Kriegsgesch. der Jahre 1813-1814: die Feldzüge der schlesischen Armee von der Beendigung des Waffenstillstandes bis zur Eroberung von Paris (Berlin, 1824); Betrachtungen über die grossen Operationen und Schlachten 1813-1815 (Berlin, 1825); Napoleons Strategie 1813 (Berlin, 1827) ; and an essay on the Roman roads on the lower Rhine (Berlin, 1834). Müffling was also the inventor of a system of hachuring for maps. His reminiscences, Aus meinem Leben, were published at Berlin in 1851.