1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wrangel, Friedrich Heinrich Ernst, Count von
WRANGEL, FRIEDRICH HEINRICH ERNST, Count von (1784-1877), Prussian general field marshal, was born at Stettin, on the 13th of April 1784. He entered a dragoon regiment in 1796, became cornet in 1797, and second lieutenant in 1798. He fought as a subaltern against Napoleon, especially distinguishing himself as Heilsberg in 1807, and receiving the order pour le mérite. In the reorganization of the army, Wrangel became successively first lieutenant and captain, and won distinction and promotion to lieutenant-colonel in the War of Liberation in 1813, won the Iron Cross at Wachau near Leipzig, and became colonel in 1815. He commanded a cavalry brigade in 1821, and two years later was promoted major-general. He commanded the 13th Division, with headquarters at Minister, in Westphalia, in 1834, when riots occurred owing to differences between the archbishop of Cologne and the crown, and the determination and resolution with which he treated the clerical party prevented serious trouble. He was promoted lieutenant-general, received many honours from the court, enjoyed the confidence of the Junker party, and commanded successively at Königsberg and Stettin. In 1848 he commanded the II. Corps of the German Federal army in the Schleswig-Holstein campaign, was promoted general of cavalry, and won several actions. In the autumn he was summoned to Berlin to suppress the riots there. As governor of Berlin and commander-in-chief of the Mark of Brandenburg (appointments which he held till his death) he proclaimed a state of siege, and ejected the Liberal president and members of the Chamber. Thus on two occasions in the troubled history of Prussian revival Wrangel's uncompromising sternness achieved its object without bloodshed. From this time onwards he was most prominent in connexion with the revival of the Prussian cavalry from the neglect and inefficiency into which it had fallen during the years of peace and poverty after 1815. In 1856, having then seen sixty years' service, he was made a field marshal. At the age of eighty he commanded the Austro-Prussian army in the war with Denmark in 1864 and though he was too old for active work, and often issued vague or impracticable orders (he himself had always desired that the young and Brilliant “Red Prince,” Frederick Charles, should have the command), the prestige of his name, and the actual good work of Frederick Charles, Moltke and Vogel von Falckenstein among the Prussian, and of Gablenz among the Austrian generals, made the campaign a brilliant success. After the capture of Düppel he resigned the command, was created a count, and received other honours. In 1866 “Papa” Wrangel assisted in the Bohemian campaign, but without a command on account of his great age. He took a keen interest in the second reorganization of the cavalry arm 1866-1870, and in the war with France in 1870-71. He died at Berlin on the 2nd of November 1877. On the seventieth anniversary of his entering the army his regiment, the 3rd Cuirassiers, was given the title “Graf Wrangel.”
See supplement to Militär. Wochenblatt (1877), and lives by von Köppen and von Maltitz (Berlin, 1884).