1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Grolmann, Karl Wilhelm Georg von

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 12
Grolmann, Karl Wilhelm Georg von
See also Karl von Grolman on Wikipedia; and our 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica disclaimer.

GROLMANN, KARL WILHELM GEORG VON (1777-1843), Prussian soldier, was born in Berlin on the 30th of July 1777. He entered an infantry regiment when scarcely thirteen, became an ensign in 1795, second lieutenant 1797, first lieutenant 1804 and staff-captain in 1805. As a subaltern he had become one of Scharnhorst's intimates, and he was distinguished for his energetic and fearless character before the war of 1806, in which he served throughout, from Jena to the peace of Tilsit, as a staff officer, and won the rank of major for distinguished service in action. After the peace, and the downfall of Prussia, he was one of the most active of Scharnhorst's assistants in the work of reorganization (1809), joined the Tugendbund and endeavoured to take part in Schill's abortive expedition, after which he entered the Austrian service as a major on the general staff. Thereafter he journeyed to Cadiz to assist the Spaniards against Napoleon, and he led a corps of volunteers in the defence of that port against Marshal Victor in 1810. He was present at the battle of Albuera, at Saguntum, and at Valencia, becoming a prisoner of war at the surrender of the last-named place. Soon, however, he escaped to Switzerland, whence early in 1813 he returned to Prussia as a major on the general staff. He served successively under Colonel von Dolffs and General von Kleist, and as commissioner at the headquarters of the Russian general Barclay de Tolly. He took part with Kleist in the victory of Kulm, and recovered from a severe wound received at that action in time to be present at the battle of Leipzig. He played a conspicuous part in the campaign of 1814 in France, after which he was made a major-general. In this rank he was appointed quartermaster-general to Field Marshal Prince Blücher, and, after his chief and Gneisenau, Grolmann had the greatest share in directing the Prussian operations of 1815. In the decision, on the 18th of June 1815, to press forward to Wellington's assistance (see Waterloo Campaign), Grolmann actively concurred, and as the troops approached the battle-field, he is said to have overcome the momentary hesitation of the commander-in-chief and the chief of staff by himself giving the order to advance. After the peace of 1815, Grolmann occupied important positions in the ministry of war and the general staff. His last public services were rendered in Poland as commander-in-chief, and practically as civil administrator of the province of Posen. He was promoted general of infantry in 1837 and died on the 1st of June 1843, at Posen. His two sons became generals in the Prussian army. The Prussian 18th infantry regiment bears his name.

General von Grolmann supervised and provided much of the material for von Damitz's Gesch. des Feldzugs 1815 (Berlin, 1837-1838), and Gesch. des Feldzugs 1814 in Frankreich (Berlin, 1842-1843).

See v. Conrady, Leben und Wirken des Generals Karl von Grolmann (Berlin, 1894-1896).