1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Karl Eberhard

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 13
Herwarth von Bittenfeld, Karl Eberhard

HERWARTH VON BITTENFELD, KARL EBERHARD (1796–1884), Prussian general field-marshal, came of an aristocratic family which had supplied many distinguished officers to the Prussian army. He entered the Guard infantry in 1811, and served through the War of Liberation (1813–15), distinguishing himself at Lützen and Paris. During the years of peace he rose slowly to high command. In the Berlin revolution of 1848 he was on duty at the royal palace as colonel of the 1st Guards. Major-general in 1852, and lieutenant-general in 1856, he received the grade of general of infantry and the command of the VIIth (Westphalian) Army Corps in 1860. In the Danish War of 1864 he succeeded to the command of the Prussians when Prince Frederick Charles became commander-in-chief of the Allies, and it was under his leadership that the Prussians forced the passage into Alsen on the 29th of June. In the war of 1866 Herwarth commanded the “Army of the Elbe” which overran Saxony and invaded Bohemia by the valley of the Elbe and Iser. His troops won the actions of Hühnerwasser and Münchengrätz, and at Königgrätz formed the right wing of the Prussian army. Herwarth himself directed the battle against the Austrian left flank. In 1870 he was not employed in the field, but was in charge of the scarcely less important business of organizing and forwarding all the reserves and material required for the armies in France. In 1871 his great services were recognized by promotion to the rank of field-marshal. The rest of his life was spent in retirement at Bonn, where he died in 1884. Since 1889 the 13th (1st Westphalian) Infantry has borne his name.

See G. F. M. Herwarth von Bittenfeld (Münster, 1896).