1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lützow, Adolf, Freiherr von

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

LÜTZOW, ADOLF, Freiherr von (1782–1834), Prussian lieutenant-general, entered the army in 1795, and eleven years later as a lieutenant took part in the disastrous battle of Auerstädt. He achieved distinction in the siege of Colberg, as the leader of a squadron of Schill’s volunteers. In 1808, as a major, he retired from the Prussian army, indignant at the humiliating treaty of Tilsit. He took part in the heroic venture of his old chief Schill in 1809; wounded at Dodendorf and left behind, he thereby escaped the fate of his comrades. In 1811 he was restored to the Prussian army as major, and at the outbreak of the “war of liberation” received permission from Scharnhorst to organize a “free corps” consisting of infantry, cavalry and Tirolese marksmen, for operating in the French rear and rallying the smaller governments into the ranks of the allies. This corps played a marked part in the campaign of 1813. But Lützow was unable to coerce the minor states, and the wanderings of the corps had little military influence. At Kitzen (near Leipzig) the whole corps, warned too late of the armistice of Poischwitz, was caught on the French side of the line of demarcation and, as a fighting force, annihilated. Lützow himself, wounded, cut his way out with the survivors, and immediately began reorganizing and recruiting. In the second part of the campaign the corps served in more regular warfare under Wallmoden. Lützow and his men distinguished themselves at Gadebusch (where Körner fell) and Göhrde (where Lützow himself, for the second time, received a severe wound at the head of the cavalry). Sent next against Denmark, and later employed at the siege of Jülich, Lützow in 1814 fell into the hands of the French. After the peace of 1814 the corps was dissolved, the infantry becoming the 25th Regiment, the cavalry the 6th Ulans. At Ligny he led the 6th Ulans to the charge, but they were broken by the French cavalry, and he finally remained in the hands of the enemy, escaping, however, on the day of Waterloo. Made colonel in this year, his subsequent promotions were: major-general 1822, and lieutenant-general (on retirement) 1830. He died in 1834. One of the last acts of his life for which Lützow is remembered is his challenge (which was ignored) to Blücher, who had been ridden down in the rout of the 6th Ulans at Ligny, and had made, in his official report, comments thereon, which their colonel considered disparaging.

See Koberstein in Preussisches Jahrbuch, vol. xxiii (Berlin, 1868), and Preussisches Bilderbuch (Leipzig, 1889); K. von Lützow, Adolf Lützows Freikorps (Berlin, 1884); Fr. von Jagwitz, Geschichte des Lützow’schen Freikorps (Berlin, 1892); and the histories of the campaigns of 1813 and 1815.