Online Encyclopedia

FERDINAND (COLOGNE)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V10, Page 269 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: del.icio.us del.icio.us it!
FERDINAND (COLOGNE) 269 manded one of the Prussian columns which converged upon Dresden, and in the operations which led up to the surrender of the Saxon army at Pirna (1756), and at the battle of Lobositz, he led the right wing of the Prussian infantry. In 1757 he was present, and distinguished himself, at Prague, and he served also in the campaign of Rossbach. Shortly after this he was appointed to command the allied forces which were being organized for the war in western Germany. He found this army dejected by a reverse and a capitulation, yet within a week of his taking up the command he assumed the offensive, and thus began the career of victory which made his European reputation as a soldier. His conduct of the five campaigns which followed (see SEVEN YEARS' WAR) was naturally influenced by the teachings of Frederick, whose pupil the duke had been for so many years. Ferdinand, indeed, approximated more closely to Frederick in his method of making war than any other general of the time. Yet his task was in many respects far more difficult than that of the king. Frederick was the absolute master of his own homogeneous army, Ferdinand merely the commander of a group of contingents, and answerable to several princes for the troops placed under his control. The French were by no means despicable opponents in the field, and their leaders, if not of the first grade, were cool and experienced veterans. In 1758 he fought and won the battle of Crefeld, several marches beyond the Rhine; but so advanced a position he could not well maintain, and he fell back to the Lippe. He resumed a bold offensive in 1759, only to be repulsed at Bergen (near Frankfort-on-Main). On the 1st of August of this year Ferdinand won the brilliant victory of Minden (q.v.). Vellinghausen, Wilhelmsthal, War-burg and other victories attested the increasing power of Ferdinand in the following campaigns, and Frederick, hard pressed in the eastern theatre of war, owed much of his success in an almost hopeless task to the continued pressure exerted by Ferdinand in the west. In promoting him to be a field marshal (November 1758) Frederick acknowledged his debt in the words, " Je n'ai fait que ce que je dois, mon cher Ferdinand." After Minden, King George II. gave the duke the order of the Garter, and the thanks of the British parliament were voted on the same occasion to the " Victor of Minden." After the war he was honoured by other sovereigns, and he received the rank of field marshal and a regiment from the Austrians. During the War of American Independence there was a suggestion, which came to nothing, of offering him the command of the British forces. He exerted himself to compensate those who had suffered by the Seven Years' War, devoting to this purpose most of the small income he received from his various offices and the rewards given to him by the allied princes. The estrangement of Frederick and Ferdinand in 1766 led to the duke's retirement from Prussian service, but there was no open breach between the old friends, and Ferdinand visited the king in 1772, 1777, 1779 and 1782. After 1766 he passed the remainder of his life at his castle of Veschelde, where he occupied himself in building and other improvements, and became a patron of learning and art, and a great benefactor of the poor. He died on the 3rd of July 1792. The merits, civil and military, of the prince were recognized by memorials not only in Prussia and Hanover, but also in Denmark, the states of western Germany and England. The Prussian memorials include an equestrian statue at Berlin (1863). See E. v. L. Knesebeck, Ferdinand, Herzog von Braunschweig and Luneburg, wahrend des Siebenjahrigen Kriegs (2 vols., Hanover, 1857-1858) ; Von Westphalen, Geschichte der Feldziige des Herzogs Ferdinands von Braunschweig-Luneburg (5 vols., Berlin, 1859-1872); v. d. Osten, Tagebuch des Herzogl. Gen. Adjutanten v. Reden (Hamburg, 18o5) ; v. Schafer, Vie militaire du marechal Prince Ferdinand (Magdeburg, 1796; Nuremberg, 1798) ; also the (Euvres of Frederick the Great, passim, and authorities for the SEVEN YEARS' WAR.
End of Article: FERDINAND (COLOGNE)
[back]
FERDINAND (1577-1650)
[next]
FERDINAND (Span. Fernando or Hernando; Ital. Ferdin...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.