Friedrich Graf Kleist von Nollendorf
Friedrich Emil Ferdinand Heinrich Graf Kleist von Nollendorf (April 9, 1762 – February 17, 1823), born and died in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...
, was a Prussian
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...
Field Marshal or Generalfeldmarschall in German, was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire; in the Austrian Empire, the rank Feldmarschall was used...
and a member of the old junker
A Junker was a member of the landed nobility of Prussia and eastern Germany. These families were mostly part of the German Uradel and carried on the colonization and Christianization of the northeastern European territories during the medieval Ostsiedlung. The abbreviation of Junker is Jkr...
family von Kleist
Von Kleist is a Pomeranian Prussian noble family. Notable members of this family include:* Ewald Jürgen Georg von Kleist ; co-inventor of the Leyden jar* Ewald Christian von Kleist ; German poet and soldier...
Kleist entered the Prussian army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...
in 1778 and served in the War of the Bavarian Succession and the French Revolutionary Wars
French Revolutionary Wars
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of major conflicts, from 1792 until 1802, fought between the French Revolutionary government and several European states...
. By 1799, Kleist had been promoted to major and was put in command of a battalion of grenadiers.
Kleist served in the Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...
and fought at Jena. In 1807 he went on extended leave but by 1808 he was put in command of an infantry brigade and the next year he was made commandant of Berlin. During the War of Liberation he was given a corps with which he fought in the battles of Kulm
Battle of Kulm
The Battle of Kulm was a battle near the town Kulm and the village Přestanov in northern Bohemia. It was fought on 29–30 August 1813, during the War of the Sixth Coalition...
Battle of Leipzig
The Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, on 16–19 October 1813, was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. Napoleon's army also contained Polish and Italian troops as well as Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine...
. In 1814, he was given the title Count of Nollendorf for his decisive role in this battle.
After Leipzig, Kleist blockaded the fortress of Erfurt
Erfurt is the capital city of Thuringia and the main city nearest to the geographical centre of Germany, located 100 km SW of Leipzig, 150 km N of Nuremberg and 180 km SE of Hannover. Erfurt Airport can be reached by plane via Munich. It lies in the southern part of the Thuringian...
and in early 1814 he marched his troops into France
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...
where his corps was attached to Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Fürst von Wahlstatt , Graf , later elevated to Fürst von Wahlstatt, was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall who led his army against Napoleon I at the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 and at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 with the Duke of Wellington.He is...
's army. He then fought in the battle of Laon
Battle of Laon
The Battle of Laon was the victory of Blücher's Prussian army over Napoleon's French army near Laon.-Prelude:An Allied coalition attempted to complete the destruction of Napoleon's French Empire in 1814. France had been defeated in Russia in 1812 and in Central Europe in 1813...
and in the attack on Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
. At the end of the war Kleist was promoted to the rank of General der Infanterie. During the Hundred Days
The Hundred Days, sometimes known as the Hundred Days of Napoleon or Napoleon's Hundred Days for specificity, marked the period between Emperor Napoleon I of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815...
, Kleist was given command of a Prussian corps (the North German Corps) which was to operate independently from Blücher's Army of the Lower Rhine; he was therefore not involved in the battles of Ligny
Battle of Ligny
The Battle of Ligny was the last victory of the military career of Napoleon I. In this battle, French troops of the Armée du Nord under Napoleon's command, defeated a Prussian army under Field Marshal Blücher, near Ligny in present-day Belgium. The bulk of the Prussian army survived, however, and...
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...
Two years before his death he was promoted to the rank of field marshal.