Karl Philipp von Wrede
Karl Philipp Josef Wrede, Freiherr von Wrede, 1st Fürst von Wrede (29 April 1767 – 12 December 1838), Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

n field-marshal, was born at Heidelberg
-Early history:Between 600,000 and 200,000 years ago, "Heidelberg Man" died at nearby Mauer. His jaw bone was discovered in 1907; with scientific dating, his remains were determined to be the earliest evidence of human life in Europe. In the 5th century BC, a Celtic fortress of refuge and place of...

, the youngest of three children of Ferdinand Josef Wrede (1722–1793), created in 1791 1st Freiherr von Wrede, and wife, married on 21 March 1746, Anna Katharina Jünger (1729–1804), by whom he had two more children Luise, Freiin von Wrede (23 September 1748 – 9 February 1794), married to Philipp, Freiherr von Horn (-1834), and Georg, Freiherr von Wrede (8 December 1765 – 3 April 1843), married on 17 January 1808 to Julie Zarka de Lukafalva (1781 – 1 August 1847), without issue.

Early career

He was educated for the career of a civil official under the Palatinate government, but on the outbreak of the campaign of 1799 he raised a volunteer corps in the Palatinate and was made its colonel. This corps excited the mirth of the well-drilled Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

ns with whom it served, but its colonel soon brought it into a good condition, and it distinguished itself during Kray's retreat on Ulm
Ulm is a city in the federal German state of Baden-Württemberg, situated on the River Danube. The city, whose population is estimated at 120,000 , forms an urban district of its own and is the administrative seat of the Alb-Donau district. Ulm, founded around 850, is rich in history and...

. At the Battle of Hohenlinden (1800)
Battle of Hohenlinden (1800)
The Battle of Hohenlinden was fought on 3 December 1800 during the French Revolutionary Wars. A French army under Jean Victor Marie Moreau won a decisive victory over the Austrians and Bavarians led by Archduke John of Austria. After being forced into a disastrous retreat, the allies were compelled...

 Wrede commanded one of the Palatinate infantry brigades with credit, and after the peace of Lunéville
Lunéville is a commune in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department in France.It is a sub-prefecture of the department and lies on the Meurthe River.-History:...

 he was made lieutenant-general in the Bavarian army, which was entering upon a period of reforms. Wrede soon made himself very popular, and distinguished himself in opposing the Austrian invasions of 1805.


In the War of the Fifth Coalition
War of the Fifth Coalition
The War of the Fifth Coalition, fought in the year 1809, pitted a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom against Napoleon's French Empire and Bavaria. Major engagements between France and Austria, the main participants, unfolded over much of Central Europe from April to July, with...

, he led the 2nd Bavarian Division in the VII Corps. He played an important part in the Battle of Abensberg
Battle of Abensberg
The Battle of Abensberg took place on 20 April 1809, between a Franco-German force under the command of Emperor Napoleon I of France and a reinforced Austrian corps led by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Archduke Louis of Austria. As the day wore on, Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann von Hiller arrived with...

 on 20 April 1809. In the morning, he probed Joseph Radetzky's
Joseph Radetzky von Radetz
Johann Josef Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetz was a Czech nobleman and Austrian general, immortalised by Johann Strauss I's Radetzky March...

 Austrian defense at Siegenburg
Siegenburg is a municipality in the district of Kelheim in Bavaria in Germany....

. Unable to make headway, he marched his division north to Biburg
Biburg is a municipality in the district of Kelheim in Bavaria in Germany....

 and crossed the Abens River
The Abens is a river in Bavaria, Germany, right tributary of the Danube. Its source is near Au in der Hallertau. It is approx. 76 km long. It flows generally north through the small towns Au in der Hallertau, Rudelzhausen, Mainburg, Siegenburg and Abensberg. It flows into the Danube in Eining, part...

. From Biburg, he moved on Kirchdorf
Kirchdorf, Lower Bavaria
Kirchdorf is a municipality in the district of Kelheim in Bavaria in Germany....

 and attacked Frederick Bianchi's
Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza
Frederick Bianchi, Duke of Casalanza , was an Austrian general and later field marshal.-Biography:...

 reinforced brigade. When the Austrians retreated, Wrede aggressively pursued them to Pfeffenhausen
Pfeffenhausen is a municipality in the district of Landshut in Bavaria in Germany....

 late that evening. He led the advance from Pfeffenhausen and was involved in the Battle of Landshut
Battle of Landshut (1809)
The Battle of Landshut took place on April 21, 1809, between the French, Württembergers and Bavarians under Napoleon which numbered about 77,000 strong, and 36,000 Austrians under the General Johann von Hiller...

 on 21 April, capturing 11 cannon. On 24 April, his division was defeated at the Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit
Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit
The Battle of Neumarkt-Sankt Veit on 24 April 1809 saw a Franco-Bavarian force led by Marshal Jean-Baptiste Bessières face an Austrian Empire army commanded by Johann von Hiller. Hiller's numerically superior force won a victory over the Allied troops, forcing Bessières to retreat to the west...

 when Johann von Hiller
Johann von Hiller
Johann Baron von Hiller, June 10, 1754 – June 5, 1819, was an Austrian general during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars...

 counterattacked in superior force. After occupying Salzburg
-Population development:In 1935, the population significantly increased when Salzburg absorbed adjacent municipalities. After World War II, numerous refugees found a new home in the city. New residential space was created for American soldiers of the postwar Occupation, and could be used for...

 on 29 April, Wrede moved southwest against the Tyrolean Rebellion
Tyrolean Rebellion 1809
The Tyrolean Rebellion of 1809 was a rebellion of peasants in the County of Tyrol led by Andreas Hofer against the occupation of their homeland by the French and Bavarian troops within the context of the War of the Fifth Coalition against Napoleon I.- Historical background: Bavarian occupation of...

. He pushed back Tyrolean irregulars at Lofer
Lofer is a market town in the Pinzgau region of Salzburg in Austria. It also hosts a lovely ski resort, with 48km of pisted runs.-Overview:...

 on 11 May and defeated Franz Fenner's mixed regulars and Tyroleans at Waidring
Waidring is a municipality in the Kitzbühel district in Tyrol, Austria, located 20 km northeast of Kitzbühel and 9 km east of Kirchdorf in Tirol near the border with Salzburg. The village was mentioned for the first time as „Waitheringen“ in documents from 1147. It has about 1,850 inhabitants....

 the next day. On 13 May, he played a major part in crushing the division of Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles
Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles
Johann Gabriel, Marquis du Chasteler de Courcelles was a Walloon, entered the military service of Habsburg Austria at an early age and trained as an engineer. He won a coveted award in action against the Ottoman Turks. He fought against the First French Republic and was promoted to general officer...

 in the Battle of Wörgl
Battle of Wörgl
In the Battle of Wörgl or Wörgel on 13 May 1809 a Bavarian force under French Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre attacked an Austrian Empire detachment commanded by Johann Gabriel Chasteler de Courcelles. The Bavarians severely defeated Chasteler's soldiers in series of actions in the Austrian towns...


After the French defeat at the Battle of Aspern-Essling
Battle of Aspern-Essling
In the Battle of Aspern-Essling , Napoleon attempted a forced crossing of the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were driven back by the Austrians under Archduke Charles...

, Napoleon I of France
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

 called Wrede's division to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 as a reinforcement. At first, Wrede's division stood in reserve in the Battle of Wagram
Battle of Wagram
The Battle of Wagram was the decisive military engagement of the War of the Fifth Coalition. It took place on the Marchfeld plain, on the north bank of the Danube. An important site of the battle was the village of Deutsch-Wagram, 10 kilometres northeast of Vienna, which would give its name to the...

. In the afternoon of 6 July, the Bavarians were sent into battle in support of Jacques MacDonald's celebrated attack. In a successful charge on the village of Sussenbrunn, Wrede was grazed by a bullet. Fearing the wound was fatal, he told MacDonald, "Tell the Emperor I die for him. I recommend to him my wife and children." Seeing that Wrede's injury was minor, the French general smiled and replied, "I think that you will be able to make this recommendation to him yourself." The embarrassed general got up and continued to lead his troops.

Later career

The Bavarians were for several years the active allies of Napoleon, and Wrede led the Bavarian corps that fought in Russia in 1812. Just before the Battle of Leipzig
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 October 1813, he negotiated the Treaty of Ried
Treaty of Ried
The Treaty of Ried of 8 October 1813 was a treaty that was signed between Bavaria and Austria. By this treaty, Bavaria left the Confederation of the Rhine and agreed to join the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon in exchange for a guarantee of her continued sovereign and independent status. On 14...

 between Austria and Bavaria, by which Bavaria switched sides. Wrede then fought with the allies against Napoleon. After Leipzig, he tried to block the French escape at the Battle of Hanau
Battle of Hanau
The Battle of Hanau was fought on between Karl Philipp von Wrede’s Austro-Bavarian corps and Napoleon's retreating French during the War of the Sixth Coalition....

 on 30 and 31 October. Wrede positioned his troops poorly and Napoleon smashed one of his wings, inflicting 9,000 casualties. In 1814 he was created prince and field marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

. Wrede represented Bavaria at the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...


He married on 18 March 1795 Sofie, Gräfin von Wiser (23 May 1771 – 7 May 1837), by whom he had eight children. Von Wrede was no doubt the leading Bavarian soldier of his day.
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