Karl Wilhelm Friedrich August Leopold, Count von Werder
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich August Leopold Graf von Werder (12 September 1808 – 12 September 1888) 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...

A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....


Werder was born in Schloßberg near Norkitten in the Province of East Prussia
Province of East Prussia
The Province of East Prussia was a province of Prussia from 1773–1829 and 1878-1945. Composed of the historical region East Prussia, the province's capital was Königsberg ....

. He entered the Prussian Gardes du Corps in 1825, transferring the following year into the Guard Infantry, with which he served for many years as a subaltern
Subaltern (rank)
A subaltern is a chiefly British military term for a junior officer. Literally meaning "subordinate," subaltern is used to describe commissioned officers below the rank of captain and generally comprises the various grades of lieutenant. In the British Army the senior subaltern rank was...

. In 1839 he was appointed an instructor in the Cadet Corps, and later he was employed in the topographical bureau of the Great General Staff. In 1842-1843 he took part in the Russian
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 operations in the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, and on his return to Germany
German Confederation
The German Confederation was the loose association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to coordinate the economies of separate German-speaking countries. It acted as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia...

 in 1846, was placed, as a captain, on the staff. In 1848 he married. Regimental and staff duty alternately occupied him until 1863, when he was made major-general, and given the command of a brigade of Guard Infantry.

In the Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

 of 1866, Werder greatly distinguished himself at Gitschin and Königgratz
Battle of Königgrätz
The Battle of Königgrätz , also known as the Battle of Sadowa, Sadová, or Hradec Králové, was the decisive battle of the Austro-Prussian War, in which the Kingdom of Prussia defeated the Austrian Empire...

 at the head of the 3rd division. He returned home with the rank of lieutenant-general and the Order Pour le Mérite
Pour le Mérite
The Pour le Mérite, known informally as the Blue Max , was the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military order for German soldiers until the end of World War I....

. In 1870, at first employed with the 3rd Army Headquarters and in command of the Württemberg
Kingdom of Württemberg
The Kingdom of Württemberg was a state that existed from 1806 to 1918, located in present-day Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a continuation of the Duchy of Württemberg, which came into existence in 1495...

 and Baden
Grand Duchy of Baden
The Grand Duchy of Baden was a historical state in the southwest of Germany, on the east bank of the Rhine. It existed between 1806 and 1918.-History:...

 forces, he was after the Battle of Worth entrusted with the operations against Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, which he captured after a long and famous siege
Siege of Strasbourg
The Siege of Strasbourg took place during the Franco-Prussian War, and resulted in the French surrender of the fortress on 28 September 1870.-Background:...


Promoted general of infantry, and assigned to command the new XIVth Army Corps, Werder defeated the French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

 and at Nuits
Nuits, also known as Nuits-sur-Armançon, is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in north-central France....

, and, when Charles Denis Bourbaki
Charles Denis Bourbaki
Charles Denis Sauter Bourbaki was a French general.He was born at Pau, the son of Greek colonel Constantin Denis Bourbaki, who died in the War of Independence in 1827...

's army moved forward to relieve Belfort
Siege of Belfort
The Siege of Belfort was a 103-day military assault and blockade of the city of Belfort, France by Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War...

, turned upon him and fought the desperate action of Battle of Villersexel
Battle of Villersexel
The Battle of Villersexel in the Franco-Prussian War opposed on January 9, 1871 elements of the French Armée de l'Est under General Bourbaki to August von Werder's Prussians...

, which enabled him to cover the Germans besieging Belfort. On the 15th, 16th and 17th of January 1871, Werder with greatly inferior forces succeeded in holding his own on the Battle of the Lisaine
Battle of the Lisaine
The Battle of the Lisaine was fought from 15 January to 17 January 1871 between Prussian and French forces. The French were led by Charles Denis Bourbaki, and were attempting to relieve the Siege of Belfort. Early in the morning the French forces under Bourbaki with only a few thousand men against...

 against all Bourbaki's efforts to reach Belfort, a victory which aroused great enthusiasm in southern Germany. After the war Werder commanded the Baden forces, now called the XlVth Army Corps, until he retired in 1879. On his retirement he was raised to the dignity of count. He died in 1888 at Grüssow in Pomerania. The 30th (4th Rhenish) Infantry regiment carried his name, and there is a statue of Werder at Freiburg
Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In the extreme south-west of the country, it straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain...

 im Breisgau
Breisgau is the name of an area in southwest Germany, placed between the river Rhine and the foothills of the Black Forest around Freiburg im Breisgau in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The district Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald, which partly consists of the Breisgau, is named after that area...

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