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August von Werder

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich August Leopold Graf von Werder (12 September 1808 – 12 September 1888) was a Prussian general.

Werder was born in Schloßberg near Norkitten in the Province of East Prussia. 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. 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 operations in the Caucasus, and on his return to Germany 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 of 1866, Werder greatly distinguished himself at Gitschin and Königgratz at the head of the 3rd division. He returned home with the rank of lieutenant-general and the Order Pour le Mérite. In 1870, at first employed with the 3rd Army Headquarters and in command of the Württemberg and Baden forces, he was after the Battle of Worth entrusted with the operations against Strasbourg, which he captured after a long and famous siege. Promoted general of infantry, and assigned to command the new XIVth Army Corps, Werder defeated the French at Dijon and at Nuits, and, when Charles Denis Bourbaki's army moved forward to relieve Belfort, turned upon him and fought the desperate action of Battle of Villersexel, 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 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 im Breisgau.


Regarding personal names: Graf was a title, before 1919, but now is regarded as part of the surname. It is translated as Count. Before the August 1919 abolition of nobility as a separate estate, titles preceded the full name when given (Prinz Otto von Bismarck). After 1919, these titles, along with any nobiliary prefix (von, zu, etc.), could be used, but were regarded as part of the surname, and thus came after a first name (Otto Prinz von Bismarck). The feminine form is Gräfin.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 

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