Carl Johan Adlercreutz

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Carl Johan Adlercreutz
Carl Johan Adlercreutz.jpg
Born (1759-04-27)April 27, 1759
Died August 21, 1815(1815-08-21) (aged 56)
Place of birth Porvoo, Finland
Allegiance Sweden
Years of service 1770-1815
Rank General
Battles/wars Russo-Swedish War
Finnish War
Second War against Napoleon
Swedish campaign against Norway (1814)

Carl Johan Adlercreutz (April 27, 1757 – August 21, 1815) was a Swedish general and statesman, born in Borga, Finland on family estates. Entering the Swedish army aged 13 in the Finnish Light Cavalry Brigade, he was present when Gustav III launched his coup-d’etat. He studied military theory in Stockholm. In 1777 he joined the Savolax Brigade protecting the Finnish border against Russian aggression. Adlercreutz first saw action in the 1788-1790 Russo-Swedish War, where he distinguished himself. He was promoted Major in 1791 and Squadron Commander 1792. During the Anjala mutiny he remained faithful to the King, standing against the war with Russia, then took part in the trials against the conspirators. He was thereafter appointed the commanding officer of the Nyland Dragoons, holding this post until 1804, when he was made Ofverste (Colonel-in-Chief) of the newly-raised Adlercreutz Regiment.

Finnish War of 1808

At the opening of the Finnish war Adlercreutz was appointed Ofverste commanding the 2nd brigade under Klercker. He replaced Gustaf Löwenhielm as Wilhelm Mauritz Klingspor’s Chief of Staff on the 14th April. Adlercreutz distinguished himself in action at Siikajoki, 18th April, and at Revolax, 27th. On the 24th June he forced the Russians from Nykarleby. As CO of the Northern ‘Army’ he drove Raevsky from Lappo in a brilliant action on 14 July, then defeated the Russians again at Alavo in August. At the end of that month he was appointed to command the ‘Finnish’ Division under Klingspor. Forced to retreat due to the Swedish victories not being exploited, he was severely defeated by Nikolay Kamensky at the Battle of Oravais 14 September, which obliged him to abandon Finland. As a consequence of the loss of Finland his estates were confiscated.

Coup d'Etat and subsequent career

Adlercreutz returned to Stockholm to take charge of a military junta ruling the country in place of the insane King Gustav IV. With Georg Adlersparre, on 13th Mar 1809 at the head of the Junta he arrested the King and seized power. Adlercreutz proposed that he himself should be made king, but the French General Bernadotte was chosen instead as Crown Prince Charles XIII. Later the two generals quarreled, and Adlersparre was disgraced, while Adlercreutz remained in favor, elected Count and took a seat in the Government. In 1813 Adlercreutz was made General and appointed Chief of Staff to Curt von Stedingk under the Crown Prince's Swedish Army of the North in Germany 1813. He served at the Battle of Leipzig 16–19 October, and was made a Commander of the Austrian Order of Maria Theresa, 88/144 promotion 1813-14. PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Moore, F., eds (1905). "Adlercreutz". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 

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