Gerhard Sharnhorst

Picture of Gerhard Sharnhorst

Date of Birth: 11/12/1755

Age: 57

Citizenship: Germany


Since July 1807 the chief of staff and chairman of the Commission for the reorganization of the army, from 1808 was led by the Ministry of War. Together with General A. Scharnhorst Gneisenau held military reform, which resulted in the introduction of conscription has been prepared. During the liberation war against Napoleonic France in 1813 was the chief of staff of the Silesian Army Gen. H. Blucher.

He entered military service first to the Count Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe, which was a small detachment of a model, and was in his military school; then he moved to Hanover service and became a teacher in the military school.

In 1780-1790 he printed many specially-military articles and published the magazine for the military. When did the revolutionary war, Scharnhorst served in the artillery in Dutch theater of war and commanded the horse battery.

In 1794, the unit moved salvation, in which he served, from the siege in Menin (Flanders).

In 1801, Scharnhorst moved to the Prussian service; He engaged in teaching military sciences and received the post of Quartermaster-General chasti.Vo the war of 1806-1807. Scharnhorst was the chief commander in chief of staff; He participated in the battles of Auerstadt and Eylau. At this time, he is well acquainted with the shortcomings of the old Prussian army, which suffered in the war of 1806-1807. complete defeat.

After the conclusion of the Peace of Tilsit Scharnhorst, convinced of the need for radical change, was the chairmanship of the Commission for the transformation of the army, where his closest staff were Boyen, Gneisenau, and Clausewitz Grolman. He had to lead the difficult task of creating a new military force, which was supposed to liberate Prussia from the French yoke.

Scharnhorst was behind it, to give people more freedom, respect him and develop in him self-respect. The army, according to the Scharnhorst, the people should be armed. Scharnhorst was convinced that moral bond army and the people are more important than high development of the technical side of military affairs.

Carried out under the direction of military reform has changed the Scharnhorst primarily a way to replenish the army. Scharnhorst was behind conscription, but to carry out this reform soon proved impossible: to be reckoned with old prejudices and with the pressure of the French (Napoleon ordered Prussia not have more than 42 thousand troops). Scharnhorst marked the beginning of the general compulsory military service, reduced the number of seizures, demanded that the young people of noble families, and with the formation of the rank and file were first meant the form Landwehr and Landsturm.

Since Napoleon opposed the creation of the Landwehr, then it had to produce an adequate supply of trained soldiers let undertaken military service, as soon as they turned out to be more or less trained.

Landwehr Act, drawn up Scharnhorst, appeared after the break with France in 1813. Then the production of the base were changed in the officers, and the first place was made special education, and not the origin. Handling the ordinary, including served the nobles and rich burghers, it was changed; humiliating corporal punishment is abolished. Change undergone a form adopted, the organization of the business.

In 1809 and 1810 respectively Scharnhorst was Minister of War, but had to leave this post as incurred the suspicions of Napoleon, but unofficially and after the removal of standing at the head of the Prussian army. When (in 1811) became threaten Russia`s war with France, Scharnhorst went to St. Petersburg and Vienna for the talks, but neither Russia nor Austria have not yet found the time for a convenient time commenced hostilities against France.

After the defeat of the great army, when Prussia decided to start a war, Scharnhorst entered the King of Prussia established the "Committee for the strengthening of the army," again became Quartermaster General of the Prussian army and was promoted to lieutenant general.

At the Battle of Lutzen May 2, 1813 Scharnhorst was wounded in the leg kernel. With the unhealed wound, he took a trip to Vienna to plead for joining the coalition of the Austrians. His wound ached, and 28 June of the same year Scharnhorst died. Scharnhorst known as a military theorist. In the German Democratic Republic was established by the Order of Scharnhorst (it. Scharnhorst-Orden).