Friday, July 22, 2011

Military Modelling December 26, 1997

Gebhard Leberecht von Bl�cher was born at Rostock on 16th December, 1742. He enjoyed the prestige of lower nobility, identified by the prefix 'von' to his surname. At the age of 16 he enlisted in the invading Swedish forces - not uncommon in those days! His fellow countrymen took him prisoner and in typically easy-going 18th century fashion, he was allowed to join the same regiment of the Prussian Black (or Death's Head ) Hussars that captured him and served as an officer with them for the remainder of the Seven Years War. Indeed, he rose to be adjutant of this regiment before eventually attaining Field-Marshal rank. Bl�cher became a legend in his own lifetime - unruly, bad tempered, a gambler, a womaniser and sometimes an alcoholic, but intensely patriotic and loyal. If he lost money gambling it did not affect his good humour -he could do without anything other than good clothes and fine horses! His extreme behaviour often offended, which led him to having to defend himself in duels - usually writh the sword. The first wound decided the contest, but whether he killed anyone is unknown, although this would have been kept secret as punishments for duelling wrere severe. In his latter years he delighted in showing off his old duelling scars!