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Charles William Ferdinand

Charles William Ferdinand, 1735–1806, duke of Brunswick (1780–1806), Prussian field marshal. He had great success in the Seven Years War (1756–63) and was commander in chief (1792–94) of the Austro-Prussian armies in the French Revolutionary Wars. Although he sympathized with some of the goals of the Revolution, he led the German army in its ill-fated march into France in 1792 and issued a manifesto threatening severe reprisals against the revolutionaries. Defeated at Valmy (1792), in 1793 he routed the French at Kaiserslautern and Pirmasens. He again commanded the Prussian armies in 1806 and was defeated by the French marshal Davout at Auerstedt. He was blinded in the battle and died soon after. His son was Frederick William, duke of Brunswick.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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