Manteuffel, Heinrich von

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Heinrich von Manteuffel

Lieutenant-general (1758-63) and commander-in-chief of the Prussian army in Pomerania (1757-61)

born November 7 1696, Pomerania, Prussia

died July 10 1778, Gut Collatz, Western Pomerania, Prussia

Description

The very handsome (according to the Allgeimene Deutsche Biographie) Lieutenant-General Heinrich von Manteuffel was an important figure in the Pomeranian War (a name often given to the operations of the Seven Years' War that took place in Pomerania) who now seems to be almost forgotten.

The von Manteuffel family is very old and was spread out south of the Baltic in Pomerania, Prussia and in Courland. Their ancestry can be traced back to Prince Barnim of Pomerania in 1226 and during the short Danish occupation under Waldemar II.

Heinrich was the son of Ewald von Manteuffel and Sophie von Kameke.

In 1714, Heinrich von Manteuffel entered into the Prussian service in Beville Infantry.

In 1715, Manteuffel was promoted corporal and took part in the offensive in Pomerania. Then, on July 1 1716, he was promoted to ensign; on February 23 1720, to second-lieutenant; on June 7 1723, to first lieutenant.

In 1734, Manteuffel became captain.

During the War of the Austrian Succession, on May 17 1742, Manteuffel took part in the Battle of Chotusitz. In 1743, he was promoted to major; in 1744, to lieutenant-colonel; and in 1746 to colonel and commander of his former regiment now known as Alt-Schwerin Infantry.

On May 6 1757, during the invasion of Bohemia, Manteuffel seconded Field-Marshal Schwerin at the Battle of Prague. When Schwerin fell at the head of his troops, Manteuffel took command. In June, after the Battle of Kolin, King Frederick sent Major-General von Manteuffel at the head of some weary regiments (Alt Bevern Infantry, Prinz Moritz Infantry), and 2 former Saxon regiments) to organise the defence of Pomerania against a Swedish invasion. In September, Manteuffel took command of all Prussian troops in the defenceless Province of Pomerania. He was ordered to raise 10 Landbattalions (Land Militia Battalions) totalling some 5,000 men in Uckermark at the expense of the Province of Pomerania. Manteuffel's mentor was the commander of Stettin (present-day Szczecin) Major-General von Podewils. All their equipment was delivered from the ordnance depots in Stettin and Colberg (present-day Kołobrzeg).

In the winter of 1757-58, Major-General von Manteuffel and Field-Marshal von Lehwaldt cooperated in the siege of Stralsund when von Rosen was the commander of the Swedish field-army.

By mid August 1758, Manteuffel had managed to raise and assemble all Land Militia Battalions. To these men, Manteuffel added a new squadron of Landhussars and a partly mounted corps of Provincial Jägers. The garrison of Stettin was made up from the Land Regiment Nr. 4 von Stockhausen, from the former Saxon Grenadier Battalion Köller, and from the Garrison-artillery Company Borchert. On September 12, Manteuffel's army counted 15 battalions, 1 garrison regiment, 1 squadron of hussars, 1 corps of jägers and 1 artillery company for a total of 9,700 men. Of these men two battalions were stationed in Colberg. It is probably during this period that he was promoted to lieutenant-general.

At the end of January 1759, the Prussians blockaded Stralsund but Lantingshausen, the new Swedish commander-in-chief, then launched some attacks out of Stralsund. On May 18, Manteuffel marched eastwards from Loitz for Stargard (present-day Starogard Gdanski) to observe the Russian army. He remained away from Pomerania for a while. On July 23, he participated in the Battle of Paltzig (aka Kay) under von Wedell.

In January 1760, Manteuffel designed and launched a daring operation on the ices of the Stettiner Haff (the rivers and the estuary of the Oder had already started to freeze in December 1759). The Prussian winter-offensive led to a Swedish counter-offensive under Lantingshausen who put a stop to the Prussian advance at Züssow. On January 24, after camping on the battlefield the previous night, the Prussians were forced to withdraw partly because their clothing was not good enough for winter-conditions. They camped another night near the village Ziethen. The Prussians still held the suburbs north of the Peene River in Peenedamm. In the night of January 27 to 28, the Swedes launched a surprise-attack on the Prussian positions at Anklam. Skaraborgs Infantry, Wrangel Grenadiers and Meijerfelt Grenadiers led the attack. The Swedes, under Captain Magnus Hederstierna of Skaraborgs Infantry managed to seize the bridge over the Peene. In the morning of January 28 they got a foothold in Anklam and a platoon of soldiers of Skaraborgs Infantry captured Major-General von Manteuffel who had mistakenly identified them as Prussian troops. Manteuffel had been wounded during the engagement. He was later sent back home on "parole" that he would not take part in the war.

On April 7 1762, after the cease-fire of Ribnitz, Manteuffel was released of his "parole" and could participate in the ending battles against the Austrians.

However, Manteuffel was now 65 years old and retired to his estate of Gut Collatz in Western Pomerania, where he died on July 10 1778.

References

Adelslexicon

German Wikipedia - Heinrich von Manteuffel (Generalleutnant)

Liliencron, Rochus (Freiherr von); Sir Humphry Davy; and Franz X. von Wegele: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Historische Kommission, Leipzig, 1875

Säve, Teofron Sveriges deltagande i Sjuåriga Kriget Åren 1757-1762, Stockholm 1915, pp. 72, 325

Acknowledgments

Gunnar W. Bergman for the initial version of this article