Gneisenau, August, Graf Neithardt von
, 1760-1831, Prussian field marshal. In the Napoleonic Wars he fought at Jena (1806) and, as a major, won fame for his valiant defense of Kolberg. After Prussia's capitulation to Napoleon I (1807), he served with General von Scharnhorst
on the military reorganization commission and helped reform the defeated Prussian army. The army's leading strategist during Prussia's War of Liberation against the French (1813-15), he was chief of staff to the commander of the army, Blücher
. He retired from active service in 1816, when the need for military reform had passed, but returned to lead an expedition against the Polish insurrection, in which he was killed.
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