Gneisenau, August, Graf Neithardt von (ouˈgŏst gräf nĪtˈhärt fən gənĪˈzənou) [key], 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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