Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Marshals and Generals


August Von Kruse

Born: 1779 Wiesbaden, Nassau (Germany)

Died: 1848

RANK: Major General

August Von Kruse was born in Wiesbaden in 1779. His father was Karl Friedrich Von Kruse a state official in the service of Nassau-Usingen. His mother was Philippina Catherina Von Bitburg, he was their only son.
Against the wishes of his mother and father, Kruse, at the age of 17 joined the military army. For seven years he served with Prince of Brunswick-Luneburg.
On the 1st July 1803, he accepted a commission as a captain in the Nassau-Weilburg military. At that time the army consisted of two companies and with the merger of the territories of Nassau-Weilburg and Nassau, the army expanded considerably. Kruse was then given the rank of major.
As an Allie to France, Nassau supported Napoleon in the Prussian campaign of 1806 and by the end of the campaign Kruse was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In the summer of 1808, Kruse commanded the 2nd Nassau Infantry Regiment No 88 and fought for the French in the Peninsular War. On 13th October1808, the regiment crossed the Spanish border. The Nassauers took part in 42 battles, including the Battle of Vitoria on 21st June 1813.
On 10th December 1813, as Napoleon’s empire started to fall apart in northern Europe, Kruse received secret orders from the Duke to join the British. Kruse carefully manoeuvred his men so they could march to the British lines, upon which he announced their change of allegiance.
In 1815 at Waterloo, Kruse commanded the 1st Nassau which was the 1st and 2nd Battalion’s of Line Infantry. They were positioned on the ridge in Wellington’s left center. Wellington was very familiar with Kruse’s actions in the Penisula War to comment to him prior to the battle, “I hope, General, that your actions today are as clever when you are fighting for me as they were in Spain when you were fighting against me”.
A small Dutch light infantry battalion was in the woods of Hougoumont throughout the daylong fight there. The 2nd Nassau Infantry, under Prince Bernard of Saxe Weimar, was on the Allied left at Waterloo.
Kruse was awarded the Grand Cross with Diamonds of the Imperial Russian Order of St, Anne, the Legion of Honour, Nassau’s silver Waterloo Medal and the insignia of a knight of the Royal Netherlands Military Willems-Order in his career.
As a reward for his services, in 1822 the Duke gave Kruse a farm by Eisenbach, in the Taunua. On his 143 acres of farmland, he experimented with new methods of construction and cattle breeding. Kruse did marry Baroness Henriette Von Dungern. She died in 1873. They were both buried on the farm.