born Sept. 26, 1759, Potsdam, Prussia
died Oct. 4, 1830, Klein-Öls, Silesia
Prussian army commander.
After serving with the Prussian army (1772–79) and Dutch army (1779–87), he rejoined the Prussian army and fought in Poland (1794) and later in the war against France (1806). Promoted to major general, he helped reorganize the army, developing the tactics of the infantry scout and the line of skirmishes. In 1812 he led the Prussian contingent of Napoleon 's invading army into Russia. During the French retreat, he concluded an accord with Russia that opened the way for Prussia to join the Allied powers against Napoleon. He was made a count in 1814 and a field marshal in 1821.