Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, 1773-1808

Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia (1773-1808) was a promising Prussian general who was killed at the battle of Saalfeld in 1806.

The Prince was the son of Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, and the nephew of King Frederich William. Clausewitz believed that the young prince had had the potential to become a great general, but his early death makes it difficult to judge his potential.

In 1793-4 Prince Louis Ferdinand took part in the Prussian campaign against France, with General Bülow as his governor.

In 1805-1806 the Prince was a leader of the War Party (alongside Queen Louise). He played a part in his uncle's army reforms, and by 1806 he had been promoted to Generalleutnant.

At the start of the Jena campaign Prince Louis Ferdinand was given command of the vanguard of Hohenlohe's corps. On 10 October his force was attacked by Lannes' V Corps at Saalfeld. The outnumbered Prussians were forced back. The Prince led a cavalry charge in an attempt to hold up the French. He was wounded, but refused to surrender, and was killed in single combat by Quartermaster Guindet of the 10th Hussars.

The Prince's death was a real blow to the Prussians, lowering their morale in the keys days before the battles of Jena and Auerstädt.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 August 2012), Louis Ferdinand of Prussia, 1773-1808 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_louis_ferdinand_prussia.html

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