Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen

Frederick Louis, Prince of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen ( _de. Friedrich Ludwig Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen) (January 31 1746 – February 15, 1818) was a Prussian general and the eldest son of Prince John Frederick ("Johann Friedrich"; died 1796) of Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen.

Frederick Louis was born in Ingelfingen in Swabia. He began his military career as a boy, serving against the Prussians in the last years of the Seven Years' War. Entering the Prussian army in 1768 after the peace, he was on account of his rank as prince at once made major, and in 1775 he became lieutenant-colonel. In 1778 Frederick Louis took part in the War of the Bavarian Succession and about the same time was made a colonel. Shortly before the death of King Frederick the Great he was promoted to the rank of major general and appointed chief of a regiment. For some years the prince did garrison duty at Breslau, until in 1791 he was made governor of Berlin. In 1794 he commanded a corps in the Prussian army on the Rhine and distinguished himself greatly in many engagements, particularly in the Battle of Kaiserslautern on September 20.

Frederick Louis was at this time the most popular soldier in the Prussian army. Blücher wrote of him that he was a leader of whom the Prussian army might well be proud. He succeeded his father in the principality, and acquired additional lands by his marriage with a daughter of Count von Hoym. In 1806 Frederick Louis, now a general of infantry, was appointed to command the left wing of the Prussian forces opposing Napoleon, having under him Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia; but, feeling that his career had been that of a prince and not that of a professional soldier, he allowed his quartermaster-general Massenbach to influence him unduly. Disputes soon broke out between Hohenlohe and the commander-in-chief the Duke of Brunswick, the armies marched hither and thither without effective results, and finally Frederick Louis's army was almost destroyed by Napoleon at the Battle of Jena.

The prince displayed his usual personal bravery in the battle, and managed to rally a portion of his corps near Erfurt, whence he retreated into Prussia. But the pursuers followed him up closely, and, still acting under Massenbachs advice, he surrendered the remnant of his army at Prenzlau on October 28, a fortnight after Jena and three weeks after the beginning of hostilities. Frederick Louis's former popularity and influence in the army had now the worst possible effect, for the commandants of garrisons everywhere lost heart and followed his example.

After two years spent as a prisoner of war in France, Frederick Louis retired to his estates, living in self-imposed obscurity until his death. He had, in August 1806, just before the outbreak of the War of the Fourth Coalition, resigned the principality to his eldest son, not being willing to become a mediatized ruler under Württemberg suzerainty.

Frederick Louis died in Slawentzitz in Upper Silesia.




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