Leopold Hermann Ludwig von
Boyen (20 June 1771 ‚Äď 15 February 1848) was a Prussian army officer who helped to reform the Prussian Army in the early 19th
Herrman von Boyen
He also served as minister of war of Prussia in the
period 1 March 1841 ‚Äď 6 October 1847.
Kreuzburg (today's Slavskoye, Russia) in East Prussia, Boyen joined the army in 1784 in
In 1788, as a newly-minted second
lieutenant, he took up a post in the military academy in
K√∂nigsberg, where he also attended some of the lectures of Immanuel Kant
From 1794-96, Boyen took part in the Polish campaign
as Adjutant to General
von G√ľnther. In 1799, he became a Captain. He served in the war of
1806 on the General Staff of the Duke of Brunswick
and was wounded at the Battle
(14 October 1806). After the Treaty of Tilsit
(July 1807) he became a
Major and a member of Gerhard
's commission for military
By 1810 Boyen had become Director of the Military Cabinet
. In the
re-constitution of the Prussian army he functioned as Scharnhorst's
most diligent helper, but after the conclusion of the alliance
between Prussia and France in 1812 he resigned his commission as a
Colonel and visited Vienna and St Petersburg. The events of 1813 saw
him recalled to the Prussian service: as a colonel he accompanied
the Russian army from its base in Kalisz to Saxony.
L√ľtzen (2 May 1813) he had charge of the border guards and
ultimately the defence of Berlin.
But during the truce
King Frederick William
named him Chief of General Staff of the 3rd Army Corps. As
such, Boyen participated in the battles and skirmishes of 1813 and
1814 and gained promotion to Major-General.
After the first Peace of
(30 May 1814) Boyen took up his appointment as War Minister
. He completed the
setting up of the Landwehr
reserve (begun during the war)
and in 1818 became a Lieutenant General. He struggled in vain
against growing reactionary forces which endangered the broad
popular base of the Landwehr
, and resigned in 1819.
The tomb of Boyen at the
Invalidenfriedhof in Berlin.
For 21 years Boyen lived in retirement, occupying himself with
historical studies, until King Frederick William IV
immediately after ascending the throne, recalled him to active
service, and promoted him to General of the Infantry. In March 1841
he once again took over the War Ministry, though without achieving
a great influence in the general political situation. He resigned
in November 1847, received the rank of Field Marshal
, and died on 15 February
King named the fortress of L√∂tzen in East
Prussia after him.
Boyen's son, also named Hermann von Boyen, was General Adjutant to
the King. He retired a Governor of Berlin in 1879. Hermann von Boyen was
buried at the Invalidenfriedhof Cemetery in Berlin.
former football club Yorck Boyen
was named in honor of Boyen.
Hermann von Boyen wrote (among other works):
- Beitr√§ge zur Kenntnis des Generals v.
- Erinnerungen aus dem Leben des Generalleutnants v.
- Vorw√§rts!: ein Husaren-Tagebuch und Feldzugsbriefe von
Gebhardt Leberecht von Bl√ľcher etc. (1914, diary during his
period under the Hussars)
- Gesammelte Schriften und Briefe / Bl√ľcher, Yorck,
Gneisenau; zusammengestellt und hrsg. von Edmund Th. Kauer (1932,
letters, including those to Yorck and Gneisenau)
- Kampagne-Journal der Jahre 1793 und 1794 (1796,
He also wrote the song "Der Preu√üen Losung" (1838).
- K. A. Varnhagen von Ense: Leben
des F√ľrsten Bl√ľcher von Wahlstadt. Berlin: G. Reimer, 1826
(Biographische Denkmale; Th. 3) (Preussische biographische
- The life and campaigns of Field-Marshal Prince Bl√ľcher of
Wahlstatt translated in part from the German of Count Gneisenau ... London, 1815 (and
this is available in a reprint edition: London: Constable, 1996
- Ernest F. Henderson: Bl√ľcher and the uprising of Prussia
against Napoleon, 1806-1815. New York: Putnam, 1911 (now
available in reprint: Aylesford: R. J. Leach, c1994 ISBN
- This article incorporates material from the 4th edition of