Adalbert von Bredow

Adalbert von Bredow.

Friedrich William Adalbert von Bredow (24 May 1814 – 3 March 1890) was a German cavalry officer.

Military career

Born at Briesen near Friesack in Brandenburg, to Major Friedrich von Bredow (1787-1878) and Bernhardine Sophie (née von Wulffen) (1792-1859), he joined the Garde-Husaren-Regiment in 1832 as Unteroffizier.. By 1859, he had been given command of the 4th Dragoon Regiment. As a colonel, von Bredow led the 2nd Cavalry Brigade in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and was promoted to Major general.[1] He is best known as a hero of the Franco-Prussian War after the battle of Mars-la-Tour on August 16, 1870. During this battle he commanded the Prussian 12th Cavalry Brigade on one of the last successful massed cavalry charges in warfare. Before his assault von Bredow stated of that "it will cost what it will." "Von Bredow's Death Ride" resulted in massive casualties on the Prussian forces but he managed to defeat a French force that outnumbered them four to one. The event was used in the following decades by military tacticians to argue that cavalry charges could still win battles.[2] Von Bredow was promoted to Lieutenant general and given command of the 18th Infantry Division.

On 2 December 1873, von Bredow was awarded the Order of the Red Eagle, 1st class with Oak Leaves and Swords on chain.

Family Life

Von Bredow married Elise Cäcilie Friederike Kühne in 1849,[3] and they had eleven children together. He wrote an autobiography called Aus meinem Leben which was published in 1885.[4] He died at the family estate at Briesen.[5]


  1. The Prussian Machine: Adalbert von Bredow Archived January 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Michael Howard: The Franco-Prussian War. The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871. London 2001. Page 156-157.
  3. FamilySearch Ancestral File, Individual Record: Adalbert Friedrich Wilhelm VON BREDOW
  4. Aus meinem Leben, Publisher C. Habel, 1885
  5. The Prussian Machine: Adalbert von Bredow Archived January 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.


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