Finck, Friedrich August von

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Friedrich August von Finck

Prussian Major-General (1757-59), Lieutenant-General (1759-63), Danish General of Infantry (1764-66)

Chef of Finck Infantry (1757-63)

born November 25, 1718, Strelitz, Mecklenburg

died February 24, 1766, Copenhagen, Denmark


Friedrich August was born on November 25, 1718, in Strelitz, in Mecklenburg. His father, Johann Wilhelm von Finck was the Russian head stable master and head hunter master for the Principality of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. His mother was Elisabeth Juliane von Maltzahn. His aunt Barbara Eleonora von Maltzahn was married to the Russian Field Marshal Münnich.

Finck spent his childhood in the city of Strelitz.

In 1732, Finck accompanied his father in a travel to Russia.

In 1734, Finck returned from Russia and entered the Imperial service.

In 1737, Finck took part in the Austro-Turkish War (1737-39).

In 1738, due to family ties with Field Marshal Count Münnich, Finck joined the Russian service.

In 1741, after Münnich's disgrace, Finck and his brother-in-law, Colonel von Manstein, transferred to the Prussian service.

On March 6, 1744, through the mediation of Winterfeldt, who was his cousin, Finck obtained the charge of major and adjutant in the Prussian Army.

During the second part of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), Finck commanded a grenadier battalion.

On September 7, 1751, Finck was promoted to lieutenant-colonel.

In 1754, Finck married to Ulrike Henriette von Buggenhagen.

In 1756, Finck was promoted to colonel. His promotion was retroactive to June 17, 1755.

On June 18, 1757, Finck took part in the Battle of Kolin, where he was wounded while commanding a grenadier battalion. He then commanded in Dresden for a short period. On November 10, he was promoted to major-general and became chef of the former Erbprinz von Hessen-Darmstadt Infantry.

In 1758, Finck took part in the campaign in Saxony, under the command of Prince Heinrich. In October, after the Battle of Hochkirch when Prince Heinrich left to reinforce Frederick’s Army, Finck assumed command of the corps left in western Saxony.

On February 25, 1759, Finck was promoted to lieutenant-general. He initially served in Prince Heinrich’s Army. In August, before the Battle of Kunersdorf, he was charged to bring reinforcements to Frederick. After this disastrous defeat, Finck was given the difficult and honorable task of reorganizing the depleted army. On September 21, Finck commanded the right wing in the Combat of Korbitz and was admitted a knight in the military “Order of the Black Eagle” for his conduct in this engagement. By November, he commanded an isolated corps, which had been pushed forward to Maxen by Frederick to threaten the line of supply of the Austro-Imperial armies operating in Saxony. On November 20, this corps was surrounded by a far superior army. In the ensuing Battle of Maxen, Finck’s small corps was forced to surrender as prisoners of war, after a stubborn resistance.

Finck remained imprisoned in Innsbruck until the end of the war in 1763. In a court martial supervised by Zieten, Finck was discharged and put under arrest in Spandau.

On November 7, 1764, after serving his sentence in the Fortress of Spandau, Finck entered the Danish service as general of infantry.

Finck died on February 24, 1766, in Copenhagen.


Grosser Generalstab Kriegsgeschichtliche Abteilung II: Die Kriege Friedrichs des Grossen, Part 3 Der siebenjährige Krieg 1756-1763, Vol. 11 Minden und Maxen, Berlin, 1912, p. 211, Anhang 10

German Wikipedia – Friedrich August von Finck