A HANOVERIAN-ENGLISH OFFICER A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. MEMOIRS OF BARON OMPTEDA, COLONEL IN THE KING'S GERMAN LEGION, 26TH NOVEMBER, 1765, TO 18TH JUNE, 1815.

Ompteda, Baron. (Ed., by Hill, John.).


£400.00




1st ed., 1892. Viii + 320 + 8 pp., frontis., guarded. Original navy cloth; gilt title & ill., of a medal to front cover; gilt title to spine; 22 x 14cm. Bookplate to f.e.p., light wear to foot of front cover o/w V.G. Here are the memoirs of Colonel Christian von Ompteda, a Baron, edited by his grandnephew, Baron Louis von Ompteda. Colonel Ompteda, 1765-1815, was one of the most distinguished Hanoverian officers of the Napoleonic period. He served in The Netherlands in 1793-5 and was orderly to the Duke of York, but he was wounded and suffered the first of his mental breakdowns. One of the early members of the King's German Legion, he commanded the 1st Line Battalion and was exchanged after being shipwrecked on the Dutch coast in 1807. He sailed for the Peninsula in 1808 but a further bout of mental instability led to his retirement. His friend Scharnhorst helped his recovery until Ompteda rejoined the Legion as commander of the 1st Light Battalion in 1812, serving through the remainder of the Peninsular War which included the Battle of Vittoria, the storm of Tolosa, the siege of San Sebastian, fighting on the Nive, and the siege of Bayonne, 1814. In the Hundred Days campaign he commanded the 2nd K. G. L. Brigade, which included his own 5th Line Battalion. At Waterloo, ordered by the Prince of Orange and Alten to make a suicidal attack, he calmly drew his sword, asked a friend to try to save his nephews, and rode off at the head of his men. As he had realised, the order resulted in the near destruction of his battalion but he carried it out without hesitation and was last seen surrounded by French troops. Shot through the neck, his body was recovered and buried near the gate of La Haye Sainte. Illustrated with a frontispiece, this volume is a copy of the VERY SCARCE FIRST EDITION.


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