Women in the Prussian Army

Andreas Gebhardt writes:

A German weekly newspaper came up with an article concerning the story of Friederike Krüger, one of several women who disguised as a male soldier to join the voluntary Landwehr Corps in 1813 to fight against Napoleon. The other known woman was Eleonore Prochaska.

Frederike Krüger is known to cut her hair from the age of 2, used male clothing and enrolled in a Landwehr batallion in spring 1813. Comrades didn't report her to the authorities, because of her well known bravery. During an attack her high pitched voice finally disclosed her real sex.

But King Frederik William III. acted very strange for that time: She wasn't dismissed from the Prussian Army but got the privilege of the King to continue to serve under her real name. She fought at Grossbeeren and Dennewitz. On September 6th she got heavily wounded at Dennewitz and was promoted Sergeant and earned the Iron Cross while still on the battlefield! She participated at the Paris occupation in 1814 and quit duty after Waterloo.

She called herself August Lübeck

Enrolled at 4. Companie of 1. Bataillon, commanded by Major von Schmidt in the "Königlich Preußische Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 9 (Kolberger-Regiment).

Was promoted Corporal at Möckern and Sergant at Dennewitz and served until Waterloo!

Distinuished with the Iron Cross 2.class, the Kriegsdenkmünze (Prussian) and the Russian St. George Medal.

Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. paid her a lifetime yearly pension of 72 Taler for her bravery (which was added to the lifetime pension of "her" Mecklenburg Grand Duke Karl II. of 50 Talers)

She married in the Garrison Church of Berlin in 1816, because the Prussian King accepted her request of affiance with a Prussian Corporal. He also paid a high endowment and declared himself to be the Godfather of her firstborn. Her husband was "promoted" to "Ober-Steuer-Controlleur" (which was a Senior Tax Inspector for the Prussian State!)

-Die Zeit, 2 August 2018, p. 7