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Christian Karl von Massenbach

Christian Karl August Ludwig von Massenbach (16 April 1758 – 21 November 1827) was a general of the Prussian Army during the Napoleonic Wars.


Christian Karl August Ludwig von Massenbach was born in Schmalkalden, Prussia on 16 April 1758, and he was educated at Heilbronn and Stuttgart. In 1778, he became an officer in the Wurttemberger army, but he left the army for Frederick the Great's Prussian Army in 1782, serving as both a staff officer for the Quartermaster General and as a mathematician. He joined the general staff in 1792 during the French Revolutionary Wars, and he served as a topographical engineer at the Battle of Valmy. In 1805, he voiced his opposition to war with Napoleon I and the First French Empire, and he was forced to retire after convincing his commander Friedrich Ludwig zu Hohenloe-Ingolfingen to surrender to the Grande Armee at Prenzlau on 28 October 1806, as he falsely believed that the French had more troops. He was later arrested for revealing Prussian state secrets in his memoirs, and he was imprisoned until 1826, when King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia pardoned him. Massenbach died a year later.