Nicolas, Count Luckner (German: Johann Nikolaus, Graf Luckner; 12
Cham in der Oberpfalz
Cham in der Oberpfalz – 4 January 1794, Paris) was a
German officer in French service who rose to become a Marshal of
Luckner grew up in Cham, in eastern
Bavaria and received his early
education from the Jesuits in Passau. Before entering the French
service, Luckner spent time in the Bavarian, Dutch and Hanoverian
armies. He fought as a commander of hussars during the Seven Years'
War (1756-1763) in the Hanoverian army against the French. Luckner
joined the French army in 1763 with the rank of lieutenant general. In
1784 he became a Danish count.
He supported the French Revolution, and the year 1791 saw Luckner
become a Marshal of France. In 1791-92 Luckner served as the first
commander of the Army of the Rhine. In April 1792, Rouget de Lisle
dedicated to him the Chant de Guerre pour l'
Armée du Rhin
Armée du Rhin (War Song
of the Army of the Rhine), which was to become better known as the
As commander of the Army of the North in 1792 he captured the Flemish
Menen and Kortrijk, but then had to retreat towards Lille.
After the flight of Lafayette (August 1792) he was made generalissimo
with orders to build a Reserve Army near Châlons-sur-Marne. However,
National Convention was not satisfied with his progress and
Choderlos de Laclos was ordered to support or replace him. Luckner,
now over 70 years of age, then asked for dismissal (granted in January
1793) and went to Paris.
He was arrested by the
Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death.
He died by the guillotine in
Paris in 1794.
The carillon of the town hall in the Bavarian town of Cham rings the
Marseillaise every day at 12.05 p.m. to commemorate the city's most
famous son, Nikolaus Graf von Luckner.
He was the great-grandfather of Count
Felix von Luckner
Felix von Luckner (1881-1966), a
German naval officer who commanded the famed merchant raider SMS
Seeadler (1916-1917) during
World War I
World War I .
Krummbek Manor in Holstein.
Theodor Heuss: Der Marschall aus der Oberpfalz, in:
Schattenbeschwörung. Randfiguren der Geschichte. Wunderlich,
Stuttgart und Tübingen 1947; Neuausgabe: Klöpfer und Meyer,
Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-931402-52-5
ISNI: 0000 0001 0851 3976