Monday 7 September 2009

Portraits of Hanoverian SYW Officers (1)

This portrait shows Lt.General Freiherr Friedrich August von Spörken towards the end of his life (he died in 1776). He appears to have been the senior Hanoverian general in the SYW and commanded at the allied victory of Warburg in 1760. I’ve looked through Savory for a potted biography of the individual but without success. His rank is somewhat of a mystery too; in 1759 he is listed by Savory as a Lieutenant-General but by Warburg he has a number of other Lieutenant-Generals under his command so either he has been promoted to Full general or his seniority gave him command. At the end of the war Ferdinand handed over command of the allied army to him so he is clearly very senior. I’ve also read that Ferdinand was disapproving of his performance at Minden, which is surprising as it was his Division or Column, with the British foot regiments, that marched so splendidly into the lion’s den and more or less single handily delivered up Allied success.

I don’t read German so I’m asking my readers if there is a biography of von Spörken that perhaps could be translated into English? Or has anybody assembled biographical details of him? Or indeed, would someone be interested in doing so?

My thanks to Baron von Spoercken for sending me the photograph.

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