Open main menu

Louis Adolph Peter, 1st Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg-Berleburg (German: Ludwig Adolf Peter Fürst[1] zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg; Russian: Пётр Христиа́нович Ви́тгенштейн, tr. Pëtr Christiánovič Vítgenštejn; 17 January [O.S. 6 January] 1769 – 11 June 1843), better known as Peter Wittgenstein in English, was a Prince of the German dynasty Sayn-Wittgenstein and Field Marshal in the Imperial Russian Army during the Napoleonic wars.

1st Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg-Berleburg
Prince Peter of Sayn-Wittgenstein.
Portrait by George Dawe
Born17 January [O.S. 6] 1769
Pereiaslav, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire
Died11 June 1843
Lemburg, Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, Austrian Empire
  • Prince Ludwig
  • Prince Stanisalus
  • Princess Emilie
  • Prince Alexander
  • Prince Peter
  • Prince Georg
  • Prince Alexei
  • Prince Nikolaus
  • Princess Maria
  • Princess Elizabeth
  • Princess Antonia
Full name
Louis Adolph Peter
German: Ludwig Adolf Peter
FatherChristian Louis Casimir, 2nd Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg-Berleburg
MotherCountess Amalie Ludowika Finck von Finckenstein
Military career
Allegiance Russian Empire
Service/branch Russian Empire
Years of service1789 – 1829
RankGeneral-Field Marshal
Battles/warsKościuszko Uprising
Persian Expedition of 1796

Napoleonic wars



Born Ludwig Adolf Peter Graf zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg-Berleburg, he was descended from a family of independent counts whose seat was in Berleburg (present day North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany).

Military careerEdit

He was promoted to Major in 1793 of the Ukrainian light cavalry regiment. He fought with the unit in the Kościuszko Uprising. Promoted to the rank of colonel in 1798, and to major general in 1799, in 1800 he took command of the Mariupolski Hussars Regiment.

In 1805, he fought at Austerlitz, in 1806 against the Turks, and in 1807 against Napoleon at Friedland and against the Swedes in Finland.

In the war of 1812 he commanded the right wing army of the Russian Army, which he commanded in the First and Second battle of Polotsk. It was the battle that decided fate of Saint-Petersburg, and earned him the title of "Saviour of Saint- Petersburg".[2] Alexander I awarded him the Order of St. George. He tried to combine with Pavel Chichagov, at the Battle of Berezina, and later combined with the Prussian army corps under Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg.

In the campaign of 1813 in January, he took over the command of the Russian army after Kutuzov's death, and commanded the Russian army at Lützen and Bautzen. But after the defeats of the Spring campaign, he laid down this command and led an army corps during the Battle of Dresden and Battle of Leipzig.

In the campaign of 1814, he led the 6th Corps under Schwarzenberg, and he was severely wounded at Bar-sur-Aube.[3]

In 1823 he was promoted Field Marshal, and in 1828 he was appointed to command the Russian army in the war against Turkey. But ill health soon obliged him to retire. In 1834 the King of Prussia gave him the title of Fürst (Prince) zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.[4]


His parents were Count Christian Louis Casimir of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg and his first wife Countess Amalie Ludowika Finck von Finckenstein.

On 27 June 1798 he married Countess Antonia Cäcilie Snarska and had in this marriage 11 children. He died on 11 June 1843 in Lemberg, where he looked after estates of his son Ludwig.


  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Fürst is a title, translated as 'Prince', not a first or middle name. The feminine form is Fürstin.
  2. ^ Peter Khristianovich[permanent dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Wittgenstein, Ludwig Adolf Peter, Count" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

External linksEdit