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Friedrich Wilhelm Rüstow.

Friedrich Wilhelm Rüstow (25 May 1821 – 14 August 1878) was a Prussian-born Swiss soldier and military writer.

Rüstow was born in Brandenburg an der Havel in the Province of Brandenburg. He entered the Prussian Army and served for some years, until the publication of Der deutsche Militärstaat vor und während der Revolution (Zürich, 1850). Rüstow participated in the Revolution of 1848. He was sentenced by a court-martial to 32 1/2 years of fortress imprisonment, but succeeded in escaping to Switzerland, where he obtained a military posting. By 1857 he was a major on the engineer staff.

Three years later Rüstow accompanied Giuseppe Garibaldi in the famous expedition against the Two Sicilies as colonel and Chief of staff, and to him must be ascribed the victories of Capua (10 September 1860) and Volturno (1 October 1860). At the end of the campaign he settled down in Zürich. At the outbreak of the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, he offered his services to Prussia, but was rejected. In 1878, on the foundation of a military professorship at Zürich, Rüstow applied for the post, but taught only short, and, on its being given finally to another officer (Emil Rothpletz), lost heart and committed suicide at Aussersihl near Zürich.

Two of Rüstow's younger brothers were distinguished Prussian soldiers, Alexander Rüstow and Cäsar Rüstow. He was also the great-uncle of the sociologist Alexander Rüstow.



Amongst Rüstow's works, which covered nearly every branch of the military art, a large number must be mentioned.


Critical and generalEdit

He also wrote Annalen des Königreichs Italien (Zürich, 1862–63). See Zernim, "F. W. Rüstow," in Unsere Zeit. vol. 2 (Leipzig, 1882).


  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rüstow, Friedrich Wilhelm" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 937.
  • Marcel Herwegh: Guillaume Rustow. Un grand Soldat – Un grand Caractère (1821–1878), avec des lettres inédites en fac-similé de Garibaldi et de Bismarck. Paris, Neuchâtel, Editions V. Attinger, 1935
  • Robert von Steiger: Der Rüstow-Prozess, 1848–1850: eine wehrpolitische Kontroverse. Dissertation, Berne, 1937.
  • Peter Wiede: Wilhelm Rüstow, 1821–1878, ein Militärschriftsteller der deutschen Linken. Dissertation Munich 1957
  • Bruno Thoß (2005), "Rüstow, Friedrich Wilhelm", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 22, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 227–228; (full text online)
  • Bernhard von Poten (1890), "Rüstow", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 30, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 34–38