Wilhelm of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken

Philippe Guillaume aka Philipp Wilhelm Graf[1] von Forbach, then Vicomte de Deux-Ponts and later Freiherr[2] von Zweibrücken[3] (1754–1807) was an officer of the French and later general[4] of the Bavarian Army.


Wilhelm von Zweibrücken was the second of six children of Christian IV Herzog von Pfalz-Zweibrücken and Maria Johanna Camasse Gräfin von Forbach. The children were unable to succeed to their father's Duchy due to the morganatic nature of their parents' marriage at first, but were allowed to wear the name Freiherr von Zweibrücken in 1792.[5]

Due to a former business agreement of Louis XV of France and his father from March 1751, who promised to the French king to raise a German battalion of infantry for France when and if needed,[6] the Infantry Regiment "Royal Deux-Ponts" (raised on 19, 1757) of two battalions to the French crown after the outbreak of the Seven Years' War, when it was at first deployed in the Battle of Rossbach. The commander of the regiment at this time was his older brother Christian, and Wilhelm was deputy commander.

In 1780 he married Martine-Adelaide de Polastron (1760-1795). The couple had four children, named Christian (1782–1859, a later general), Karl (1784-1812), Maria Anna, Gräfin von Forbach (1785-1857) and Henriette.[7]

As part of De Rochambeau's expedition corps the "Royal Deux-Ponts" during the American Revolutionary War, where the regiment served in the Battle of Yorktown, also called the "German Battle", on October 4, 1781.[8] Especially the assault of Redoubt 9 by 400 French Regular under his command, that opened the British defenses was mentioned.[4] After the French revolution he served as a general in the Bavarian army, and died in Munich, where he and his brother Christian are buried in the Old Southern Cemetery.[9]

In the European Rosegarden in Zweibrücken there is a memorial of him and his brother.[10]


References and notesEdit

  1. ^ Regarding personal names: Until 1919, Graf was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. The female form is Gräfin. In Germany since 1919, it forms part of family names.
  2. ^ Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a former title (translated as Baron). In Germany since 1919, it forms part of family names. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.
  3. ^ also findable under von Zweybrücken
  4. ^ a b Colonel Christian von Forbach and Lt.Col. Wilhelm von Forbach
  5. ^ Zweibrücken (German), Pierer's Universal-Lexikon.
  6. ^ France and Great Britain on the Eve of American Independence - The officer corps.
  7. ^ Viscount Philippe of Deux-Ponts, RootsWeb.
  8. ^ Royal Deux-Ponts Infanterie durant la Guerre d'Indépendance (French).
  9. ^ Mößlang: Gedenkplatte bei den Arkaden an der Außenmauer des Alten Südlichen Friedhofs. (German).
  10. ^ Preliminary Survey of Sites Associated with the Lives and Deeds of Foreign-born Heroes of the American Revolution, p. 42.