Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Adalbert of Prussia

Adalbert of Prussia

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Adalbert of Prussia'
Start a new discussion about 'Adalbert of Prussia'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Prince Adalbert of Prussia (Heinrich Wilhelm Adalbert) (29 October 1811 in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 – 6 June 1873 in Karlsbad
Karlsbad (Baden)
Karlsbad is an administrative area in the district of Karlsruhe, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated in the northern Black Forest, 13 km southeast of Karlsruhe, and 15 km west of Pforzheim. The largest town in Karlsbad is Langensteinbach, where its administration offices are...

) was a son of Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and Landgravine Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg
Landgravine Marie Anna of Hesse-Homburg
Princess Marianne of Prussia, born Marie Anne Amalie, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg was a German noble...

. He was a naval theorist and admiral. He was instrumental during the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

 in founding the first unified German fleet, the Reichsflotte
Reichsflotte
The Reichsflotte was the first all-German Navy. It was founded on 14 June 1848 during the Revolutions of 1848 in the German states by the Frankfurt Parliament to provide a naval force in the First Schleswig War against Denmark.-History:...

. During the 1850s he helped to establish the Prussian Navy
Prussian Navy
Throughout the centuries, Prussia’s military consistently concentrated on its land power, and never sought a similar power at sea. Yet historically there were always Prussian naval forces , beginning in the days when "Prussia" meant only the Margraviate of Brandenburg.- The Navy of Electoral...

.

Adalbert was the son of Prince William, the youngest brother of King Frederick William III
Frederick William III of Prussia
Frederick William III was king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel .-Early life:...

.

As a young man, Adalbert entered the Prussian army
Prussian Army
The Royal Prussian Army was the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power.The Prussian Army had its roots in the meager mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years' War...

 and served in the artillery. Several journeys led him between 1826 and 1842 to the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

, Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Turkey
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. He recognized during his many sea voyages the importance that sea power had for a modern commercial and industrial nation. He studied carefully the theory of naval warfare
Naval warfare
Naval warfare is combat in and on seas, oceans, or any other major bodies of water such as large lakes and wide rivers.-History:Mankind has fought battles on the sea for more than 3,000 years. Land warfare would seem, initially, to be irrelevant and entirely removed from warfare on the open ocean,...

 and in 1835-36 wrote a first plan for the construction of a Prussian fleet. Prussia at that time was a land power focused on Continental Europe, possessing practically no navy of its own; rather, it relied on the allied powers of Britain, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. During the First Schleswig War of 1848-51, however, the failure of this strategy became apparent: Britain and the Netherlands remained neutral and Denmark became the enemy. Within a few days the Danish navy had destroyed German maritime commerce in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and the Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

.

During the Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

, the German National Assembly
Frankfurt Parliament
The Frankfurt Assembly was the first freely elected parliament for all of Germany. Session was held from May 18, 1848 to May 31, 1849 in the Paulskirche at Frankfurt am Main...

 which met at St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

 resolved with "a majority clearly bordering on unanimity" to establish a German Imperial fleet and named Prince Adalbert to lead the Maritime Technical Commission. He presented his recommendations in a "Memorandum on the Construction of a German Fleet" (Denkschrift über die Bildung einer deutschen Flotte) (Potsdam
Potsdam
Potsdam is the capital city of the German federal state of Brandenburg and part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel, southwest of Berlin city centre....

, 1848). In this memorandum, still regarded highly for its insights on naval strategy, Adalbert distinguished between three fleet models:
  • A naval force intended solely for defensive actions in relation to coastal defense;
  • An offensive naval force intended for national defense, and for the most necessary protection of commerce; or
  • An independent naval power.


Adalbert favored the middle solution, because it would not provoke the great sea powers (such as Britain), but would provide the German navy with significant value as an ally.

In 1849 his cousin, King Frederick William IV
Frederick William IV of Prussia
|align=right|Upon his accession, he toned down the reactionary policies enacted by his father, easing press censorship and promising to enact a constitution at some point, but he refused to enact a popular legislative assembly, preferring to work with the aristocracy through "united committees" of...

, ordered Adalbert to resign his office in the fledgling Imperial Navy. The reactionary king mistrusted the National Assembly because of its revolutionary nature, and had already turned down its offer to assume the German Imperial crown. Despite the setback, Adalbert continued to give active support to the construction of a fleet.

In 1852 Adalbert argued that Prussia needed to build a naval base on the North Sea. He arranged the Jade Treaty
Jade Treaty
The Jade Treaty of 20 July 1853 between Kingdom of Prussia and Grand Duchy of Oldenburg provided for the handover of 340 hectares of Oldenburg territory at what is now Wilhelmshaven, Germany, on the western shore of the Jade Bight east of Bremerhaven...

 of 20 July 1853, in which Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg
Oldenburg (state)
Oldenburg — named after its capital, the town of Oldenburg — was a state in the north of present-day Germany. Oldenburg survived from 1180 until 1918 as a county, duchy and grand duchy, and from 1918 until 1946 as a free state. It was located near the mouth of the River Weser...

 jointly withdrew from a region on the west bank of the Jade bay, where from 1854 onward Prussia established the fortress, naval base and city of Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven
Wilhelmshaven is a coastal town in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated on the western side of the Jade Bight, a bay of the North Sea.-History:...

.

On 30 March 1854, Adalbert was named Admiral of the Prussian Coast and Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. In the summer of 1856, while on a training cruise of Prussian warships, he was shot at by pirates within sight of Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

’s Rif coast and was wounded. During the Second Schleswig War of 1864 (also known as the "Danish-Prussian War") he commanded the Baltic Squadron, without being able to take an active role in the war.

After the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the 1870 War was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. Prussia was aided by the North German Confederation, of which it was a member, and the South German states of Baden, Württemberg and...

 of 1870-1871, which led to the creation of the German Empire, Adalbert laid down his title of "Prince-Admiral" and retired from the now-renamed Imperial Navy. He died two years later of liver disease in Karlsbad
Karlsbad (Baden)
Karlsbad is an administrative area in the district of Karlsruhe, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated in the northern Black Forest, 13 km southeast of Karlsruhe, and 15 km west of Pforzheim. The largest town in Karlsbad is Langensteinbach, where its administration offices are...

.

Adalbert was married to the dancer Therese Elssler (Frau von Barnim); their only son, Adalbert v. Barnim (born 1841), died in 1860 during an expedition on the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

.

Ancestry