Jens Mastnak


Die Briefe der Brüder Carl, Ernst, Friedrich und Ivan von Hodenberg (1803 – 1815).

Four brothers of the Hanoverian von Hodenberg family joined the King’s German Legion in England between 1803 and 1805, which supported the British army in its resistance against Napoleon from 1803. They remained in contact with their parents in Grethem (Lower Saxony) through a lively correspondence. Much of this correspondence has survived. From Copenhagen to Madrid, from Gibraltar to Rügen, they described places, landscapes and their personal experiences as officers in the service of the British Crown.


This is the first scholarly edition of letters written by members of the King’s German Legion during their service to the United Kingdom. Based on a transcription true to the letter, the letters are explained, named persons are identified and the events described are historically classified.



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Solivagus Praeteritum

1. Auflage, 370 Seiten, Hardcover, Fadenheftung. Format: 148 x 210 mm. Zahlreiche Abbildungen, teils farbig.
Erscheinungsdatum: 26.04.2023

Language: Deutsch
ISBN: 978-3-947064-14-4
65.00 €

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Deutsche Legion / antinapoleonische Kriege / Koalitionskriege / Befreiungskriege / britische Armee / Personalunion / Kurhannover / Wellington / Georg III. / Lissabon / London / Bexhill / Gibraltar / Rügen / Kopenhagen

Andreas R. Hofmann: Rezension, in: Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, Bd. 83, 01/2024, S. 255-258.

Jasper Heinzen: Rezension, in: Historische Zeitschrift, Bd. 318, 01/2024, S. 211-213.

Claus Heinrich BillHodenbergische Briefschaften aus der deutschen Legion in den napoleonischen Kriegen 1803-1815 auf der Website des Instituts deutsche Adelsforschung, 2023.

Sarah von Hagen: Rezension auf der Website des Geschichtsvereins für Göttingen und Umgebung e. V., 2023.

Hans-Joachim Behr: Rezension, in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch, Bd. 71, 01-02/2023, S. 99.

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Dr. Jens Mastnak is head of the Lehrte Municipal Archives. He studied history and political science in Hanover and completed his doctorate with a study on the realities of life for soldiers in the King’s German Legion. His research focuses on Hanoverian military history from 1618 to 1866 and the anti-Napoleonic wars. He is a member of the Arbeitskreis Hannoversche Militärgeschichte (Working Group on Hanoverian Military History) and has published, among other things, the source edition of a diary from the Seven Years’ War as well as other studies on regional history.


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