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Johann Gottfried Piefke.
A 1844 advertisement for a musical event organised by Piefke

Johann Gottfried Piefke (9 September 1817 – 25 January 1884) was a German conductor, Kapellmeister and composer of military music.

Piefke was born in Schwerin an der Warthe in the Grand Duchy of Posen. In the 1850s, he was Bandmaster for the 8th Infantry Regiment in Berlin. His famous marches include Preußens Gloria (Prussia's Glory), Düppeler Schanzen-Marsch and the Königgrätzer Marsch (composed after the Battle of Königgratz, 1866, the decisive battle of the Austro-Prussian War). Piefke arranged Franz Liszt's symphonic poem - Tasso for military band and may also have similarly arranged some of Liszt's marches. He died in Frankfurt (Oder).

Piefke received the following medals:

  • Düppeler Sturmkreuz, 1864
  • Golden Medal of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary, 1865
  • Royal Order of the House of Hohenzollern, 1869
  • Iron Cross, 1870
  • Prussian Crown Order, 1880


  • "Piefke" is still today an unpleasant nickname for Germans in Austria.
  • Piefke's Königgrätzer Marsch can be heard playing during the book burning scene in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It was one of Adolf Hitler's favorite marches and was often played during his public appearances.
  • In Call of Duty: World at War's multiplayer, if the Wehrmacht players win, "Königgrätzer Marsch" plays. Also, in the penultimate mission of the game's campaign mode, the song can be heard outside the Reichstag.

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