(born 1757, Falkenberg, Prussia—died 1808, Riga, Latvia, Russian Empire), Prussian soldier and military theorist who attempted to popularize the fighting style of the French armies of the early Revolutionary era and who exercised some influence on the French general and renowned military critic Antoine-Henri de Jomini.
Bülow entered the Prussian army in 1773 but left the service in 1790. After extensive travel and public expressions of sympathy for the French Revolution, he wrote his Geist des neueren Kriegssystems (1799; “Spirit of the New System of Warfare”), in which he advocated the adoption of French infantry tacticsmaking use of columns and skirmishers. His strategic system, based on precise mathematical principles, attempted to transform warfare into an exact science. Bülow’s theories had little influence on his contemporaries. Arrested by the Prussian government as insane, he was imprisoned and later transferred to Russian control; he died in prison in Riga.