Frederick the Great was never the type of Monarch to flaunt his royal status...for example, he said a crown was merely a hat that let the rain in....and he never wore any royal regalia. What he did wear was a soldiers tunic and one decoration, the Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star. The motto… Continue reading This Black Eagle Breast Star is the only decoration Frederick ever wore on his uniform.
If a nobleman wanted a woman, he simply took possession of her...that is how it was in the first half of the Middle Ages... from the 5th to 11th centuries. The concept of love and chivalry were unknown. But, by the end of the 12th century, leaders such as the German Kaiser Heinrich VI and… Continue reading The Codex Manesse documented the new concept of love and chivalry, especially that a man should conquer his woman’s heart.
In this famous image by Professor Wilhelm Camphausen, Bismarck is conversing with Napoleon III after the French Emperor was captured at the Battle of Sedan on September 2, 1870. Two months earlier, in July 1870, on the tenuous pretext of opposing a Hohenzollern appointment to the throne of Spain, the French Empire declared war on… Continue reading The quick German victory over France stunned neutral observers in 1870
This is an artist’s rendering of Breslau’s Old City Hall, from an early 20th century series of prints used by the Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) ship company, operating out of Bremen, Germany. The city of Breslau in Silesia has a long German history, but it is no longer part of Germany. It’s the same… Continue reading The city of Breslau in Silesia has a long German history, but it is no longer part of Germany
Germany's war contingency plans...drawn up in 1905...were a creative strategy to achieve a rapid victory in a two front war. The goal of rapid engagement was seen as a way to win and also save lives and minimize economic damage to all belligerents. So the plan, dubbed the "Schlieffen Plan" after its designer Count Alfred… Continue reading The Schlieffen Plan was put into action in 1914, but trouble in East Prussia changed the course of history.
Russian Empress Catherine the Great was actually German. Before she became Empress of Russia and renamed Catherine, her real name was Sophie Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst-Domburg. She was born in 1729 in Stettin in Pommerania, Prussia. After she ascended to the throne, she wanted industrious and skilled Germans to colonize her vast Russian Empire. In 1763,… Continue reading Germans were enticed to emigrate into the Russian Empire in 1763 by Catherine the Great
"Dinner at the Ball" captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire. It was 7 years after the German unification of 1871 and was the era of Kaiser Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Bismarck, who created a booming economy and a foreign policy that produced 43… Continue reading “Dinner at the Ball” captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire
Most of us know about the famous Battle of Waterloo, commanded by the Duke of Wellington, who decisively defeated Napoleon 200 years ago. But, would it surprise you to know that German soldiers were actually the bulk of the forces that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo? Or that the Germans led by Prussia’s Gebhard von Blücher…… Continue reading At Waterloo, Napoleon was defeated by a combined force of 76,000 Germans, 25,000 British and 17,000 Dutch and Belgians.
Two hundred years ago was a joyous time in Germany as the people celebrated the end of French dominance in Europe and the beginning of a long period of peace ahead. They also celebrated the return of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate statue of Victoria on a four horse dtawn chariot. 1814...Berlin celebrated the return of Berlin's… Continue reading In 1814 German Field Marshal Blücher briefly occupied Paris and recovered the stolen Brandenburg Gate Statue
This candlelit scene depicts an 18th century “Flute Concert at Sanssouci”. It’s a painting by Adolph von Menzel, showing Frederick II of Prussia, known to history as Frederick the Great, playing the flute in his music room at Sanssouci, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach on the harpsichord. As a musician, Frederick wrote 4 symphonies… Continue reading Frederick the Great playing the flute, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach