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.
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
My message with this image is that today's Germans should remember and honor the history of East Prussia. This relatively small part of old Germany, the easternmost part of Germany once mentioned in the national anthem, played an oversized role in history. But the descendants of these East Prussians are now dispersed all over the… Continue reading If the East Prussian moose antler symbol could speak it would say: Germany, forget me not!
The first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789 was a German-American, Frederick Muhlenberg. In Joseph Wright’s 1790 portrait of Frederick Muhlenberg, the Speaker's likeness bears out contemporary descriptions of Muhlenberg’s rosy complexion and ample dimensions. Frederick Muhlenberg , a German-American, in 1790 Although born in Pennsylvania, his immigrant father made sure that… Continue reading Frederick Muhlenberg, First Speaker of the House, came from a remarkable family of German-Americans
Berlin in 1939 Current map of Germany with Berlin at eastern border On a map of the German Empire in 1871, you can see that Berlin was once located in the center of Germany. The location of Berlin within German borders is the most glaring difference between old and modern Germany. When you look at… Continue reading Berlin was once located in the center of Germany…now the German capital is oddly situated right next to the eastern border.
It was the battle at Yorktown in 1781 that was Washington’s last roll of the dice to determine America’s future. Victory at Yorktown would be the battle that could finally assure America’s independence or doom the revolution to failure. But without French support, Washington openly stated that the war would have been lost. Not so… Continue reading There is a German-American link to US independence…The crucial victory at Yorktown
Erhard shepherded the new West German economy through a recovery that outpaced the growth of all the European countries that had won the war. Some credit for European recovery is due to the Marshall Plan, which provided assistance of $12 billion (equivalent to $120 billion today) but it was spread among 18 countries...for example, Britain… Continue reading Ludwig Erhard crafted West Germany’s post-World War II economic recovery, the German “economic miracle.”
“On War” is the West's premier work on the philosophy of war. It was written by Carl von Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer. Although it was not even published until after his death, his ideas took hold and have been widely influential in military theory and have had a strong influence… Continue reading The West’s premier work on the philosophy of war was written in Germany by Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer.