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.
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
Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day's battle - his army, his kingdom, often his very life. At a battle near Berlin in 1759, he probably came closest to losing his life. The image shown here depicts that moment…it is an excerpt from an old tapestry… Continue reading Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day’s battle
The Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star was an award granted by the Kings of Prussia and its design contains a tantalizing clue as to how the small Kingdom came to grow so powerful. The motto that is engraved upon the Breast Star was taken seriously and one that the Prussian kings lived by… Continue reading The motto engraved upon the Breast Star encapsulates how Prussia was ruled
Prussian King Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) instituted the blue enameled cross “Pour le Merite” in June 1740 as a token of appreciation for those leaders in his army who distinguished themselves in the first Silesian War. The medal continued to be awarded for the next 180 years, gaining its greatest renown with Germany’s air aces… Continue reading This German medal, nicknamed the “Blue Max”, has an interesting story to tell, including why it has a French name.
Political cartoons are not new...yes, they were even used during the reign of Frederick the Great...this image and text was distributed in Frederick's time and was considered a parody, poking a sarcastic finger at the degree of loyalty within Prussian ranks. It shows Frederick surrounded by his amazingly loyal Infantry...the text states: Du bist noch… Continue reading Even Frederick the Great was a target of contemporaneous political sarcasim
Between the early 14th and late 19th centuries, a period of cooling known as the Little Ice Age chilled the planet. Europe bore the brunt of its ill effects for 500 years,experiencing harsh and fickle weather. European peasants during the 1300 to 1850 chill had to deal with famines, hypothermia, bread riots and the rise… Continue reading The Little Ice Age started in early 1300’s and Europe bore the brunt of its ill effects for 500 years
It was in the frenzied fighting in 1757 at the Battle of Kolin that Frederick the Great is said to have bawled at Manstein’s flinching Prussian infantry “Dogs! Do you want to live forever?” The surrounded Prussians in a rearguard battle are depicted in this painting by Richard Knötel. Prussia lost this battle, but losing… Continue reading Although at war with Austria, Russia, France, and Sweden, Frederick did not ever expect to lose a battle.