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.
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
"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
1871...Crown Prince Friedrich with his father Kaiser Wilhelm I at Versailles Palace As the Crown Prince of Prussia, Friedrich was popular with the British royal family and in return he was fond of them and their more liberal policies. It makes me wonder what would have happened in 1914 if Friedrich had lived to be… Continue reading The story of Kaiser Friedrich III is a tale that ended sadly in 1888, “The year of three Emperors”
After the end of the Seven Year War in 1763, Prussia was a great power whose importance could no longer be challenged. Frederick the Great’s personal reputation was enormously enhanced. A number of nations sent officers to Prussia to learn the secrets of Prussia’s military power. Prussia became one of the most imitated powers in Europe.… Continue reading Frederick the Great Quotes
“On War”, the West's premier work on the philosophy of war, was written by Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer. It was not even published until after his death, yet his ideas have been widely influential in military theory and have had a strong influence on German military thought specifically. Prussian German… 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.
Imagine a long stream of people walking day after day from Saltzburg to Berlin, creating a sensation as they trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing. In 1982 a German postage stamp celebrated this event on the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Salzburg Emigrants in Prussia in… Continue reading They trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing