The Army of Frederick the Great

TitleThe Army of Frederick the Great
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsDuffy, Christopher
Number of Pages272
PublisherHippocrene Books
CityNew York

This, the first volume in Historic Armies and Navies written by the editor himself, admirably fulfills the purpose of the series as a whole. Biographies of King Frederick II of Prussia are numerous but this study of the potent military machine that became one of the most powerful forces in the shaping of modern Europe, is something new. Having set the scene of the Prussia of the time, the age and the commander, Christopher Duffy examines in fascinating detail the all-important officer corps, the men, and the various arms of the services, including finance, supply and technical formations. The whole mechanism of the Frederician army is taken apart and the components scrutinized. The contemporary memoirs and journals bring back to life the experiences (some of them frankly appalling) of the rank and file, and present the Prussian officer as a more complicated and, on the whole, more sympathetic creature than the popular stereotype suggests. Students of military history will find here some object lessons in what may be accomplished by an army that is held on its course by fear and constraint rather than "inner" leadership. For the angular, snuff-bedaubed figure of Frederick himself is never far distant. Dr. Duffy resists the temptation to load his crooked back with all the ills of Prussian militarism, and yet Old Fritz remains one of those few people who show themselves less appealing upon closer acquaintance. The book concludes with concludes with chapters on staff work army control, Frederick's army in peace and war, and its influence and legacy. -- from dust jacket.

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