Frederick the Great: A Military History

Overview

Frederick the Great is one of history's most important leaders. Famed for his military successes and domestic reforms, his campaigns were a watershed in the history of Europe — securing Prussia's place as a continental power and inaugurating a new pattern of total war that was to endure until 1916.

However, much myth surrounds this enigmatic man — his personality and his role as politician, warrior and king. Showalter's cleverly written book provides a refreshing, ...

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Frederick the Great: A Military History

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Overview

Frederick the Great is one of history's most important leaders. Famed for his military successes and domestic reforms, his campaigns were a watershed in the history of Europe — securing Prussia's place as a continental power and inaugurating a new pattern of total war that was to endure until 1916.

However, much myth surrounds this enigmatic man — his personality and his role as politician, warrior and king. Showalter's cleverly written book provides a refreshing, multidimensional depiction of Frederick the Great and an objective, detailed reappraisal of his military, political and social achievements.

Early chapters set the scene with an excellent summary of 18th century Europe — The Age of Reason; an analysis of the character, composition and operating procedures of the Prussian army; and explore Frederick's personality as a young man. Later chapters examine his stunning victories at Rossbach and Leuthen, his defeats at Prague and Kolin and Prussia's emergence as a key European power.

Written with style and pace, this book offers brilliant insights into the political and military history of the 18th century, and one of history's most famous rulers.

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Editorial Reviews

Toy Soldier and Model Figure Magazine
Showalter is a dedicated researcher and an excellent writer with a keen sense of style and pace. As a result, this appealing book provides some brilliant highlights into one of history's most famous rulers and his pivotal impact on warfare and politics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848326408
  • Publisher: Frontline Books,
  • Publication date: 8/19/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 642,064
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Showalter
Dennis Showalter
Dennis Showalter is a professor of history at Colorado College, visiting professor and guest lecturer at West Point, and former president of the Society for Military History. In addition to numerous articles and works on various subjects in military history, he contributed to Robert Cowley's bestselling essay collection, What If?.
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Table of Contents

List of maps vi

Introduction vii

1 Matrices and Probabilities 1

Ways of war in the Age of Reason 1

Prussia: an army with its own country? 14

Frederick the Young, 1712-40 28

2 Wars for Silesia: 1740-45 38

A Province overrun 38

Austria's response 45

Peace, and war again 53

The Prussian army takes stock 67

Second round for Silesia 73

A province secured 84

3 Breathing Space and Renewals 90

Planning the next round 90

Men and weapons: Prussia's military infrastructure 95

'Train as you propose to fight': Prussia's military evolution between 1745 and 1756 105

The diplomatic revolution of 1756 116

4 Prussia Ascendant 135

Blitzkrieg without victory: September 1756-April 1757 135

The shock of victory, the agony of defeat: Prague and Kolin 148

France takes the field 167

A tide stemmed: the campaign of Rossbach 177

A corner turned: the Leuthen campaign 192

5 Years of Balance: 1758-59 207

The road to Zorndorf 207

Hochkirch: the unexpected bloody nose 221

Frederick takes stock 230

Kunersdorf: Russia takes centre stage 236

Maxen: symbol of decline 250

6 Prussia Contra Europe: 1760-63 260

Feints and initiatives: the summer campaign of 1760 260

Torgau: the final killing ground 281

1761: year of exhaustion 296

1762: the end-game 309

7 Coda: 1763-86 321

Prussia's recovery 321

Remodelling the army 328

Testing the deterrent 337

The last victory 348

Reflections 353

Further Reading 359

Index 366

Maps

1 Battle of Hohenfriedberg, 4 June 1745 82

2 Battle of Kolin, 18 June 1757 166

3 Battle of Leuthen, 5 December 1757 204

4 Battle of Kunersdorf, 12 August 1759 248

5 Battle of Torgau, 3 November 1760 294

General Map: The Wars of Frederick the Great 364

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