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30

As CsBalazsHungary correctly points out, this was a legacy of Germany's roots as the Holy Roman Empire. As is well known, the Empire remained highly decentralised and fragmented pretty much right up till its demise. Due to the feudalistic nature of the land holding, centuries of inheritances, sales/purchases, and swaps led to extremely irregular borders ...


26

I know, it's confusing. "East Prussia" is a retronym. It used to be the only Prussia. And there is no longer any "Prussia" at all. What used to be East Prussia is now split between Russia and Poland (Lithuania has a little chunk). The name originally referred to a slice of territory along the Baltic Coast, named after its inhabitants, a ...


25

why is the soldier at the bottom left of the drawing shooting during the march without waiting for the command from the officer? He's waiting for a severe punishment from his sergeant. In that period marksmanship was something rare. Muskets are notoriously inaccurate. Most muskets don't have sights (there was really no need for them), and especially the ...


21

This picture is from a boxed set of figures (Zvezda's Prussian Grenadiers of Frederick the Great) and is illustrating the figures within. It shouldn't be taken as an accurate representation of the subjects in action!


20

Q What exactly was East Prussia between 1933 and 1945? Was it part of a larger government, and which one? 'East Prussia' was a subdivision of 'Prussia' which was a subdivision of Germany. We need basically two maps for this: In 1925, the Weimar State of Prussia looked like this: making 'East Prussia' a part of 'Prussia', and Prussia a part of Germany. A ...


19

Prussia as been described as "an army with a piece of land attached." That said, some of the things implied by the book are not correct. First, men were conscripted around age 20, but that doesn't mean that they were kept in the army until age 60. They were typically released when they exited "military age" (late twenties) and another batch of men were ...


17

Spencer's answer gives a good historical background over what Prussia was at different times, and the reason why the usage of "Prussia" is so confusing is indeed an historic oddity. However, I believe his first paragraph is needlessly confusing as well. The confusion about "East Prussia" comes from "Prussia" being used for two ...


13

Expanding on Jos’ answer: This is a modern military illustration of a weapons system in action. This is not a great example: line infantry is only shown in battle line march and fire. The ancillary musicians are at the front to allow reenactors and modellers better view of their different dress and kit. The man firing and the man loading also illustrate the ...


12

Stalin pursued two separate objectives: Establishing stable post-war borders which would reflect population ethnicity, which required extensive "population exchanges" - and those are cheaper to conduct when the populations to be exchanged flee on their own (cf. my answer to Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany ...


10

Richard J. Krickus affirms that Sniečkus rejected the offer of the enclave in his book, The Kaliningrad Question. Sniečkus sought to avoid the "thorny problems" of Latvia and Estonia with Russian speakers. The specific claim that Sniečkus refused Krushchev's offer of Kaliningrad is detailed by footnote 8 in chapter 2 if you mean to find a primary source. ...


10

"Prussia" is an area on the East Baltic, conquered by the Teutonic knights, who assimilated the local "Prussian" people. In part because they were on the frontier between Germany and Slavic lands, they became a particularly militaristic group. Imagine if American soldiers in Iraq annexed the country and intermarried with the locals to create a mllitaristic ...


9

Pure speculation from my side, feel free to downvote: Frederick relied a lot on fast movements and surprise attacks that sent the enemy into retreat and disarray. At Zorndorf, the terrain both hindered fast flanking movements, and also stopped the Russians from retreating. So instead the battle became bloody hand-to-hand combat on a long line. In that ...


9

I'll try and address your questions separately. Source is mostly personal experience; I used to live in the city-state of Bremen, as well as in the capital of former Prussia, Berlin. You also didn't mention which time period you are talking about; some things have changed dramatically over the centuries. Some things also were different in different parts of ...


9

The Swabian princes were "overthrown" in the Revolution of 1848 and forced by democratic forces to accept constitutional monarchies. When they couldn't get along with the democrats, they turned to the Prussians for military help to restore "order." Prussia was by far the most militaristic power in Germany and it had interests in protecting their Rhine ...


9

I checked Richard Krickus' citation to support the statement that Snieckus rejected the offer of Kaliningrad. It is indeed fn 8 in chapter 2. I quote "Interviews in [sic] Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, spring 1998." That is it. Not even the interviewees are named. I highly suspect they merely repeated the myth. If not a myth, there would have been a source for ...


9

Frederick the Great was rather short as well. 5'2" The city of Potsdam would be one source for giving you that number: FRIEDERISIKO. Friedrich der Große Ausstellung der Stiftung preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg | neues Palais und Park Sanssouci „Fünf Fuss, zwei Zoll“ (PDF) With is cited by Google's answer box as 1,62 m, via WDR: ...


8

There are some assumptions you've made, which are all too easy to do when judging historical events from a modern lens: Hindsight is 20/20. We know that Napoleon would beat them again and again, but they probably thought "maybe this time!" which they eventually did - the Russian winter, anyway. Be careful not to cherry-pick. Napoleon's expansion was checked ...


8

Frederick was at least as capable a battlefield commander as Napoleon, who was himself probably only the sixth best French battlefield commander of his generation, after Davout, Desaix, Lannes, Massena, and Soult. Aside: Napoleon never truly mastered the battlefield use of any arm besides artillery, and in battles personally directed by himself over relied ...


8

It is important to understand why Maria Theresa protested Austrian involvement. It wasn't that she didn't want Austria to succeed over her neighbours, but rather in her mind it was immoral of them to cut apart another God-given crown (and especially one which had saved Austria herself from the Ottoman threat only a century previously). Maria Theresa ...


8

Not Austria, Prussia received the 'best share' in the end. It's not about size. Neither population nor territorial size. It's purely location, location, location. In terms of strategic positioning. It was most strategically important for Prussia itself, and a long standing goal, not just a 'border correction', but arrondisement and strategic importance. For ...


7

The whole premise needs to be reversed. The entire question is extraordinarily broad and potentially encompasses developments over 800 years and the entire globe. What was Prussia, exactly, and what were "Prussians", and when did anyone call themselves "Prussian"? Those are the subquestions presented in the question body. But that is peripheral to ...


7

Napoleon represented an existential threat to the other rulers of Europe. First, although he was technically an Emperor of France, he was not descended from royal blood like all the other emperors, kings, and princes. He was an "upstart" who had crowned himself, both literally and figuratively. Putting aside "social" issues, he was highly disruptive to the ...


6

Terminal train stations were built in continental Europe because many railroads connected only two cities in the early to mid 19th century. There were not many rail lines, and the stations built were terminal stations. As the railroad network increased, the terminal stations could not be converted to passthrough anymore.


6

Yes for the Austro-Prussian War, But no more or less than any other force of the period. The rounding up an executing of civilian hostages as reprisal for franc-tirers did not, so far as I know, occur in the Austro-Prussian war. I don't know much on the Prussian-Dutch war, so will refrain from comment there. Looting of towns and some "outrages" ...


5

The closing paragraph of this article on Zorndorf, I believe, exactly captures the essence of the question: Zorndorf exactly illustrates the components of Frederick’s military character: his gross over confidence, his inability to listen to advice, even from those he claimed to trust, his impetuosity and aggression, his failure to ensure that he had ...


4

This is completely nonsense. As @jjack mentioned in his answer in the mid 19th century the rail road net wasn't as large as today and connected few important cities, only. The advantage of such a terminal station was also that you can build it closer to the city. Terminal station today's disadvantage wasn't present in the past because of the usage of steam ...


4

It might be helpful here to remember that the German unification was accomplished by Prussia in 1871. During the interwar period after WWI this was still in living memory. Prior to unification, Prussia had slowly taken over nearly all of northern Germany. The rulers of the new German Nation were the same Hohenzollern family that ruled Prussia, and their ...


4

Frederick the Great was well regarded by slightly later military leaders such as Napoleon, and also the writer von Clausewitz, who admired both Frederick and Napoleon (the latter said of Frederick, "Gentlemen, if this man were still alive I would not be here.") Frederick was a personally brave commander who personally directed troops in battle and was known ...


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