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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

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!


17

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 ...


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 ...


11

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

"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 ...


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

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. ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


7

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 ...


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.


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 ...


4

There were a few early battles where Frederick left the field before the end of the day but the remaining officers managed to pull off a victory despite that. Some anti-Frederick histories report more of these based of dubious sources. But the drive that led to spectacular battlefield victories and costly defeats, and at times brought Prussia to the edge of ...


4

Hanover was originally an electorate which was annexed to Westphalia during the Napoleonic wars. During those times a lot of countries were roadkill on the political highway, pawns in the global political dynamic. After Napoleon was defeated the English restored Hanover as a kingdom, a completely different status. Dictators (like kings and like Napoleon) do ...


4

The Imperial German rail network, in the late 19 Century, was largely designed and financed to facilitate military mobilization. THus any terminal stations would have been designed as arrival stations for debarking troops, first in South Saxony and East Bavaria in preparation for the Austro-Prussian war of 1865, and then in the West Rhinelands in preparation ...


3

This is not easy to decide and another Wikipedia article notes that the matter would be 'disputed among historians'. A lot of maps depicting the medieval empire include those lands, other do not. The contemporary Imperial Register (Reichsmatrikel) lists contribtions to be made from the order, but only for the western bailiwicks, not the Prussian lands. The ...


3

Short answer Pro: Nationalism started in Prussia during the occupation of Napoleon where the lower, middle and higher classes, for the first time, banded together in opposition to the French occupation. This resulted in a feeling of belonging to something, instead of just being a part of something. So peaple in these area consider themselfs to be Prussions ...


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