Kingdom of Prussia
It was the driving force behind the unification of Germany in 1871 and was the leading state of the German Empire until its dissolution in 1918. Although it took its name from the region called Prussia, it was based in the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the kings of Prussia were from the House of Hohenzollern. Prussia was a power from the time it became a kingdom, through its predecessor, Brandenburg-Prussia. Prussia continued its rise to power under the guidance of Frederick II, more known as Frederick the Great. After the might of Prussia was revealed it was considered as a power among the German states. Throughout the next hundred years Prussia went on to win many battles and it was because of its power that Prussia continuously tried to unify all the German states under its rule. Attempts at creation of a federation remained unsuccessful and the German Confederation collapsed in 1866 when war ensued between its two most powerful states and Austria. The North German Confederation which lasted from 1867–1871, created a union between the Prussian-aligned states while Austria and most of Southern Germany remained independent.
The North German Confederation was seen as more of an alliance of military strength in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War, the German Empire lasted from 1871–1918 with the successful unification of all the German states under Prussian hegemony. This was due to the defeat of Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, in 1871, Germany unified into a single country, minus Austria and Switzerland, with Prussia the dominant power. Prussia is considered the predecessor of the unified German Reich. The Kingdom left a significant cultural legacy, today notably promoted by the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, in 1415 a Hohenzollern Burgrave came from the south to the March of Brandenburg and took control of the area as elector. In 1417 the Hohenzollern was made an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, after the Polish wars, the newly established Baltic towns of the German states including Prussia, suffered many economic setbacks. Many of the Prussian towns could not even afford to attend political meetings outside of Prussia, the towns were poverty stricken, with even the largest town, having to borrow money from elsewhere to pay for trade.
Poverty in these towns was partly caused by Prussias neighbors, who had established and developed such a monopoly on trading that these new towns simply could not compete and these issues led to feuds, trade competition and invasions. However, the fall of these gave rise to the nobility, separated the east and the west. It was clear in 1440 how different Brandenburg was from the other German territories, not only did it face partition from within but the threat of its neighbors. It prevented the issue of partition by enacting the Dispositio Achillea which instilled the principle of primogeniture to both the Brandenburg and Franconian territories, the second issue was solved through expansion
Siege of Mainz (1793)
In the Siege of Mainz, from 14 April to 23 July 1793, a coalition of Prussia and other German states besieged and captured Mainz from revolutionary French forces. The allies, especially the Prussians, first tried negotiations, but this failed, within the town the siege and bombardment led to stress between citizens and the French war council, governing since 2 April. The city administration was displaced on 13 July, this increased the stubbornness of the remaining population, since a relief army was missing, the war council was forced to take up negotiations with the allied forces on 17 July, the remaining soldiers capitulated on 23 July. Nearly 19,000 French troops surrendered at the end of the siege, they were used to fight French royalists in the Vendée region of France. They left the town singing La Marseillaise, the Republic of Mainz, the first democratic state on the German territory, was subsequently dissolved. Mainz received a Prussian commander to administer the city, the Benedictine abbey St.
Jacob on the citadel and the remains of St. Albans Abbey. The cathedral had been heavily damaged, the biggest impact of the occupation and siege was that the citys part in the old imperial electoral structure finally came to their end. Thus the events of the year 1793 marked the end of Aurea Moguntia, the city lost its status as the electoral residence. The shelling of Mainz was widely discussed in Europe, many people gathered round the town in order to view the siege. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe assisted Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar during the siege, the Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book. Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von Die Belagerung von Mainz, Raymond, Un Recit de Guerre de Goethe le Siege de Mayence II. Arthur Chuquet, The Wars of the Revolution, The Siege of Mainz, Die Belagerung von Mainz by Goethe in the Project Gutenberg
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday,18 June 1815, near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Upon Napoleons return to power in March 1815, many states that had opposed him formed the Seventh Coalition, Wellington and Blüchers armies were cantoned close to the north-eastern border of France. Napoleon chose to attack them in the hope of destroying them before they could join in an invasion of France with other members of the coalition. Despite holding his ground at Quatre Bras, the defeat of the Prussians forced Wellington to withdraw to Waterloo, Napoleon sent a third of his forces to pursue the Prussians, who had withdrawn parallel to Wellington. This resulted in the separate and simultaneous Battle of Wavre with the Prussian rear-guard, upon learning that the Prussian army was able to support him, Wellington decided to offer battle on the Mont-Saint-Jean escarpment, across the Brussels road. Here he withstood repeated attacks by the French throughout the afternoon, in the evening Napoleon committed his last reserves to a desperate final attack, which was narrowly beaten back.
With the Prussians breaking through on the French right flank, Wellingtons Anglo-allied army counter-attacked in the centre, Waterloo was the decisive engagement of the Waterloo Campaign and Napoleons last. According to Wellington, the battle was the thing you ever saw in your life. Napoleon abdicated four days later, and on 7 July coalition forces entered Paris, the defeat at Waterloo ended Napoleons rule as Emperor of the French, and marked the end of his Hundred Days return from exile. This ended the First French Empire, and set a chronological milestone between serial European wars and decades of relative peace, the battlefield is located in the municipalities of Braine-lAlleud and Lasne, about 15 kilometres south of Brussels, and about 2 kilometres from the town of Waterloo. The site of the battlefield today is dominated by a large monument, as this mound was constructed from earth taken from the battlefield itself, the contemporary topography of the battlefield near the mound has not been preserved.
On 13 March 1815, six days before Napoleon reached Paris, four days later, the United Kingdom, Russia and Prussia mobilised armies to defeat Napoleon. Crucially, this would have bought him time to recruit and train more men before turning his armies against the Austrians and Russians, an additional consideration for Napoleon was that a French victory might cause French speaking sympathisers in Belgium to launch a friendly revolution. Wellingtons initial dispositions were intended to counter the threat of Napoleon enveloping the Coalition armies by moving through Mons to the south-west of Brussels and this would have pushed Wellington closer to Blücher, but may have cut Wellingtons communications with his base at Ostend. In order to delay Wellingtons deployment, Napoleon spread false intelligence which suggested that Wellingtons supply chain from the ports would be cut. By June, Napoleon had raised a total strength of about 300,000 men. The force at his disposal at Waterloo was less than one third that size, Napoleon divided his army into a left wing commanded by Marshal Ney, a right wing commanded by Marshal Grouchy and a reserve under his command.
Crossing the frontier near Charleroi before dawn on 15 June, the French rapidly overran Coalition outposts and he hoped this would prevent them from combining, and he would be able to destroy first the Prussians army, Wellingtons
The Royal Prussian Army served as the army of the Kingdom of Prussia. It became vital to the development of Brandenburg-Prussia as a European power, the Prussian Army had its roots in the core mercenary forces of Brandenburg during the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Elector Frederick William developed it into a standing army, while King Frederick William I of Prussia dramatically increased its size. The army had become outdated by the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, conservatives halted some of the reforms and the Prussian Army subsequently became a bulwark of the conservative Prussian government. In the 19th century the Prussian Army fought successful wars against Denmark and France, allowing Prussia to unify Germany, the Prussian Army formed the core of the Imperial German Army, which was replaced by the Reichswehr after World War I. The army of Prussia grew out of the armed forces created during the reign of Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg. Hohenzollern Brandenburg-Prussia had primarily relied upon Landsknecht mercenaries during the Thirty Years War and Imperial forces occupied the country.
In the spring of 1644, Frederick William started building an army through conscription to better defend his state. By 1643–44, the army numbered only 5,500 troops. The electors confidant Johann von Norprath recruited forces in the Duchy of Cleves and organized an army of 3,000 Dutch, garrisons were slowly augmented in Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia. Frederick William sought assistance from France, the rival of Habsburg Austria. He based his reforms on those of Louvois, the War Minister of King Louis XIV of France, the growth of his army allowed Frederick William to achieve considerable territorial acquisitions in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia, despite Brandenburgs relative lack of success during the war. The provincial estates desired a reduction in the size during peacetime. In the 1653 Brandenburg Recess between Frederick William and the estates of Brandenburg, the nobility provided the sovereign with 530,000 thalers in return for affirmation of their privileges, the Junkers thus cemented their political power at the expense of the peasantry.
Once the elector and his army were strong enough, Frederick William was able to suppress the estates of Cleves, Frederick William attempted to professionalize his soldiers during a time when mercenaries were the norm. Acts of violence by officers against civilians resulted in decommission for a year, Field Marshals of Brandenburg-Prussia included Derfflinger, John George II, Spaen and Sparr. The electors troops traditionally were organized into disconnected provincial forces, in 1655, Frederick William began the unification of the various detachments by placing them under the overall command of Sparr. Unification increased through the appointment of Generalkriegskommissar Platen as head of supplies and these measures decreased the authority of the largely mercenary colonels who had been so prominent during the Thirty Years War
A general officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations air forces or marines. The term general is used in two ways, as the title for all grades of general officer and as a specific rank. It originates in the 16th century, as a shortening of captain general, the adjective general had been affixed to officer designations since the late medieval period to indicate relative superiority or an extended jurisdiction. Today, the title of General is known in countries as a four-star rank. However different countries use different systems of stars for senior ranks and it has a NATO code of OF-9 and is the highest rank currently in use in a number of armies. The various grades of general officer are at the top of the rank structure. Lower-ranking officers in military forces are typically known as field officers or field-grade officers. There are two systems of general ranks used worldwide. In addition there is a system, the Arab system of ranks. Variations of one form, the old European system, were used throughout Europe.
It is used in the United Kingdom, from which it spread to the Commonwealth. The other is derived from the French Revolution, where ranks are named according to the unit they command. The system used either a general or a colonel general rank. The rank of marshal was used by some countries as the highest rank. Many countries actually used two brigade command ranks, which is why some countries now use two stars as their brigade general insignia and Argentina still use two brigade command ranks. As a lieutenant outranks a sergeant major, confusion arises because a lieutenant is outranked by a major. Originally the serjeant major was, the commander of the infantry, junior only to the captain general, the distinction of serjeant major general only applied after serjeant majors were introduced as a rank of field officer. Serjeant was eventually dropped from both titles, creating the modern rank titles
Anton Wilhelm von L'Estocq
Anton Wilhelm von LEstocq was a Prussian cavalry general best known for his command of the Prussian troops at the Battle of Eylau. LEstocq was born in Celle, Electorate of Hanover, the son of a Huguenot Prussian officer, in 1757 he became a cadet officer of the Gensdarmes regiment of Berlin. During the Seven Years War, he participated in the battles of Zorndorf, after a battle near Langensalza, he received the Pour le Mérite. In 1768 LEstocq became first lieutenant and served in the regiment of General Hans Joachim von Zieten. Initially Zietens adjutant, he was promoted successively to captain, lieutenant colonel. In 1790 King Frederick William II of Prussia named LEstocq battalion commander of the Regiment von Eben, during the First Coalition against revolutionary France, LEstocq participated in the battles of Kaiserslautern and Trippstadt. In 1794 he took command of the 2nd Hussar Regiment, which was stationed in Westphalia to guard the border with France after the 1795 Peace of Basel. Promoted to major-general, LEstocq was stationed in New East Prussia in 1803, in 1805 he was promoted to lieutenant-general.
During the War of the Fourth Coalition, LEstocq and his chief of staff, Gerhard von Scharnhorst, commanded some 15,000 troops based at Thorn in December 1806, the Russian troops of Bennigsen were hard-pressed by Marshal Davout in the Battle of Eylau. Upon the small Prussian contingents arrival at Preußisch Eylau, Bennigsen wanted it split up to reinforce his weakened Russian troops, however, advised LEstocq to strike with his cavalry around the Russian lines at Davouts exhausted troops, the sudden attack threw the French into disarray. Following the battle, LEstocqs corps retreated to Preußisch Friedland to maintain communications with Russia. For their leadership in the battle, LEstocq received the Order of the Black Eagle, while the Prussian Army had been crushed at Jena-Auerstedt, LEstocqs troops restored honor to the demoralized military. Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz wrote, it was at Eylau in 1807, and not the War of Liberation in 1813, von der Goltz attributed the success to Scharnhorsts planning and LEstocqs initiative and willingness to attack.
Because of his cooperation with LEstocq, Scharnhorst successfully lobbied for attaching a chief of staff to each field commander in 1813. LEstocq became Governor of Berlin on 12 November 1808, and of Breslau in 1814, after his death in Berlin on 5 January 1815, LEstocq was buried in the cemetery of the citys garrison church three days later. The German Way of War, From the Thirty Years War to the Third Reich, jean Armand de LEstocq Johann Ludwig von L’Estocq
Dennewitz is a village of Germany, in the federal state and old Prussian province of Brandenburg, near Jüterbog,40 km. It is part of the municipality of Niedergörsdorf, Teltow-Fläming district, the allied army was led by the Swedish prince Karl Johan and field marshal Kurt von Stedingk. The site of the battle is marked by an iron obelisk, napoleons army lost 8,000 men,50 cannons and 400 supply vehicles. The northern army lost 9,000 men and this article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain, Hugh, ed. Dennewitz