Berlin is the capital and the largest city of Germany as well as one of its constituent 16 states. With a population of approximately 3.5 million, Berlin is the second most populous city proper, due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one-third of the area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world, following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all-Germany. Berlin is a city of culture, media. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations. Berlin serves as a hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination, significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics. Modern Berlin is home to world renowned universities, orchestras and its urban setting has made it a sought-after location for international film productions.
The city is known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts. Since 2000 Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene, the name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of todays Berlin, and may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. All German place names ending on -ow, -itz and -in, since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city. It is therefore a canting arm, the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century. Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920, the central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document,1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, and profited from the right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod.
In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, in 1415 Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. In 1443 Frederick II Irontooth started the construction of a new palace in the twin city Berlin-Cölln
Silesia was strategically important to Prussia because it significantly blunted the capacity of Prussias two chief foes—Austria and Russia—to meddle in Prussian affairs. Prussian victory foreshadowed a wider struggle for control over the German-speaking peoples that would culminate in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the First Silesian War inaugurated, and is generally seen in the context of, the wider ranging War of the Austrian Succession. While Charles launched a claim to the throne and the Habsburg territories, King Frederick II aimed at the annexation of Silesia. Furious Frederick III in turn insisted on the centuries-old Brandenburg claims to the Silesian Piast heritage. Forty-five years on, an alliance formed in support of Prussia’s newly asserted claims on Silesia. King Frederick II was supported by the electorates of Bavaria and Cologne, as well as by the kingdoms of France, Spain and Naples along with various smaller European powers. The shared objective within the alliance was the destruction or at least the diminution of the Habsburg Monarchy and Austria were bound by the Anglo-Austrian Alliance which had existed since 1731.
On 8 November 1740, King Frederick II ordered the mobilization of the Prussian Army, according to his plan of attack, two corps would defeat a small Austrian infantry regiment and occupy the whole Silesian lands. On December 11 he issued an ultimatum to Austria demanding the surrender of Silesia, in turn, he promised to acknowledge the Pragmatic Sanction and to give his vote as Brandenburg prince-elector in the Imperial election to Maria Theresas husband Duke Francis of Lorraine. Instead of awaiting the Austrian response, he marched against Silesia with an army of about 27,000 men five days later, hailed by the Protestant population. After a two-month campaign, Prussian forces had occupied all of Silesia, with only small Austrian garrisons entrenched in the fortresses of Głogów, and Nysa. Having abandoned winter quarters in 1741, the Prussian forces started their spring campaign, the Silesian capital Wrocław was occupied by August 10, a first armistice was concluded on October 9. The Prussian victory in the Battle of Chotusitz on May 17,1742, only the southern portion of Upper Silesia remained under Habsburg control, called Austrian Silesia.
The Second Silesian War took place from 1744 to 1745, the Austrians had lost Silesia to Prussia in the Battle of Mollwitz. This was the time when the Austrians, under the command of Field Marshal Otto Ferdinand von Abensberg und Traun, the Prussians were again led by King Frederick the Great. The Battle of Hohenfriedberg on June 4,1745, was fought through a series of separate actions, after the Prussian victory, Frederick did not pursue the opposing armies. In the Battle of Soor on September 29,1745, Fredericks Prussians faced an Austrian army led by Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine with 39,000 men, Frederick tried to obtain Graner-Koppe from Prince Charles where the Prussians met with cannon fire. The Prussians won after a closely fought battle consisting of a series of attacks, whilst Frederick was sure the war was over, Empress Maria Theresa had not given up her claims to Silesia
John III Sobieski
John III Sobieski, from 1674 until his death King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, was one of the most notable monarchs of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Sobieskis military skill, demonstrated in wars against the Ottoman Empire, sobieskis 22-year reign marked a period of the Commonwealths stabilization, much needed after the turmoil of the Deluge and the Khmelnytsky Uprising. Popular among his subjects, he was a military commander. After his victories over them, the Ottomans called him the Lion of Lechistan, official title, Jan III, z łaski bożej, król Polski, wielki książę litewski, pruski, mazowiecki, żmudzki, kijowski, wołyński, podlaski i czernichowski, etc. His father, Jakub Sobieski, was the Voivode of Ruthenia and Castellan of Kraków, his mother, John Sobieski spent his childhood in Żółkiew. After graduating from the Nowodworski College in Kraków in 1643, young John Sobieski graduated from the faculty of the Jagiellonian University in 1646. After finishing his studies, together with his brother Marek Sobieski, John left for western Europe and they visited Leipzig, Paris, London and The Hague.
Both brothers returned to the Commonwealth in 1648, upon receiving the news of the death of king Władysław IV Vasa and the hostilities of the Khmelnytsky Uprising, they volunteered for the army. They both fought in the siege of Zamość and they founded and commanded their own banners of cavalry. Soon, the fortunes of war separated the brothers, in 1649, Jakub fought in the Battle of Zboriv. In 1652, Marek died in Tatar captivity after his capture at the Battle of Batih, John was promoted to the rank of pułkownik and fought with distinction in the Battle of Berestechko. A promising commander, John was sent by King John II Casimir to Constantinople in the Ottoman Empire as one of the envoys in a mission of Mikołaj Bieganowski. There, Sobieski learned the Tatar language and the Turkish language and studied Turkish military traditions and it is likely he participated as part of the briefly allied Polish-Tatar forces in the 1655 Battle of Okhmativ. By 26 May 1656 he received the position of the chorąży koronny, during the three-day-long battle of Warsaw of 1656, Sobieski commanded a 2, 000-man strong regiment of Tatar cavalry.
He took part in a number of engagements over the two years, including in the Siege of Toruń in 1658. In 1659 he was elected a deputy to Sejm, and was one of the Polish negotiators in the Treaty of Hadiach with the Cossacks. In 1660 he took part in the last offensive against the Swedes in Prussia, through personal connections, he became a strong supporter of the French faction in the Polish royal court, represented by Queen Marie Louise Gonzaga. In 1662 he was elected a deputy to the Sejm
Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin
Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin was a Prussian Generalfeldmarschall, one of the leading commanders under Frederick the Great. He was born in Löwitz, and at an early age entered the Dutch army, with which he served at the Schellenberg and at Blenheim. In 1707 he became a lieutenant-colonel in the army of the duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and was present at Ramillies and Malplaquet, in 1713 he was with Charles XII of Sweden in his captivity at Bender, and in 1718 was made major-general. In 1719 he opposed the Hanoverian army which invaded Mecklenburg, at first he was employed in diplomatic missions, but in January 1722 –1723 he received the command of an infantry regiment. In the following year he became lieutenant-general and in 1739 general of infantry, during the life-time of King Frederick William, Schwerin was employed in much administrative work. Frederick the Great, on his accession, promoted Schwerin to the rank of field marshal. After the conclusion of the war he was governor of the important fortresses of Brieg, on 6 May followed the Battle of Prague, leading on a regiment of the left wing to the attack with its colour in his hand, he shouted Let all brave Prussians follow me.
After which he was struck and killed by a cannonball, Frederick erected a statue on the Wilhelmplatz to his foremost soldier, and a monument on the field of Prague commemorates the place where he fell. Since 1889 the 14th Infantry of the German army had borne his name, regarding personal names, Until 1919, Graf was a title, translated as Count, not a first or middle name. In Germany since 1919, it part of family names. This article incorporates text from a now in the public domain, Hugh
The term is used in a broader sense to describe egregious instances of theft and embezzlement, such as the plundering of private or public assets by governments. The proceeds of all these activities can be described as booty, plunder, looting by a victorious army during war has been common practice throughout recorded history. For foot soldiers, it was viewed as a way to supplement their meagre income and was part of the celebration of victory. To rob them of their wealth, in other pre-modern societies, objects made of precious metals were the preferred target of war looting, largely because of their easy portability. In many cases looting was an opportunity to obtain treasures that otherwise would not have been obtainable, since the 18th century, works of art have increasingly become a popular target. In the 1930s and even more so during World War II, Nazi Germany engaged in large scale and organized looting of art, combined with poor military discipline, has occasionally been an armys downfall.
In other cases, for example the Wahhabi sack of Karbala, not all looters in wartime are conquerors, the looting of Vistula Land by its retreating defenders in 1915 was among the factors sapping the loyalty of Poland in World War I. Local civilians can take advantage of a breakdown of order to loot public and private property, the novel War and Peace describes widespread looting by Moscows citizens before Napoleons troops enter the town, and looting by French troops elsewhere. Looting can refer to antiquities formerly removed from countries by outsiders, other examples include the obelisks of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, in the, Pharaoh Ptolemy IX. In the aftermath of the Second World War Soviet forces systematically plundered the Soviet occupation zone of Germany and they sent valuable industrial equipment and whole factories to the Soviet Union. Especially during natural disasters, some find themselves forced to take what is not theirs in order to survive. How to respond to this, and where the line between unnecessary looting and necessary scavenging lies, is often a dilemma for governments, in other cases, looting may be tolerated or even encouraged by governments for political or other reasons.
The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 explicitly prohibits the looting of property during wartime. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 obliges military forces not only to avoid destruction of enemy property, theoretically, to prevent such looting, unclaimed property is moved to the custody of the Custodian of Enemy Property, to be handled until the return to its owner. Around the same time of the Hyksos invasion and occupation of Egypt, in Genesis 15,14, the despoliation is an act of justifiable vengeance upon the oppressors of Israel. Yet in Exodus, God uses the plagues as an act of mercy to bring a knowledge of himself to Israel, the Egyptians, and to the ends of the earth. See Hyksos Iconoclasm and Genesis 13,2 and Genesis 15,14 and Exodus 12,36 Following the death of Valentinian III in 455, in 870 AD, the Byzantine city of Melite was captured by the Aghlabids under Sawāda Ibn Muḥammad. The city was destroyed, its churches looted and its population massacred, marble from the citys churches was used to build the castle of Sousse
Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the region of Flanders or Wallonia. The region has a population of 1.2 million and an area with a population of over 1.8 million. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, the secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are located in Brussels. Today, it is considered an Alpha global city, historically a Dutch-speaking city, Brussels has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards. Today, the majority language is French, and the Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. All road signs, street names, and many advertisements and services are shown in both languages, Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants and minority groups speaking their own languages.
The most common theory of the origin of Brussels name is that it derives from the Old Dutch Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning marsh, Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695 when it was still a hamlet. The origin of the settlement that was to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580. The official founding of Brussels is usually situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel, Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven gained the County of Brussels around 1000 by marrying Charles daughter, as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time, in the 13th century, the city got its first walls.
After the construction of the city walls in the early 13th century, to let the city expand, a second set of walls was erected between 1356 and 1383. Today, traces of it can still be seen, mostly because the small ring, Brabant had lost its independence, but Brussels became the Princely Capital of the prosperous Low Countries, and flourished. In 1516 Charles V, who had been heir of the Low Countries since 1506, was declared King of Spain in St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. Upon the death of his grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor in 1519 and it was in the Palace complex at Coudenberg that Charles V abdicated in 1555. This impressive palace, famous all over Europe, had expanded since it had first become the seat of the Dukes of Brabant. In 1695, during the Nine Years War, King Louis XIV of France sent troops to bombard Brussels with artillery, together with the resulting fire, it was the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels
Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and centred on the region of Prussia. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, shaped the history of Germany. In 1871, German states united to create the German Empire under Prussian leadership, in November 1918, the monarchies were abolished and the nobility lost its political power during the German Revolution of 1918–19. The Kingdom of Prussia was thus abolished in favour of a republic—the Free State of Prussia, from 1933, Prussia lost its independence as a result of the Prussian coup, when the Nazi regime was successfully establishing its Gleichschaltung laws in pursuit of a unitary state. Prussia existed de jure until its liquidation by the Allied Control Council Enactment No.46 of 25 February 1947. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, in the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights—an organized Catholic medieval military order of German crusaders—conquered the lands inhabited by them.
In 1308, the Teutonic Knights conquered the region of Pomerelia with Gdańsk and their monastic state was mostly Germanised through immigration from central and western Germany and in the south, it was Polonised by settlers from Masovia. The Second Peace of Thorn split Prussia into the western Royal Prussia, a province of Poland, and the part, from 1525 called the Duchy of Prussia. The union of Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia in 1618 led to the proclamation of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1701, Prussia entered the ranks of the great powers shortly after becoming a kingdom, and exercised most influence in the 18th and 19th centuries. During the 18th century it had a say in many international affairs under the reign of Frederick the Great. During the 19th century, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck united the German principalities into a Lesser Germany which excluded the Austrian Empire. At the Congress of Vienna, which redrew the map of Europe following Napoleons defeat, Prussia acquired a section of north western Germany.
The country grew rapidly in influence economically and politically, and became the core of the North German Confederation in 1867, and of the German Empire in 1871. The Kingdom of Prussia was now so large and so dominant in the new Germany that Junkers and other Prussian élites identified more and more as Germans and less as Prussians. In the Weimar Republic, the state of Prussia lost nearly all of its legal and political importance following the 1932 coup led by Franz von Papen. East Prussia lost all of its German population after 1945, as Poland, the main coat of arms of Prussia, as well as the flag of Prussia, depicted a black eagle on a white background. The black and white colours were already used by the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Order wore a white coat embroidered with a cross with gold insert
Zossen is a German town in the district of Teltow-Fläming in Brandenburg, approximately 20 miles south of Berlin, and next to the B96 highway. Zossen consists of smaller municipalities, which were grouped together in 2003 to form the city. Since the 2003 municipal reform, Zossen consists of the districts and municipalities, Zossen. Its name may derive from Sosna meaning pine, a quite common in the region. In 1875 Zossen station opened at the line from Berlin to Dresden. Between 1901 and 1904, Zossen adopted the use of different high-speed vehicles, such as locomotives and trams, for transportation to. These vehicles were powered by a current of 15kV and used a variable frequency. The power was transmitted by three overhead lines. In 1910 a proving ground and a garrison of the Imperial German Army was established at the Waldstadt section of the Wünsdorf community and until now it is still established. In World War I it was the site of several camps, including the crescent camp for Muslim fighters of the Triple Entente.
From 1939 to 1945, Wünsdorf hosted the headquarters of the German Wehrmacht. After World War II the area was the site of a Soviet military camp, since has been returned to civilian use as the Wünsdorf-Waldstadt book town
Field marshal is a very senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually it is the highest rank in an army, and when it is and it is considered as a five-star rank in modern-day armed forces in many countries. The origin of the dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the kings horses. Promotion to the rank of marshal in many countries historically required extraordinary military achievement by a general. However, the rank has used as a divisional command rank. The traditional attribute distinguishing a field marshal is a baton, the baton nowadays is purely ornamental, and as such may be richly decorated. That said, it is not necessary for the insignia to be a baton, the exact wording of the titles used by field marshals varies, examples include marshal and field marshal general. The air force equivalent in Commonwealth and many Middle Eastern air forces is marshal of the air force. Navies, which usually do not use the nomenclature employed by armies or air forces, use titles such as fleet admiral, Field marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim was a politician in Afghanistan who served as Vice President from June 2002 until December 2004 and from November 2009 until his death.
Between September 2001 and December 2004, he served as Defense Minister under the Afghan Transitional Administration. As military commander of the Northern Alliance, Fahim captured the Afghan capital Kabul in the fall of 2001 from the Taliban government, in 2004 President Hamid Karzai provided Fahim the honorary title Marshal and a year he became member of the House of Elders. He became a recipient of the Ahmad Shah Baba Medal, Fahim was a member of Afghanistans Tajik ethnic group. He was affiliated with the Jamiat Islami party of Afghanistan, Sir Thomas Blamey was the first and is the only Australian-born field marshal. He was promoted to the rank on the insistence of the Australian prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, Blamey was, at the time of his promotion, seriously ill and mostly bed-ridden in the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital. He was presented with his marshals baton at a ceremony held in the sunroom at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital by the Governor-General of Australia. Blameys field marshals baton is on display in the Second World War galleries at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Currently, the only Australian field marshal is HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during Imperial rule in China, different dynasty gave different titles to generals. A very similar title is 司馬 in Eastern Han dynasty, which means master of horse
Generalfeldmarschall was a rank in the armies of several German states and the Holy Roman Empire, in the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, the rank Feldmarschall was used. The rank was the equivalent to Großadmiral in the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine, the title of Kaiserlich-Königlicher Feldmarschall is used in statutes of the Holy Roman Empire to describe senior military officials. The rank existed in the Austrian Empire as Kaiserlicher Feldmarschall and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire as Kaiserlicher und königlicher Feldmarschall, both were based on usage in the Holy Roman Empire. The monarch held the ex officio, other officers were promoted as required. Between 1914 and 1918, ten men attained this rank, of four were members of the reigning Habsburg dynasty. The equivalent of colonel-general in the German Navy was the rank of Generaladmiral, in 1870 Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia and Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm—who had commanded armies during the Franco-Prussian War—became the first Prussian princes appointed as field marshals.
Not even such well-known German commanders as Erich Ludendorff and Erich von Falkenhayn received marshals batons, the equivalent of a Generalfeldmarschall in the navy was Großadmiral. Unlike Kaiser Wilhelm II, Adolf Hitler distributed the rank more widely, promoting 26 Heer and Luftwaffe officers in total and two Kriegsmarine Grand Admirals. Four weeks after the Heer and Luftwaffe had won the Battle of France, in the promotion Hitler noted that no German or Prussian field marshal at that point in history had ever been captured alive. Paulus surrendered the day anyway, claiming Ich habe nicht die Absicht. A disappointed Hitler commented, Thats the last field marshal I make in this war, Generalfeldmarschall was the highest regular general officer rank in the German Wehrmacht, comparable to NATO rank codes OF10, and to the five-star rank in anglophone armed forces. It was equivalent to Großadmiral of the German Kriegsmarine and he bestowed generous presents on his highest officers, with Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb receiving RM250,000 for his 65th birthday from Hitler.
Promotion to the rank did not guarantee Hitlers ongoing favor, however, as the tide of the war turned, Hitler took out his frustrations on his top commanders, relieving most of the Generalfeldmarschalls of duty before the wars conclusion. Von Bock, Von Brauchitsch, Von Leeb, and List were all relieved of their posts in 1942 for perceived failures during Operation Barbarossa, paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, Von Manstein and Sperrle were similarly retired in 1944 and Von Rundstedt and Maximilian von Weichs in March 1945. Grand Admiral Erich Raeder was retired in January 1943 following an argument with Hitler over the future of the German surface fleet. Walther Model, one of Hitlers most successful commanders, had nevertheless lost the Fuhrers confidence by wars end and committed suicide to avoid capture, ferdinand Schörner ignominiously abandoned his command to save himself in the wars last days. Von Kluge, Von Witzleben and Rommel were either executed or forced to suicide for their real or imagined roles in assassination plots against Hitler.
By wars end, only Keitel, Robert Ritter von Greim, the Nationale Volksarmee of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR created the rank of Marschall der DDR on 25 March 1982
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1693 to 1747. He was a Generalfeldmarschall in the Prussian army, nicknamed the Old Dessauer, he possessed good abilities as a field commander, but was mainly remembered as a talented drillmaster who modernized the Prussian infantry. Elected by Frederick I to the rank of marshal in 1712. He was appointed the commander of the Prussian-Saxon army during the Great Northern War against Sweden, Leopold was a personal friend of Frederick William I. The last great achievement of his career was commanding the Prussian troops to victory over the Saxons at the Battle of Kesselsdorf in 1745 during the Second Silesian War. Leopold was born in Dessau as the ninth of ten children of John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, by his wife Henriette Catherine, daughter of Frederick Henry, an older brother had died well before Leopold was born. From his earliest youth he devoted himself to military pursuits, for which he educated himself both physically and mentally, Leopolds first campaign was that of 1695 in the Netherlands, in which he was present at the Siege of Namur.
He remained in the field to the end of the war of 1697, the affairs of the principality being managed chiefly by his mother, Leopolds career as a soldier in important commands began with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701. In the campaign of 1704 the Prussian contingent served first under Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden, Prince Eugene of Savoy, in 1705 Leopold was sent with a Prussian corps to join Prince Eugene in Italy, and on 6 August fought at the Battle of Cassano. In the Battle of Turin, he was the first to enter the hostile entrenchments and he served in one more campaign in Italy, and served under Eugene to join Marlborough in the Netherlands, being present in 1709 at the siege of Tournai and the Battle of Malplaquet. Shortly before this he had executed a coup de main on the castle of Mors, the operation was effected with absolute precision and the castle was seized without a shot being fired. In the earlier part of the reign of Frederick William I, although Prussia was hostile to Sweden, the Prussians were reluctant to participate in the Great Northern War.
Only after the Russians destroyed most of the Swedish army did Prussia enter the war in 1715, in peacetime, and especially after a court quarrel and duel with General Friedrich Wilhelm von Grumbkow in 1725, he devoted himself to the training of the Prussian army. Leopolds outstanding achievement just before time was his training of the Prussian infantry. The prince himself was not often employed in the kings own army, the king, found Leopold somewhat difficult to manage, and the prince spent most of the campaigning years up to 1745 in command of an army of observation on the Saxon frontier. Early in that year his wife died, Leopold was now over seventy, but his last campaign was destined to be the most successful of his long career. A combined effort of the Austrians and Saxons to retrieve the disasters of the summer by a campaign towards Berlin itself led to a hurried concentration of the Prussians. Frederick from Silesia checked the Austrian main army and hastened towards Dresden, but before Frederick arrived, Leopold had decided the war by means of his overwhelming victory over Saxons at Kesselsdorf on 14 December 1745
Battle of Malplaquet
After a late start to the campaigning season owing to the unusually harsh winter preceding it, the allied campaign of 1709 began in mid June. Villars moved after him, under new orders from Louis XIV to prevent the fall of Mons at all costs – effectively an order for the aggressive Marshal to give battle. After several complicated manoeuvres, the two faced each other across the gap of Malplaquet, south-west of Mons. Boufflers was officially Villars superior but voluntarily serving under him, the allies had about 86,000 troops and 100 guns and the French had about 75,000 and 80 guns, and they were encamped within cannon range of each other near what is now the France/Belgium border. At around 1.00 pm Villars was badly wounded by a ball which smashed his knee. The decisive final attack was made on the now weakened French centre by British infantry under the command of the Earl of Orkney and this enabled the Allied cavalry to advance through this line and confront the French cavalry behind it. A fierce cavalry battle now ensued, in which Boufflers personally led the troops of the Maison du Roi.
He managed no less than six times to drive the Allied cavalry back upon the redans, finally, by 3.00 pm Boufflers, realising that the battle could not be won, ordered a retreat, which was made in good order. The Allies had suffered so many casualties in their attack that they could not pursue him, by this time they had lost over 21,000 men, almost twice as many as the French. Villars himself remarked on the enemys Pyrrhic victory via the flip-side of King Pyrrhus famous quote, If it please God to give your majestys enemies another such victory, they are ruined. A first-hand account of the Battle of Malplaquet is given in the book Amiable Renegade, Captain Peter Drake, an Irishman who spent most of his life as a mercenary in the service of various European armies, served the French cause in the battle and was wounded several times. Drake wrote his memoirs at an advanced age, in contrast with the Dukes previous victories, the French army was able to withdraw in good order and relatively intact, and remained a potent threat to further allied operations.
Nonetheless, news of Malplaquet, the bloodiest battle of the century, stunned Europe. For the last of his four great battlefield victories, the Duke of Marlborough received no letter of thanks from Queen Anne. The rumour post-battle that even Marlborough had died spawned one of the most popular French folk songs of all time, margery Allinghams mystery novel Sweet Danger includes a vital document hidden in the Malplaquet or Pontisbright drum. Battle of Malplaquet at Battlefield Anomalies, the French Army 1600–1900 Battle of Malplaquet at BritishBattles. com Amiable Renegade, The Memoirs of Captain Peter Drake