Friday, February 21, 2020

Kabinettskriege Live Reacts to the History Channel's "Washington"

Image result for washington history channel
Here we go

Dear Reader,

I'm starting to watch the Washington Miniseries put out by the History Channel. The timestamp is on the left, followed by my reaction. I'll be updating this as I watch more of the series. Check back for more.

[1:30] Surprised to see Bill Clinton

[1:55] "Washington is the one man who made this country possible." That's possibly true, I guess? Historically unhelpful, too?

[2:30] "Washington was not born great, he took a journey towards greatness." Skips directly to French and Indian War.

[2:46] Washington appears to be about 40 years old here, (22 IRL) I am disappointed. So far costuming is so-so.

[4:03] I'm really happy to see Colin Calloway as a talking head- one of the leading scholars working on 18th century Native Americans.

[4:45] Costuming really isn't wowing me, now that I see it up close.

[6:40] Ok, so now we are going back to the 1740s.  Good to see Washington's lack of formal education discussed, if briefly.

[7:45] Joseph Ellis, like Colin Colloway, is an eminently respected historian- good to see him in this lineup.

[8:00] Hecking Heck, is this supposed to be Jumonville's Glen? Have they ever even been to Western PA?

[8:27] The French uniforms look nothing like what French troops were wearing in 1754.

[8:45] Alan Taylor! Nice.

[9:00-10:00] Clearly Doris Kearns Goodwin has not been reading Kabinettskriege's articles on the nature of 18th century combat. Jumonville's Glen= charging into close combat with no bayonets fixed. Ouch, Jumonville shot through the body.

[10:23] "This is the moment that causes the French and Indian War, this is the war that causes the American Revolution." Where the Hecking Heck is Fred Anderson when you need him? The French and Indian War is worth studying as an end unto itself, as a vitally important event.

[11:09] Series deliberately obscures the fact that Washington does not read French.

[13:17] Joseph Ellis clearing up the "Washington never lied" myth. Good stuff.

[14:32] Wow Colin Powell!

[15:30] Whew these uniforms are bad. It is like someone designed a uniform for a British soldier using only late nineteenth century woodcuts.

[16:19] "Washington is reinforced by 100 British regulars [at Fort Necessity]". Ya? From which Regiment of Foot?

[16:47] Realistic appraisal of Fort Necessity.

[17:46] So the British uniforms aren't just bad, they are bad Revolutionary War-era uniforms. Cause people who have researched material culture really don't add anything to our understanding of history, right? Heck.

[17:50] There are a lot of headshots in this show, and we aren't even 20 minutes in.

[19:03] Why are all the muskets banded?

[19:38] Ed Lengel needs to read Ilya Berkovich.

[20:10] Why are the French parleying in their goal was to kill Washington? Needs more internal consistency.

[21:08] Washington's lack of French acknowledged.

[22:10] Has this man never worn a cartridge box? Does no one look at period images?

[24:40] Nice use of primary sources guys, do more of that.

[26:27] Now this looks like Appalachia

[27:00] Beard on British soldier

[27:22] Importance of European warfare downplayed in American context, nice.

[27:35] "The British didn't know how to fight in the forest conditions"

[28:15] This clothing is laughably bad.

[28:45] Cannon stuck in mud despite fact that dry roads surround it on every side.

[29:30] Braddock is pretty stereotypical.

[29:45] Series feeds into idea that British people are tools.

[30:00] Oh boy, here we go.

[31:00] Charging without bayonets again. They do know what bayonets are, right?

[31:39] Native warriors are just SLAUGHTERING people in close combat, and the people they are slaughtering don't even have their bayonets fixed. Connection? Possibly.

[31:47] There are people running through this shot in what I can only assume are continental army uniforms.

[33:03] Even while upside-down, Native American warriors are wreaking havoc in close combat.

[33:23] Native Americans are slaughtering an artillery crew while the members of the crew who are not being attacked impassively stand with their backs to the Natives. This is possibly the least realistic depiction of combat that I have ever seen.

[34:30] "I mean this is destruction of human life on a colossal scale." I'm not trying to be flippant here, but Braddock's defeat isn't a watershed in loss of life, even in an eighteenth-century context. Look at Zorndorf, or Kunersdorf, or  Brandywine or Long Island or Guilford Courthouse.

[36:03] Ed Lengel makes it appear as though most Americans were thinking teleological in opposition to Britain in 1755.

[39:36] Despite the fact that the nearest tree is 3/4s of a mile a way, and there is no where to hide (I mean, have these people ever been to Appalachia?) a colonist is smoked by a Native American with a smoothbore musket.

[39:40-40:00] Native Americans killing people montage. Not even bad, just a bit weird. 

[40:23] Literal bodies on fire. Yikes.

[40:45] Jeff Daniels, the narrator, is apparently doing a Ron Swanson impression for this.

[41:06] Literally the shortest ramrod anyone has ever seen

[41:34] Bayonet: Exists. Alex: Weeps with joy. More tiny ramrods on display.

[42:20] These are some amazing 1790s-1800s collars on these uniforms. Well fitted tan gaiters, though.
\
[44:37] Literally doing target practice at targets 5 feet away. What even is this?

[45:32] Stab that dummy in the face Washington, stab him.

[48:10] Man, the British are so evil, they won't even talk to George.

[49:34] The British are sooo foppish, no wonder they lost.

[51:45] Washington played an important role in the 1758 campaign to take Fort Duquesne, but did he really deserve all the credit? Also, what even are these uniforms?

[53:30] "We can date from that moment (December 1758) the birth of the rebel George Washington. Which is why he chooses to be depicted in British uniform as a soldier in 1772?

[57:51] George and Martha are really trying, but not exceptional actors.

[1:01:03] Really enjoy the painting of Washington's older brother, Lawrence, on the wall in this scene.

[1:04:10] So we got a younger actor to play 14 year old Washington, but having a 54-year old (yes, I checked) play a 22-year old is ok?

[1:05:07] Ah yes, the ominous proclamation line of 1763. 

[1:07:31] Not a terribly nuanced portrayal of the Riot on King Street.

[1:09:01] "The British Empire slowly built the man who would destroy them from the inside out." Here and I thought that the British Empire was destroyed in the 20th Century.

[1:12:45] It seems that the British fired the shot heard round the world, and are fairly responsible for the outbreak of hostilities.

[1:15:28] The costuming has improved a bit, now that we are in the 1770s. Bad 1770s costuming looks better in the 1770s than the 1750s.

[1:19:24] Seriously, where was this filmed, Kansas?

[1:20:30] I really don't know what all these soldiers are doing. These uniforms are CRAZY

[1:21:36] Man urinating next to wagon. Bold move, History Channel.

[1:22:00] We need a George Washington to whip this documentary into shape.

[1:22: 38] Headshot

[End Episode One]




If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

On this Day in History (1720): The Treaty of Stockholm

The Town of Anklam, drawn in 1758


Dear Readers,

On this day in the 1720s, Prussia made peace with Sweden. The Prussian portion of the treaty of Stockholm, which ended this portion of the larger Great Northern War, gave territory to Prussia, and badly needed cash to Sweden, which was still struggling against Russia and Denmark. King Charles XII of Sweden died at the Siege of Fredricksten in 1718, and the new Swedish King, Frederick I, and government sought to rapidly end the war. As a Hessian prince, Frederick I was only too willing to negotiate with Prussia and Hanover, seeking to draw them out of the war via territorial concessions, and use them as leverage against Russian occupation of large portions of Swedish territory in Estonia and Livonia.  

In reality, only the area south of the red line was given to Prussia
Stettin (Szczecin), a large and important city on the river Oder, was given over to Prussia. Prussia also gained Pomeranian territory south of the river Peene. Frederick William I, the King of Prussia, had significantly expanded for very little expense. Smaller towns, such as Damm, Gollnow and Anklam were also ceded to the Prussians. This area would be contested by Sweden again in the course of the Seven Years War, but remained in Prussian hands. 

A plan of the city of Stettin around 1720
For their part, the Swedes gained 2000 Riksdaler for the loss of these territories. This cash was desperately needed by the Swedish government, which had been at war for approximately twenty years. Unfortunately for the Swedish, the removal of Prussia (as well as Hanover and Denmark by July 1720) from their coalition of enemies did little to influence Russia.[1] Swedish power was decisively broken at the Treaty of Nystad in the following year. 

The Berlin Gate at Stettin, erected in the
era of Frederick William I
Three hundred years ago today was a surprisingly important moment in the history of central and eastern Europe. It helped to confirm what was already apparent, that Sweden, which for a generation had dominated the Baltic world, was beginning to give way to Russian power. It was not apparent to observers at the time, however, that Prussia was consolidating its power in ways which would have profound consequences for the history of Europe over the next three hundred years.

(And yes, I realize that as a result of the change in calendars in the 1750s, the "real" anniversary for this event is February 1st.)

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns

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[1]Robert I. Frost, The Northern Wars, 296.  


Monday, January 6, 2020

Following the Armies: Contemporary Images of Military Women and Children in German Central Europe

A reenactor portraying a Prussian Soldatenfrau
late in the Seven Years War

Dear Reader,

Today, I would like to present several contemporary images of women who followed Germanic Armies during the Eighteenth Century. These women, often the wives of soldiers, traveled alongside the armies of Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa. The first four images come from the collection produced by Johann Christian Becher, Wahrhaftige Nachricht derer Begebenheiten drawn during the Seven Years War.


A Franconian Sutleress, Becher
The first woman, a sutler of some means, wears a red sleeved waistcoat and dark blue jacket and petticoat. Her shoes are obscured, but she wears a round, shallow-crowned felt hat with a red ribbon. Her cart/wheelbarrow contains a cask, bags, and she is pictured with a "Coffee Machine" according to a different version of the same image.  The cookware is not blackened. 

An Austrian Sutleress and her family 
There are some similar elements of dress in this image, showing a black felt round hat, likewise tied with a red ribbon (both are knotted on the right of the wearers' crown). This woman has three children, two walk barefoot, and the third is kept tied around the woman's body. Like the Franconian woman above, this woman wears a dark colored jacket with a bit of red at the sleeves. She appears to have a patterned apron and light colored petticoat with red striping. Her daughter carries a walking stick, bottle, and wine skin or draw-string bag, and has a pink sleeveless top over her shift, a green petticoat, and blue apron. Her son wears a round felt hat, worn knee breeches, and a cream woolen waistcoat. 

A Wuertemberger Soldier's Wife
This woman carries a small child on her head, tied to a basket. She has a straw hat, a long cream-colored woolen or linen frock coat, a black waistcoat, and a white cloth around her neck. Her apron is white with blue floral patterning, and she wears a blue petticoat. She has something strapped to her back and a small keg with a strap. 

A Grenadier's Wife from Mainz, her family and equipment 
This women wears a blue jacket and petticoat, her head is tied in a scarf, and she wears no hat. Her eldest daughter cares for a smaller child on the back of a donkey, in a grey top and petticoat with a light colored neck-cloth and straw hat. The woman appears to have light brown shoes, the daughter wears red shoes. The women leads the donkey and has a walking stick, and what appears to be a linen wallet on her back. 

A French Sutleress and a Hungarian Hussar's wife
The French sutleress (left) wears a brown brunswick or long jacket, what might be a military canteen or a glass bottle, a pink cap, a blue apron and green striped petticoat. The Hungarian woman wears a sleeveless green top, no discernible shirt, a loose head covering underneath a military-style laced cocked hat, a blue hussar's jacket, and a white striped petticoat. Somewhat memorably, she carries a strand of garlic in her right hand, and a chicken or some sort of fowl in her right hand. 

The next few images come from details of the military art of Hyacinth de La Pegna, an  artist who commemorated the Hapsburg victories of the Seven Years War. 


This image shows a Prussian soldier's wife with a blue jacket, red petticoat, and white cap. Her baby, on her back, is swaddled in green cloth. 


This woman, with an orange jacket, white shawl/neck cloth, and white cap wears a red petticoat and has her shirt sleeves tucked into the arms of her jacket. She appears to have some sort of wallet/blanket around her middle, held in her right hand. 


This painting shows Prussian women in states of relative undress as a result of the early morning surprise attack at Hochkirch in 1758. The woman on the right appears to have a white/rose colored cap, and she has her sleeves rolled up, and wears her stays. On the left, a women holds a child in while wearing similar clothing, but appears to have a brown/orange blanket of some sort draped around her. 


This scene, also from the downfall at Hochkirch, appears to show a woman in matching sleeveless top and petticoat fleeing from a tent with a blanket around her middle.  She wears a white cap, and sleeves rolled to above the elbow. 

Pro-Prussian Silesian Woman, surrender of Breslau
This image, taken from a commemorative print of the surrender of Breslau, shows a pro-Prussian Silesian woman, with a dark colored petticoat, light-colored jacket with a light-colored shawl and cap. 
The Begging Soldier's Wife, Daniel Chodowiekci

This image, by Prussian painter Chodowiecki, shows a women with a jacket, two military style cocked hats, a market wallet, some type of leather or linen bag, and a light colored petticoat. As a result of her market wallet, it is difficult to definitively address some of her clothing. 

From the above sources, it is clear that some women wore old or unused cocked hats, and occasionally wore military style coats/jackets. Patterned aprons and blue aprons appear in multiple images, as do petticoats with stripes near the bottom. 

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns






Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Kabienttskriege: A Year in Review

The author as a member of the Volunteers of Edinburgh
Dear Readers,

It has been a long year (and decade), and I wanted to leave 2019 with a few thoughts. The blog covered some new territory in 2019, beginning the year in January with a post on an American soldier in Prussia, and a Prussian soldier in America. My lecture at the Seven Years War Association Convention was recorded in to a podcast in April, and in June, in one of my favorite posts this year, we explored some surviving gaiter cloth in the British National Archives.

This summer, I traveled to Europe in order to research for my dissertation, and I found time to visit some museums as well. That made for a number of posts, regarding  holdings at the Austrian Military History Museum, Burg Forchtenstein, and the art of Hyacinth de La Pegna. We were honored to have guest authors such as Ben Olex and James Taub, who reviewed books and began work on a series on the French Army.

In the summer, I made an impassioned plea for the relevance of the military history of Frederick the Great and George Washington, and followed it in August with two of our most popular posts from this year, covering facial hair in Kabinettskriege-era armies, and the service of black soldiers.

In the fall, Kabinettskriege reported on a newly acquired uniform book at the Society of the Cincinnati, reviewed HBO's Catherine the Great, and discussed the politics of reenacting the European Seven Years War in North America.
A Saxon artillery piece, drawn just after the Seven Years War (find more here)

The autumn also saw the launch of Patreon-only content, check it out and give us your support!

In the tail of the year, I wrote a piece on the sexuality of Friedrich Wilhelm, Freiherr de Steuben, and evaluated art from two modern artists, with pointers on judging art from a historical perspective. These two posts were by far the most controversial of the year, leading to a number of personal insults, which I bore with the measured patience of an evil liberal academic elite. All in all, a successful year.

Where should we go in 2020? What about this era interests you? Let us know in the comments below!

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns








Friday, December 27, 2019

Why, from a Historical Perspective, this isn't Good Art



Dear Reader,

I'm glad the clickbait title has drawn you in. Today, we are going to examine two pieces of historical art. Ambush!, by Dan Nance, shows a Native American warrior about to attack a senior British officer during the American War of Independence. The other, below, shows a specific incident from the Battle of Savannah during the American War of Independence. At the outset, I should say that both images are artistically appealing. Mr. Nance is a fine painter, who has painted many other historical pieces which I like.

So, why isn't the painting of the Native American warrior attacking a British officer, below, a helpful image from a historical perspective? First, this image trades on common stereotypes regarding both Native Americans and the British Army during the War of Independence. The Native Warrior is shown jumping (presumably from a tree?) with club raised and screaming. The British officer, presumably from the 7th (Royal Fuziliers) or 8th (King's) Regiment of Foot, given his uniform. His sword is drawn, and is he looking rather obliviously in the opposite direction. Even his horse has noticed the oncoming warrior.





















































Both of these ideas (that the Native Americans were masters of the ambush, and that the British were remarkably ill-suited for wilderness warfare) are stock images from American mythology, and give little information regarding the actual reality of the past. Native American warriors were impressive soldiers in certain conditions, but certainly fell prey to ambush by Euro-American warriors. A famous example of this is during the Siege of Fort Sackville by George Rogers Clark, when Clark's forces took a Native war party by surprise.[1] Likewise, British forces had learned much regarding wilderness warfare since the early days of the French and Indian War, and were capable of fighting in wilderness conditions.


Second, the above image deliberately obscures historical reality. Much more often than not, the specific regiment which is depicted above fought alongside native warriors. The King's Regiment fought alongside native Americans at engagements such as the Cedars, Fort Stanwix, Fort Laurens, Hannastown, Bird's Invasion of Kentucky, and perhaps most famously, at the Battle of Newtown in 1779.[2] By and large, for good or ill, the King's Regiment fought alongside Native Americans throughout the War of Independence, not against them. If the 7th Regiment was depicted, the image is also somewhat less egregious, but the 7th Regiment of Foot spent much of the war fighting in larger coastal armies, and to my knowledge, was never ambushed by the Catawba or any other Native group.

Third, there are liberties taken with the material culture of the image. The enlisted men and drummer wear gaitered trousers, which is possible for the 8th Regiment, but not confirmed by documentary evidence. Finally, it is perhaps unlikely that a drummer would have accompanied raids deep into the upper country, and certainly would not have been beating a march step during this type of movement. The British officer appears to be wearing a hat purchased from GG Godwin, Sutler. His uniform is immaculate, if a bit large for him. Speaking frankly, I am not qualified to evaluate the accuracy of the dress of the Native Warrior (it is possible that it is of a very high standard).

Fourth, and finally, the image does not depict a specific historical event. No senior officers of the Royal Fuziliers or King's Regiment were killed in ambush by Native American warriors during the years of the American War of Independence. Many of them died, often from illness or being drowned while on transport ships on the Great Lakes. A shipwreck on the Lakes, would be an incredibly interesting artistic project for the various excellent artists currently exploring the revolution.

So, in short, whatever the artistic value of the above image, it possesses a questionable historical value.

Artist Graham Turner's image of the Battle of Savannah, painted for Osprey
The above image, depicting Archibald Campbell at the capture of Savannah by artist Graham Turner, may not be equal artistic appeal, but possesses much more historical value than the ambush of the Native Warrior above. 

First of all, the image depicts a specific historical event, described by a primary source.[3] When preparing to attack the rebel held city of Savannah, Lt. Colonel Archibald Campbell climbed a tree in order to better observe the rebel defensive positions. He also spoke with an enslaved man regarding a flanking route for his army's march, which is perhaps a missed opportunity in the painting.

Second, in choosing a specific historical event, the image destroys mythology regarding the British Army in the War of Independence. The popular view of British officers in the United States is that they were hide-bound traditionalist fops with little real experience in the arena of war. By showing a British officer who was willing to think outside the box and get is hands dirty a bit, Graham Turner displays a class of generally competent senior officers such as Howe, Cornwallis, and Campbell who were not afraid to innovate in order to gain victory in America.

Third, the uniforms are generally accurate. Turner's artwork shows the 71st Regiment of Foot in short coats and linen gaiter trousers with highland bonnets, all fairly responsible choices for this era of war. Woolen donation-cloth trousers might have been a better choice for this time of year (although I am not familiar with the primary source documentation for this particular regiment, so I cannot say) but this is a relatively minor quibble. Likewise, the tree may not have been defoliated at this time of year in Savannah. It is difficult to tell whether Campbell is wearing his own hair or a wig, which pleased me greatly.

So, in closing, both images are very enjoyable and artistically sound. With that said, images which depict specific events from primary sources, coupled with a theme which explores the reality, rather than the mythology of historical eras, are an asset to historians, and to the public. Accurate, well-presented uniforms are icing on the cake.

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns



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[1] Journal of Joseph Bowman, February 24th, 1779 https://www.in.gov/history/2964.htm
[2] Journal of Thomas Blake, 1st NH Regiment, August 29th, 1779, http://www.usgwarchives.net/pa/1pa/1picts/sullivan/nhjournals.html#norris
[3] See Matthew H. Spring, With Zeal and With Bayonets Only, 66 and Archibald Campbell, Journal of an Expedition, 25-26.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Rediscovering Lost Art: The Painting of the Surrender at Breslau on 21st December, 1757

A photograph of the original painting

In his book, Unter dem Preußen- Adler (Under the Prussian Eagles) Hans Bleckwenn suggests the first image above has been lost to time. This oil painting by an unknown artist depicts an important event in the history of the Seven Years War: the recapture of Breslau by Prussian forces after the Battle of Leuthen, and the surrender of the large Austrian garrison.

This image is important for the detailed pictures of Prussian soldiers, and as you may have noticed from a previous Kabinettskriege post, is one of the few period images to depict an African soldier serving as a musician in the Prussian Army.  While searching through the Catalogue at the Society of the Cincinnati, I was amazed to discover an entry which read, "Der Aufmarsch der zu Kriegesgefangen gemachten Osterreichiscehn Besatzung aus Breslau am 21. December, 1757".  (The Marching out of Austrian Prisoners taken at Breslau on December 21st, 1757).

I eagerly ordered the item, and waited for the archival staff to bring it from the vault.  For the rest of the story, and images of the rediscovered print, see: https://www.patreon.com/posts/32471624

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitterConsider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always:

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Book Review: Prussian Army Soldiers and the Seven Years War

Cover Art 
Dear Reader,

Today, I am writing a review of Katrin and Sascha Möbius' new book: Prussian Army Soldiers and the Seven Years War: The Pyschology of Honour. This brief book, published by Bloomsbury Academic, provides the first major analysis of Prussian common soldiers in the era of the Seven Years War available in English. The married authors have brought their considerable linguistic and academic talents to the study of the army of Frederick II ("the Great"). By examining the considerable body of writings that Prussian soldiers left behind, in addition to those of elites such as Feldprediger Karl Daniel Küster, the authors manage to provide a much needed overhaul of the image of the Prussian common soldier. In doing so, they follow the path begun by Michael Sikora, Ilya Berkovich, Erika Kuijpers and Cornelis van der Haven, in their own research. 

Treading little of the same ground as Sascha's 2007 book Mehr Angst vor dem Offizier als vor dem Feind, (highly recommended for German readers) Prussian Army Soldiers explores the concept of honor, and its psychological underpinnings in the Prussian Army during the Seven Years War. The authors correctly assert, ""This book is the first in-depth investigation of the long-dismissed idea of a characteristic sense of honour held and shared by common... Prussian soldiers and their families, based upon their own accounts."[1] Their exploration is highly rewarding and successful for students of old-regime armies. 

The 220-odd pages of main text are broken down into three main chapters and two useful appendices. The first chapter addresses the origins and structure of the Prussian Army, the second explores common soldiers emotional responses to combat, and the third examines the various factors, when which taken together, constituted Prussian soldiers' sense of honor. The various contemporary  reglements and military treatises are outlined in appendix I, while English language translations of twelve Prussian soldiers' letters are included in appendix II. The second appendix makes this book a vital source for popular enthusiasts (such as wargamers and reenactors) who are interested in this era but do not have German language skills. 

As a specialist in this field, reading this book was a true delight, and I am in the debt of Katrin and Sascha for producing such a fine manuscript. Two minor criticisms: 1) the order of the chapters is not intuitive,  it might have made more sense to place the chapter explaining the constituent parts of honor before the chapter examining that honor on the battlefield. 2) The book uses non-period images of fine artistic value, but perhaps questionable historic value. These minor complaints in no-way detract of from an admirable and enjoyable study of soldiers in the Seven Years War era.

Katrin and Sascha have forcefully demonstrated that the Prussian soldier of the eighteenth century was not a "clockwork soldier" or "automaton... but a human being[.]"[2] Instead, the authors provide a persuasive case that "we must refute the image of the machine-soldiers beaten into battle by their officers. Instead, we encounter men of flesh and blood with human emotions, who wanted to defend their honour, serve their God and stay alive for their families."[3] This book will become required reading for specialists of eighteenth-century Prussia, and vital reading for historical enthusiasts who desire a more realistic picture of the Prussian Army of Frederick the Great. Highly Recommended. 

If you enjoyed this post, or any of our other posts, please consider liking us on facebook, or following us on twitter. Consider checking out our exclusive content on Patreon. Finally, we are dedicated to keeping Kabinettskriege ad-free. In order to assist with this, please consider supporting us via the donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the page. As always: 

Thanks for Reading, 


Alex Burns
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[1] Möbius and Möbius, Prussian Army Soldiers, 2.
[2]Ibid, 169.
[3]Ibid, 172.