Frederick the Great

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Mar 02 2008 15 mins   6
Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, is considered the best commander of the European Enlightenment. Despite possessing relatively few people and resources, he transformed the tiny Prussian state into a great military power (which arguably wouldn't be brought down until 1945). Strategically, he modernized the Prussian military into a well-trained, well-disciplined unit. He taught them to fire faster, march with more precision, and deploy artillery quicker. Tactically, he employed oblique tactics which massed all units on one side of the battle line in order to sweep through the enemy forces one at a time (instead of all at once). This allowed Frederick to achieve victories against numerically-superior enemies at Hohenfriedberg, Rossbach, and Leuthen.

For more information, read:
Frederick the Great by Gerhard Ritter
Frederick the Great by Giles MacDonogh
Frederick the Great by Christopher Duffy
Military Blunders by Geoffrey Regan
Dictionary of Battles by David Chandler
Extreme War by Terrence Poulos

Military History Podcast is sponsored by Armchair General Magazine