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Frederick the Great: A Military History [Hardcover]

Dennis Showalter

Price: £25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 May 2012
Frederick the Great is one of history s most important leaders. Famed for his military successes and domestic reforms, his campaigns were a watershed in the history of Europe securing Prussia s place as a continental power and inaugurating a new pattern of total war that was to endure until 1916. However, much myth surrounds this enigmatic man his personality and his role as politician, warrior and king. Showalter s cleverly written book provides a refreshing, multi-dimensional depiction of Frederick the Great and an objective, detailed reappraisal of his military, political and social achievements. Early chapters set the scene with an excellent summary of 18th century Europe The Age of Reason; an analysis of the character, composition and operating procedures of the Prussian army; and explore Frederick s personality as a young man. Later chapters examine his stunning victories at Rossbach and Leuthen, his defeats at Prague and Kolin and Prussia s emergence as a key European power. Written with style and pace, this book offers brilliant insights into the political and military history of the 18th century, and one of history s most famous rulers.

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About the Author

DENNIS E. SHOWALTER has been a Professor of History at Colorado College since 1985. His recent publications include Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century and Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism.

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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 31 Aug 2013
By Douaumont - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a superb book on Frederick the Great and the Prussian Army of the 18th-century. Showalter is one of the greatest authorities on the Prussian Army and he has a keen eye for detail, and an almost conversational style in his presentation of the battles, campaigns, military developments, controversies, etc. The main focus of the work is, of course, Frederick II of Prussia and Showalter provides a superb critical analysis of Frederick as a military commander that shows his failings as well as his triumphs. This is an even-handed treatment that in the end reveals the "learning curve" of both Frederick and his army through the course of their battles, campaigns, and wars until they emerge as one of the most legendary fighting forces in history. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for Prussian history "feinschmeckers" 27 July 2014
By Henrik Utvik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An excellent book for Prussian history "feinschmeckers". The book goes into detail about Frederick`s wars on both a tactical and strategic level. Large portions of the book are used to describe the famous Prussian army, its structure, planning and leaders. This is put in the larger context of its role in the state of Prussia, both its material requirements from the state and its role in Frederick`s vision for Prussia.

The book also has a few rather enjoyable passages on the geo-political situation in Europe on Frederick`s time, describing the motivations and limitations affecting the behaviour of all the major players, both Frederick`s enemies and allys.

The book requires some pre-knowledge about European politics and geography in the 17. and 18. century. As such, I can not recommend this book for beginners. The language is also a bit more complex than your average popular history book. The level of detail and complexity is also rather high.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The title of the book says it all. 23 July 2014
By kiore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a biography of the life of Frederick then this not the book that does this in one volume. Instead this book focuses on the Frederick the military leader and tactician, or Frederick the myth depending on your viewpoint. A very clear overview of the man and the myths built around him in subsequent periods, this is not just a recitation of battles and movement of armies.
For those seeking extra insight into this period this book a very useful addition to your reading list.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read with vibrant history 20 July 2014
By Bebo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Written to place you in his inner circle. Great read with vibrant history. The author makes the times and places come alive.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very interesting book 6 Nov 2013
By msavick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
always heard frederick the great was a military marvel, never truly knew the story. this book covers the broad picture of how he moved prussia from being just another 'little' german state to a 1st rank european 'player'. i assumed he was like napolean using a 'new' way to make war; causing his neighbors a lot of trouble. while he had a number of new approaches, his great victories seemed to be balanced by his equally great defeats. he, and prussia were hanging on by their fingernails most of the time. outside events tipped the scales in his favor in the end. very interesting book.
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