The Prussians in Europe have long held a grim reputation for many nations, so much so that after WW II the Allies in 1945 officially abolished the nation of Prussia. Christopher Clark sets out to show how the tiny farming state of Brandenburg in the 15th Century rose to become the most feared force in Europe with a highly efficient and respected bureaucracy. Its police force and army united a scattering of tiny states into the modern country which eventually allowed the Nazi rise to power.
However Chris Clark reveals a very rocky road for the Prussians. Napoleon drove them to what is now eastern Poland, but defeated him at Waterloo. Often the state seemed on the brink of extinction.
The author gives a highly detailed and scholarly account of the pressures and intrigues over these 350 years