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aryaman
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How many times did Frederick quit Battlefield?

Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:51 pm

After reading Szabo´s book on the SYW, now I am reading R. Browning "The War of the Austrian Succession", and of the features that has surprised me is that habit by Frederick of quitting the field when things went wrong. To my knowledge he did at Mollwitz, Lobositz, Kolin and Torgau, plus he handed command in campaign several times, always when things were going badly, for instance during the terrible retreat from Prague in the winter of 1744. I am sure that had Frederick being a general and not king, he would have been courtmartialed!
Now, can be that an ability in the game? "Quitter", however a number of times, his generals won the battle after he left thinking it was lost! In all my opinion on Frederick as a military leader, never too high, is right now very low. Browning is not very kind to him, and he rates the campaigns of 1742 in Moravia and 1744 in Bohemia as unmitigated disasters of which Frederick was the main responsable

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Sol Invictus
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Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:47 pm

I agree, Frederick was very mercurial on the battlefield. He didn't take reverses well at all. One of his several character flaws.
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Hohenlohe
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:59 am

As I remember from my history books it was at Mollwitz in his first battle as Frederick leave the battlesite after the desastrous austrian cavalry attack and leave command to Schwerin or the Old Dessauer - didn't remember that well. One of this old generals make an assault with the prussian grenadiers in charge against the austrian lines and won the day.
I think that Frederick often enough underestimate the bravery and abilities of his soldiers in his earlier battles but later as he has not anymore the troop quality he seems to overestimate his soldiers as he throw them against nearly unbreakable lines like at Zorndorf or Kunersdorf.But the results seems to forgive him.For myself I think that Frederick was more a strategist and operative thinker than a good battlefield tactician.He won several times because his troops were able to manouvre faster and better than the other side belonging to their high troop quality and the harsh prussian drill they had.
Thats my thinking... :thumbsup:

greetings

Hohenlohe
R.I.P. Henry D.

In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

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Sol Invictus
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:06 am

I agree. Frederick seemed to be a simple pounder at times and asked his excellent soldiers to win battles for him with a large offering of their blood. He was a great operational and strategic commander, but once on the field he sometimes seemed to act with a lack of finesse. Of course he could also pull off a Leuthen and a Liegnitz at times as well. I can only imagine the amount of stress that Heads of State/Military Commanders like Frederick or Napoleon must have labored under. :bonk:
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tagwyn
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General's Ratings?

Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:19 pm

So, Fred the Great will not get a better rating than Bonaparte, Lee, Grant, etc.? t

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Florent
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:08 pm

I think no. Of course by initiative he will be as good as a Bonaparte being able to move at will since you will be General and head of state.
But offensively or defensively no, although offensively he should be able with his will to win to win battles where any other General would have lost...but at a high price in human losses.
All the statistics show that.

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Sol Invictus
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:25 pm

I agree, Frederick and Daun should have approximately even ratings but with Frederick having a much better Initiative but Daun having a moderately better Defensive rating. I figure about a 6-4-3 for Frederick and a 4-4-5 for Daun or something very close to that. The special abilities will be the key for these commanders.
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PhilThib
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:30 pm

Looks good ;)
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Florent
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:04 pm

"I figure about a 6-4-3 for Frederick and a 4-4-5 for Daun "
I think it's a good start, but taking into account the flaws of NCP so that excellent Austrians Leader Daun Brown and Loudon and Lacy having a too low initiative rating.
The playtest will show that, perhaps some austrians could be at 5, especially Daun was able to win some contest or avoid being trapped( reaching a better position before fred and more than once ; look at By force of arms).
Since the scale is one turn = 15 days the modifier for penalizing a player not activated the previous turn or at 33 % of capacity for moving(+1) should be deleted. We have to remember that this is a war of march-countermarch and the leader were present and understanding what happened thus a race to get the best position or getting out a bad place.
A leader can't be then stuck in place(because of a rule's modifier), once again this was the main drawback of NCP.

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Sol Invictus
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:13 pm

I agree, assigning ratings is tricky. Daun was very cautious and Vienna never tired of yelling at him to get on the attack but he would only advance if all was in order. Sorta like Montgomery. But if he believed that there was an opportunity that offered a good chance of success then he could even act boldly. It is difficult to mimic this behavior with a rating.
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Hohenlohe
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Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:33 am

I think it will rather difficult to decide which abilities should be given to Frederick. Above all I think he was a kind of genius which was even accepted by Napoleon as he stood in front of Fred's Sarcophag in Potsdam. Napoleon told according to some historians to his accompanying generals that if Frederick has been alive he - Napoleon - would not stand here.

I would give Frederick some abilities like Brilliant Strategist, Fast Mover, Cautious, Reckless and as something new Manouvre Specialist. The last one he has often shown at Rossbach and at Leuthen and some other battles I do not remember well. I would even give him the Deceiver trait as he often screen his forces from enemy insight. Even Strong Morale and Good Army Commander would be possible as a choice. According to history he was beloved by his soldiers which originated from the Prussian homeland. In the last years of the SYW many men volunteered to the prussian flag even from his Westphalian estates to support their king. I think it will be still difficult to give adequate abilities to explain his character.

greetings

Hohenlohe
R.I.P. Henry D.



In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

tc237
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Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:51 pm

He left because he was the King, the fate of his country rested on his shoulders.
Can not even be compared to generals like Duan, etc.. who could easliy be replaced.

If Frederick was killed or captured then Prussia is lost and divided up between France/Austria/Russia.
Not cowardice or a "quitter" but pragmatic reality.
Szabo is the absolute worst source to use on anything regarding Frederick.

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berto
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:48 am

tc237 wrote:Szabo is the absolute worst source to use on anything regarding Frederick.


+1
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Sol Invictus
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:57 am

I certainly don't think Frederick was a coward, far from it, but he did go into a state of deep despair sometimes when things went awry. I can imagine the massive load he carried all of those years. It would have crushed most men. I agree, Szabo is no friend of Frederick or the Prussian State in general. I don't think he has gotten over the fact that Prussia came out on top.
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aryaman
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:30 am

tc237 wrote:He left because he was the King, the fate of his country rested on his shoulders.
Can not even be compared to generals like Duan, etc.. who could easliy be replaced.

If Frederick was killed or captured then Prussia is lost and divided up between France/Austria/Russia.
Not cowardice or a "quitter" but pragmatic reality.
Szabo is the absolute worst source to use on anything regarding Frederick.


That could apply to Mollwitz, but not to other battles, like Torgau or Lobositz, in which he simply left the field in despair, as Sol Invictus pointed. At Torgau he even come back on hearing of Zieten success.
As for Szabo, he is certainly biased, but many of his claims are supported by primary sources, and in any case he is certainly much more balanced than Carlyle, the usual source for wargamers.

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Florent
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:32 pm

"but he did go into a state of deep despair sometimes when things went awry"
Yes and Voltaire prevent him (by letter) to commit suicide when in full desperation in the 60s. ;)

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aryaman
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:09 pm

Florent wrote:"but he did go into a state of deep despair sometimes when things went awry"
Yes and Voltaire prevent him (by letter) to commit suicide when in full desperation in the 60s. ;)


Frederick himself talked about suicide in his letters numerous times, nowdays he would probably be diagnosed some psychic inbalance.

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Sol Invictus
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:13 pm

He definately had some issues. Considering his childhood, it is little wonder. :wacko: :p leure: :tournepas
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Hohenlohe
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Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:12 pm

Sol Invictus wrote:He definately had some issues. Considering his childhood, it is little wonder. :wacko: :p leure: :tournepas


You are right, Sol. Imagine the terror he had seen as his friend Keith was killed
before his eyes. He had a very difficult relationship to his father during his childhood and youth. He had even tried to flee to France to get rid of his father, but was captured together with his best friend. His father had trialed him by a military court of treason and he was only alive because that court resisted the demand of his father to sentence him to death. These experiences were responsible for his behaviour in the following years.
On the battlefield he was often enough not able to withstand the confrontation with a possible death.
As I remember from history Frederick had a special encounter with some austrian officers nearby Mollwitz as he entered a small castle full of Austrians.
The Austrians were overwhelmed by his(Fredericks') presence and immediately surrendered to him although he had only a few companions.
This happened shortly after Frederick has left the battlefield.
This anecdote shows another facette of his personality. He was able to impress other people by his presence and charisma.

greetings

Hohenlohe :coeurs:
R.I.P. Henry D.



In Remembrance of my Granduncle Hans Weber, a Hungaro-German Soldier,served in Austro-Hungarian Forces during WWI,war prisoner, missed in Sibiria 1918...

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Padreigh
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Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:01 pm

The story about the officers is as far as I can tell just another of those anecdotes created to glorify Frederic II. ... like the one about the Miller of Sanssouci. If you had a look at the real story behind the Miller, you'd be surprised.
To quote Thomas Mann (in 1914) on those anecdotes: "Von nun an hieß er ‚Der alte Fritz’ – ein schauerlicher Name, wenn man Sinn fürs Schauerliche hat; denn es ist wirklich in höchstem Grade schauerlich, wenn der Dämon populär wird und einen gemütlichen Namen erhält" (roughly: From that day on, he was "Old Fritz" - a gruesome name, if you have a sense for gruesome things. Because it is gruesome, when the Demon becomes popular and gets a cute nickname").

As far as I am concerned he was a mediocre military leader who won battles because he had a well-trained army and extremly loyal officers. But he had that attribute which Weber calls "Charisma", no doubt, and was able to create loyalty.

I rather despise Frederic II. ... oddly enough, I like his father, Frederic William I. An bumpkin, uncultured and cruel ... but somehow I consider him to be a better king and a "more German" king then that son of his.

By the way: Strictly speaking Frederic should have been executed. Since he was an officer of the Prussian army, fleeing to France was desertation, an offence punishable by death (as many common soldiers found out, when they had enough of dying for Prussia). If it hadn't been for Austrian intervention (they probably kicked themselves in the ar*** later on for that :) ) it is quite likely that Frederic's career would have been cut short by a hangman's sword before it even started.

Oh, and Hohenlohe: Keith ran away and was hanged "in effigiem". Katte lost his head over that affair. :)
Frederick II. at Kolin to his retreating soldiers: "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"
(Do you want to live forever?)
Unfortunately we don't know his reaction to the answer he got: "Für dreizehn Pfennig wars für heute genug!"
(basically: I'd say we did enough today, considering what you pay us. :D)

Aster
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Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:28 pm

Hohenlohe wrote:For myself I think that Frederick was more a strategist and operative thinker than a good battlefield tactician.

Yes. He really knew how to win a diplomatic victory by means of the war. And really want to try his military theories about army training, treatment and also tactics. As a Aquarius he did great, and it's common a Aquarius can not exploit the advantages of his own theory to the full. So his quitting (or maybe can i use the word "delegation"?) would be good somehow.

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Shri
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Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:22 am

He is called GREAT and should be called GREAT , why? because he had limited AIMS and ACHIEVED them rather than squandering them with megalomania - NAPOLEON style.
Also remember- He was first and foremost a KING, not a General. If he was killed/captured, Prussia disappears. His opponents were too big and strong and yet he persevered and won. That shows qualities of Determination, Strong Character, Organization Skills, Recklessness, Bravery but also Despondency and inherent Depression which he overcame.

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