The Army of Frederick the Great by Christopher Duffy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A solid history of the King of Prussia's army and it's times. Duffy touches on all aspects of the army's components. From recruitment to retirement (or, more likely, post-service destitution), The Army of Frederick the Great outlines the career trajectory of the common soldier, NCO, and noble officers that served under their warrior-king. The social and economic aspects of the army are also explored, showing that, since the 18th-Century, at least, military service hasn't changed a lot. I should know - I was raised as an Air Force brat.
The last section of the book covers some of the major actions of the Seven Years' War, but is a little short on detail.
While I appreciate a good, solid history, I felt that this book could have been so much more. I wanted to hear more of the soldiers' voices, more of their recollections, and less of Duffy's explanations. A good historian explains; a great historian lets the past speak for itself from the primary source material, acting as a co-observer more than a lecturer. I had picked this book up to provide me with reading material while I did edits on my novel Heraclix & Pomp, which takes place in 18th-Century Central Europe (but only peripherally involves Prussia). I'm through with this book, but not through with my edits. Thus, I am left now to look for other accounts of the Seven Years' War which are, alas, in short supply.
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