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Frederick the Great (Fearless Blue)

Simcountry: Simcountry Bulletin Board  Frederick the Great (Fearless Blue)

DavePat (Fearless Blue)

Sunday, July 6, 2008 - 01:08 pm Click here to edit this post
I am going to start something new. From time to time as my time permits I will make a post on a figure from History.

Frederick is perhaps the best known of the Hohenzollem monarchs, and rated as one of the best commanders in history. But his beginnings were not the master that would reveal himself in the 7 years war. He fled many a fight early in his younger days. On three occassions he lost over a third of his army to his future opponents; Russia and Austria.

When he was only a boy he had seen his best friend decapited on orders of his father King Frederick William I, after the two boys had tried to flee to Britian in 1730. Frederick was raised by his father to be a soldier and a leader of men in battle. But his heart and his joy was in writting plays and poetry or playing his flute. His brothers who would command armies at his behest hated him. One of his brothers had lamated "If only it had pleased God to give our dead mother a miscarriage on January 24, 1712."

Because Frederick was a homosexual, his sham marriage was loveless and has been explored to death in any number of works on his life. But it also lead to wild claims and a remake of Frederick over the ages. Each generation has modelled Frederick into their version of the ideal war leader and soldier, the truth of his accomplishments and failures being burried in myth and miconceptions. Ignoring the man, historians and politicans have created any number of figures named Frederick to serve their own purposes. A little less than 3 years after his death the French Revolution would begin and a new Frederick was about to be born. One that the revolution would adopt as a symbol and other as a symbol of Prussia to resist. Another Frederick would emerge in the Napolean era as well.

So who was this man that inspired his men to glory and victory time and again and at the same time would blame his failures on others. This man who at a critical juncture in the seven years war exclaimed to his soldiers, "Scoundrels!! Do you want to live forever?" To which one of his men replied, "Fred, for sixpence we have done enough today." Yet as a body they rose up and followed their warrior King to victory. That his men loved him is never in doubt nor dispute. Time and again his men would follow Der Alte Fritz (Old Fritz) into battle.

Yet we must see a lonely man, not ever permitted to follow his heart nor his dreams. Thrust into a role he felt poorly suited to fill, yet achieving so much as to become one of the greatest leaders of all time as well as a good King to his country with reforms that other monarch's feared. A man when at his death merely wanted an unpretentious funeral, one he would not reviece until 1991.

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