“If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks.”
Frederick the Great (1712 to 1786)
Frederick II, aka Frederick the Great, was the third King of Prussia (1740-86). Considered one of the great military captains, he was a brilliant military campaigner who, in a series of diplomatic stratagems and wars against Austria and other powers, greatly enlarged Prussia’s territories and made Prussia the foremost military power in Europe.
He ranks among the two or three dominant figures in the history of modern Germany. Under his leadership Prussia became one of the great states of Europe. Its territories were greatly increased and its military strength displayed to striking effect. From early in his reign Frederick achieved a high reputation as a military commander, and the Prussian army rapidly became a model admired and imitated in many other states. He also emerged quickly as a leading exponent of the ideas of enlightened government, which were then becoming influential throughout much of Europe; indeed, his example did much to spread and strengthen those ideas.