Today is the 260th anniversary of the Berliner Husarenstreich in 1757, when Austro-Hungarian forces briefly occupied Berlin whilst Frederick the Great was licking his wounds after the battle of Kolin (Kerle, wollt ihr ewig leben?).
It seems a little surreal that they were paid a ransom (gloves for the empress?) and then disappeared before the cavalry (excuse the pun) turned up. In our much more enlightened times they would have declared the Prussians to be irredeemably evil and demolished the city, as it was the Austrians suffered only 10 dead, the Prussians a few more.
In celebration I watched Husaren in Berlin, an amusing enough film but far from a documentary.
Well I’ve finally finished the first volume; Lebensbeschreibung, of Marwitz’s Nachlasse, after starting reading it shortly after the New Year. I’ve enjoyed it immensely, slow history is the only way to attempt to get close to long-dead people, although the passage of time and my basic grasp of German keeps me at a respectful distance. Which seems fitting.
A couple of final thoughts. Why did Marwitz think that George Canning, founder of Anti-Jacobin of all things, was a liberal and one of the biggest fools ever to walk the earth (einer der größten Narren, die die Erde je getragen – pg. 466)? I also loved the timelessness of “ein nicht liberaler Gelehrter ist so selten wie ein weißer Rabe” (pg. 468), some things never change.
However there’s no need to worry about a lack of content to come for this blog as I’ve just begun the second volume; Militairische & Politische Aufsätze. I’m sure that’s a relief for both of you.