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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Frederik the Great: Silesia invasion

Frederic the Great gave the following speech to his generals before invading Silesia in 1740.

Gentlemen, I am undertaking a war in which I have no allies but your valor and your good will. My cause is just; my resources are what we ourselves can do; and the issue lies in fortune. Remember continually the glory which your ancestors acquired in the plain of Warsaw, at Fehrbellin and in the expedition to Preussen. Your lot is in your own hands: distinctions and rewards await upon your fine actions which shall merit them.

But what need have I to excite you to glory? It is the one thing you keep before your eyes; the sole object worthy of your labor. We are going to front troops, who, under Prince Eugene, had the highest reputation. Though Prince Eugene is gone, we shall have to measure our strength against brave soldiers; the greater will be the honor if we can conquer. Adieu. Go forth. I will follow you straightway to the rendezvous of glory which awaits you. 

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