260 Years Ago Today: The Battle That Brought Prussia On Its Way To Becoming A European Superpower

On 5 November 1757, Prussia seemed to be finished. At Rossbach a superior French army marched on and threatened to eliminate Prussia as a European power.

Schlacht-bei-Rossbach-1757
Two cavalry attacks secured Prussia an overwhelming victory on 5 November 1757 [source: Ullstein Bild]
Contrary to expectations, Frederick the Great won, which he owed above all to the skill of his young general von Seydlitz.

Friedrich-Wilhelm-Freiherr-von-Seydlitz
The 36-year-old Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Seydlitz (1721-1773) commanded the entire Prussian cavalry [Source: UIG via Getty Images]
With his hard-won victories, Frederick the Great solved his self-created problems at the expense of his subjects – what else is new for the observer of contemporary politics?

How would history have gone without his gambling – without his invasion of Silesia, without his pointless provocation of Tsarina Elisabeth (at an evening round table!)?

No war and no trauma in every generation? No “German mission” of Prussia? No 1871? No World War I? No cultural and social decadence?

[1] Berthold Seewald: Friedrichs Ass hieß Friedrich Wilhelm von Seydlitz, WELT, 5.11.2017

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