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Comment: 378pp+ index. Very good hardback bound in blue cloth with gilt letttering and issued without a jacket.
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Frederick the Great On the Art of War, The Great Commanders Hardcover – 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: The Great Commanders; y First printing edition (1995)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000O7OUN2
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.9 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,660,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This is a very good book for Military Historians and for wargarmers alike.
Mike
Three of the most noteworthy are Alexander the Great of Macedon, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and Frederick the Great of Prussia.
William S. Grass
Good book comprised mostly of Frederick's own writings with brief intros by Luvaas.
Nicholas Roberts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William S. Grass on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is rare for a monarch, whose power originates from the happenstance of family lineage, to also become a great military leader. Three of the most noteworthy are Alexander the Great of Macedon, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and Frederick the Great of Prussia. Only one of these, Frederick, lived to see his fortieth birthday, and to transmit to posterity his wisdom and experiences concerning the art of war. Author Jay Luvaas has done a masterful job of translating and editing Fredrick's various writings on myriad military topics and placing them in an accessible format for the military history enthusiast. Luvaas' own comments and observations are inserted only to clarify, never detracting from the feeling that it is still "Old Fritz" doing the talking.

In the introductory chapter, Luvaas places Frederick in his proper historical place: He is a monarch firmly set in the early modern period, concerned always with preservation of the balance of power among European kingdoms. If he wages a war of conquest, it is only for the province of Silesia. Frederick the general is subordinate to the policies of Frederick the king, and does not go about seeking glory for glory's sake.

Frederick's writings are intended for the successors to his throne as well as his generals in the field. For this reason they are practical in the extreme, dealing with the specifics of the geographical features found in the most likely theaters of war, and the characteristics of Prussia's most likely foes. We get a close look at the most important logistical issues of eighteenth century warfare such as the establishment and maintenance of magazines, foraging, and something known as "castrametation," which sounds painful, but is actually the art of laying out a camp.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Forsythe on October 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book does offer a lot of insight into the mind of one of history's best generals, Frederick the Great. Frederick gives some background into the Prussian army of his father but not much beyond that. His writings on some of the major battles of the Seven Years War are quite interesting, as are some of the details of the formation of the army and how battles and campaigns are to be fought.
However, Frederick sometimes gets dragged down in the details and is too repetitive for modern readers. Also, although it is almost needless to say, Frederick shows a fair amount of bias towards his own accomplishments and often doesn't give his opponents or even his father sufficient praise.
Overall, though, Jay Luvaas does an excellent job blending Frederick's disorganized writings into one flowing work. He also adds some of his own thoughts and clarifications that aid in the understanding of the book. This is a great buy for anyone interested in warfare from the 17th to 19th centuries as it shows the transition period. Although, if you don't know much about Frederick or his wars, it may be a bit too confusing in the details to start with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike on April 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have two copies of this book and got it in the summer of 2010. I wasn't even aware that Frederick had his memoirs published. This is a very good book for Military Historians and for wargarmers alike. It does get repetitive at times and I wish he would have praised his opponents more but overall he did a good job along with his editor.
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A great source for insight into the Prussian method of waging war in the 19th century (and tracking its evolution through Frederick's reign), it is also a wonderful source for living history and reenactors of any nation from this time period, since it includes vivid and precise instructions on how the weapons and equipment of the time were to be used on the battlefield. Not dry, it is sometimes even entertaining, as even when translated Frederick's wit and dry sense of humor comes through in some passages. Highly recommended for anyone researching 18th century warfare.
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Good book comprised mostly of Frederick's own writings with brief intros by Luvaas. Basically every aspect of the wars of Frederick's era are covered. Frederick wrote extensively about the art of war during his lifetime and this book takes advantage of that encompassing much of that information into a reasonable length book. Definitely read this if you want to know more about how Frederick fought his wars.
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