Frederick the Great in Silesia

Frederick the Great in Silesia

Early Successes and Later Defeats

Battlefield ToursHistory

Frederick the Great in Silesia

Early Successes and Later Defeats

Battlefield ToursHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

Autumn 2021
(8 Days)

Return flights from London, 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major General John Drewienkiewicz CB CMG

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Tour Introduction

This tour travels the sparsely populated sandy pine-covered ridges and marshes of Western Poland. It follows Frederick the Great's campaigns throughout German Silesia. Now of course it is home to hospitable, European-facing Poles. The tour starts in Wroclaw (Breslau) and after examining the early battles, where Frederick laid the foundations of his military method fighting the Austrians, we move north to Gorzów Wiekopolsk for the hard-fought battles of the late 1750's against the tenacious Russians. These rarely visited battlefields are in the main untouched, although interest in them is increasing. The tour starts and ends in Berlin and includes a visit to Sans Souci, Frederick's palace in Potsdam. Our guide, Major General John Drewienkiewicz extends his study of the Prussian Army of the 1860's right back to its roots and to the climactic battles which inspired the later generals.

Background

The influence of Frederick the Great in military thinking is incalculable. The Emperor Napoleon was a great student of his campaigns and applied many of the lessons learned to his own brand of military genius. His ability to turn surprise to his own tactical advantage depended not only upon his own quick thinking but upon the quality of the superbly trained Prussian Army, its able commanders and their ability to make rapid decisions. As the great man wrote in his ‘instructions’, “the primary maxim for an offensive war is to formulate ambitious plans …..hit the enemy hard and do not be content to harass him on his frontiers…..devise every conceivable means of concealing your intentions”.

Highlights

  • Guided by Major General John Drewienkiewicz, leading military historian
  • Fascinating study of Frederick's military career
  • Staying in magnificent locations, touring Poland & Germany

Itinerary

Day 1 - Fly to Berlin. Travel to the lovely city of Wroclaw (Breslau) where we check-in to our hotel for four nights. Introductory talk on Frederick’s Wars.

Day 2 - Mollwitz and Hohenfriedberg. We examine two battles from the War of Austrian Succession: Mollwitz in 1741 was Frederick’s first major battle in which he defeated the Austrians despite the poor showing of his cavalry; four years later at the Battle of Hohenfriedberg he enjoyed a further victory over a combined Austrian/Saxon Army where the Prussian cavalry came of age.

Day 3 - The Battles of Breslau and Leuthen 1757. The Prussians, vastly outnumbered by the Austrians, fought a desperate holding action at Breslau at the start of the Seven Years War. What followed was what many consider to be Frederick’s masterpiece: a skilled flank attack on the far more numerous Austrians at Leuthen.

Day 4 - Breslau. We spend the whole day enjoying a guided tour of this magical city wandering through its labyrinth of mediaeval streets and around its beautiful market square. Slightly off-topic, but important to Polish identity, we visit the wonderful panorama of Raclawice which illustrates Poland’s victory over the Russians in 1794 before it was partitioned. We will also visit the military museum.

Day 5 - Liegnitz. We visit the field of Liegnitz where, in 1760, Frederick defeated a superior Austrian force. The nearby museum also commemorates the Golden Horde victory of 1241, where, it is said, the Mongol victors filled nine sacks of ears in order to record their dead opponents. Continue to our hotel at Gorzów Wiekopolsk where we check-in to our hotel for the last three nights of the tour.

Day 6 - Kustrin & Zorndorf. Tour the Kustrin Fortress and Museum. This afternoon we visit the site of the costly and inconclusive battle of Zorndorf, where in 1758, the Prussians manoeuvred around the Russian Army but were unable to storm their position.

Day 7 - Palzig/Kay and Kunersdorf. In 1795 the Prussians failed in their attack of the strong Russian position at Kay. Rebuffed, Frederick rushes to engage the combined Russian/Austrian Army at Kunersdorf, who are holding a strong ridge. Despite his manoeuvring, his attack runs out of steam and Frederick himself is almost captured. It is Frederick’s worst defeat.

Day 8 - Sans Souci. We drive to Potsdam to enjoy a guided tour around Frederic’s Summer Palace and pay our respects at his simple grave. Late afternoon flight from Berlin.

Your Holiday Essentials

Autumn 2021
(8 Days)

Return flights from London, 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Major General John Drewienkiewicz CB CMG

Use the button below to register your interest in this tour

click here to register your interest

Tour Reviews

View the pictures from our Frederick the great in Bohemia tour in 2017

Take a look at some independent reviews of this tour by previous participants here

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