Saturday, January 27, 2018

Some Leuthen Quips

King Frederick II and his staff.
Minden Miniatures

From time to time I like to pull my copy of Christopher Duffy's book, Prussia's Glory - Rossbach and Leuthen 1757, off of my library bookshelf and thumb through the book looking for some of the stories and first hand accounts that Duffy scatters throughout the book. So I thought that I would share them with you. In the future, I hope to post my first hand accounts on my blog.

Perhaps my favorite story is related to Duffy's description of the Leuthen battlefield terrain and the tale of the reconnaisance taken by Prince Charles of Lorraine on December 4th, the evening before the battle of Leuthen:

Prince Charles knew nothing of the ground except what they had been able to glean before darkness fell on the 4th, and the lack of salient features told to their disadvantage. According to one story Daun had to ride up and down in front of his army on the morning of the day of the battle, and asked the peasants to tell him the names of the villages and other objects.

Amongst other things his eye was caught by the tower of a church which could be seen rising above a hill.

"What is that," he enquired of a peasant.

The man assumed he was talking about the hill and replied, "Your Excellency, that is the hill from which our king drives the Austrians every year."

Daun turned to his suite and remarked, "Gentlemen, I do not like the sound of that!"

Kolin in Bohemia had been the stamping ground of the big Austrian maneuvers in the early 1750s, but here the tables were turned.

Austrian battle line facing south towards its left flank at Sagschutz.
From my solo game of Leuthen.
I have fought the battle of Leuthen a number of times, both as a multi-player game and twice as a solo game, the latter fought in the Mancave at Schloss Seewald. 

The purpose of having this vast collection of toy soldiers is to play with them in wargames. My solo games hark back to my boyhood days when I would set up my Britains 54mm toy soldier in the family living room on the floor and keep myself busy for an entire afternoon. So I enjoy hauling out the Winter terrain mats, trees and buildings and having a good knock down epic wargame tout seul.


  1. Like you I remain a great admirer of 'Prussia's Glory'. A book that rewards every reading.

  2. You've convinced me. My copy is now on its way.

  3. Jim, Leuthen is always a great game and it can be rather a tricky one for the Prussians. My copy of Prussia’s Glory is getting a bit dog eared and well thumbed through but it sits proudly in my 18th C book case.

  4. Wonderful photographs! Taken with a phone, or camera? The second really resembles a painting of the battle that I am sure I've seen somewhere. And yes, the book in question is a gem as are all of Mr. Duffy's works.

    Best Regards,


  5. Stokes: i use an iPad for nearly all of my pictures these days, and my iPhone the rest of the time. The cameras in these devices are so superior to conventional digital cameras and don't give me any problems with depth of field or lighting issues.