|The Parchwitz Address in miniature. Click picture to enlarge.|
|The Parchwitz Address, illustrated by Richard Knotel. (click to enlarge)|
On the morning of December 3, 1757, Frederick summoned all of his senior officers to his headquarters at Parchwitz to impress on them what was at stake (Duffy). His address has been scribed in many variations, but Christopher Duffy indicates that the following is the most reliable version of what has become known as The Parchwitz Address:
The enemy hold the same entrenched camp at Breslau which my troops defended so honorably. I am marching to attack this position. I have no need to explain my conduct or why I am set on this measure. I recognise fully the dangers attached to this enterprise, but in my present situation I must conquer or die. If we go under, all is lost. Bear in mind, gentlemen, that we shall be fighting for our glory, the preservation of our homes, and for our wives and children. Those who think as I do can rest assured that, if they are killed, I will look after their families. If anybody prefers to take his leave, he can have at it now, but he will cease to have any claim on my benevolence.
Prussia's Glory by Christopher Duffy (page 133)
Frederick was asking for the support of his army. He was an austere and unforgiving individual, and he allowed himself this display of emotion just once in his life, and when it mattered most. The officers dispersed to their commands and
loud rejoicings resounded through the Prussian camp. The veterans, who had won so many victories under the king's leadership, now shook one another by the hand, and promised to stand by each other to the end. They made the young soldiers swear to go straight for the enemy, disregarding all opposition.
Prussia's Glory (page 133)