The Prussian army in the Seven Years’ War was relatively small, very well trained, disciplined, and highly motivated to serve its King. Frederick the Great stressed the importance of treating soldiers fairly and with respect. Performance on the battlefield was the criteria by which regiments would be judged. Failure to live up to the high expectations resulted in such punishment as the removal of lace and other distinguishing pieces of dress which separated the elite formations in the army from the lowly garrison regiments.
Commanding officers in the Prussian army were of exceptional quality, skilled tactians who were often immensely popular with their troops. Much was expected of them. These men personally led their troops into the heat of battle and a great number of them paid for it with their life. A surprising number of foreigners rose to high command in the Prussian army, due to the liberalism and religious tolerance which prevailed in the Kingdom. Standing at Frederick’s tomb in 1806, the French Emperor Napoleon is reported to have said "I would not be here, if he were still alive".
- General Staff
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