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Die Armee Friedrich's des Grossen

Adolph Menzel is considered one of the most prominent German painters of the 19th century and was the most successful artist of his era in Germany. From 1839 to 1842, he produced 400 drawings, largely introducing to Germany the technique of wood-engraving, to illustrate the Geschichte Friedrichs des Grossen (History of Frederick the Great) by Franz Kugler. In 1851 he began Friedrichs der Grossen Armee in ihrer Uniformierung (The Uniforms of the Army under Frederick the Great), a massive series of over 400 plates illustrating the uniforms of every regiment in the Prussian army. The work was originally published by L. Sachse & Co in Berlin from 1851 to 1857 and original plates are extremely hard to find. Selections of the plates have been reproduced and republished numerous times. 

An excellent reproduction of 437 of the plates was published in 1995 by Friese und Lacina in Buchholz/Hamburg in 3 volumes. Volume 1, Die Cavallerie, contains the first 145 plates and numerous supplemental pages of annotations illustrating all of the cavalry regiments of the Prussian Army – the 13 Kurassiere regiments (including the Garde du Corps), the 12 Dragoner regiments, and the 10 Husaren regiments (including the Bosniaken Corps). Volume 2, Die Infanterie, contains plates 147 to 290 and illustrates the 35 feldregimenter (field infantry) infantry regiments. Volume 3, Rest der Infanterie, die besonderen Corps und Chargen, Anhang und Erganzungen (rest of the Infantry, the Special Corps, Appendices and Additions) contains plates 292 to 437 and covers infantry regiments 36 through 55, the 12 garrison regiments, the 4 Landregimenter, the 7 Grenadier Battalions, the Artillery, the Mineur Corps (engineers), the Feldjager Corps, and the other staff and administrative units. 

The plates illustrate the uniforms of at least one soldier and one officer of each regiment, with many supplemental plates showing trumpeters, horse furniture, dress uniforms, regimental distinctions, and other aspects of the uniforms and equipment. This series of plates is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the uniforms of Frederick the Great’s Army.