England, Prussia and the Seven Years War
读书笔记 The outbreak of war: a system perspective
Frederick, the envoy (Mitchell) reported:
...read it over unmoved and observed with great calm ness that it made our treaty with the Russians quite useless, that as to himself he wondered why the Empress of Russia had so strong an aversion to him; that he had never done anything to deserve it and that he imputed it to the influence and arts of the court of Vienna.
Not one passively to await the inevitable and failing to receive satisfactory explanations regarding Austrian military movements,90 Frederick decided to forestall his enemies by defeating and forcing Austria to a separate peace before either France or Russia could actively intervene. Despite Britain's urgings against an immediate offensive and despite the warnings of his cabinet ministers and envoys, Frederick refused to yield, and on August 28, his troops crossed the Saxon frontier. The European part of the Seven Years War.
It was similar uncertainty regarding adversarial capabilities and intentions that prompted Frederick II's rapprochement with England while still allied to France and which, combined with belief in Prussia's offensive superiority, decided his preemptive strike against Saxony in the summer of 1756. Both measures-the military initiative succeeding the failed diplomatic manoeuvre-brought to completion the Austro-French-Russian coalition he had hoped to disrupt and initiated the war in Europe he had feared all along.
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