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"The Snow at Mollwitz 1741" Topic

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910 hits since 4 Feb 2017
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mollinary04 Feb 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

A number of comments have been posted on Olicana's and Beloved Leader's blogs casting doubt on whether there was significant snow at Mollwitz, and suggesting that this only came from second and third hand accounts written much later. This is not in fact the case. I have been lucky enough to get a look at a copy of the German General Staff History of Frederick's Wars, and it quotes Frederick's own "Histoire de mon temps" published in 1746, as describing snow on the ground, and as saying, on page 226, that by the stream near Pamplitz, it was two feet high. I am posting this here as I have signally failed to get my comments accepted on either blog!


Rich Bliss04 Feb 2017 4:52 p.m. PST

Does your source discuss the effect th snow had on the decision making or results of the battle?

sebastien Inactive Member06 Feb 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

I can well believe that there were snow drifts of a couple of feet in places but i doubt that that was true of the whole battlefield. Relatively small amounts of snow can form imposimg drifts depending on the terrain. One commentator suggested that the Prussians marched through 2 feet of snow…i think this is unlikely, and as a Canadiann i know it would have been exhausting!

mollinary07 Feb 2017 6:06 a.m. PST

Having gone through the Staff History, (not an easy job, considering my German!) I think the answer is no. It clearly states that the ground was covered in snow, and that there had been a light frost the previous evening, but the only reference to the 'two foot deep' is the foot note quote concerning a passage describing the ground on the Prussian left wing by the Kleine Bach. I have been unable, so far, to find a copy of Frederick's Histoire in order to check exactly what he said, and in what context. So, I think Sebastian has it right, probably drifts in some places, but overall not that deep.


Tricorne197116 Feb 2017 9:16 a.m. PST

Frederick states:
"On the morrow, the 10th of April, the weather appeared clear and serene; and, though the snow was two feet deep, there were no obstacles to oppose any undertaking."

My copy of the 1789 translation of The History of My Own Times. v1 part1 p121

Ramming Inactive Member17 Feb 2017 1:08 a.m. PST

Call me stoopid but I would have thought two feet of snow represented a considerable obstacle, Furtive Freddy egging his own pudding again perhaps ?

Tricorne197117 Feb 2017 3:23 p.m. PST

You doubt the word of the King!!

Actually other participants say that snow was very deep, but frozen hard.

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