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"The Prussian Landwehr and Its Critics, 1813–1819" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2023 8:47 p.m. PST

"The Prussian Landwehr, the citizen militia improvised in 1813 and placed on an equal footing with the army of the line by the Defense Act of 1814, lasted in its original form for only five years. Its subordination to the regular army in 1819 has usually been seen as the victory of aristocrat over bourgeois, conservative over liberal, Potsdam over Weimar. This approach has been increasingly popular in recent years as scholars tend to study military history in its social and political context. The Landwehr's loss of status, however, reflected the circumstances of its origin as well as the malice of its enemies. The Defense Act of 1814 did not create a new institution; it formalized an existing one. The structure, the image, the character of the Landwehr had already been fixed and tempered by two years of battle. In those two years the Landwehr had established solid impressions of its potential as a military instrument among critics and supporters alike. It had established equally solid impressions of the best means of maintaining that potential."

From here

Have any fellow member read this one?.
If the answer is yes… comments please?

Thanks in advance.


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2023 3:46 p.m. PST

Seems nobody… (smile)


Redcurrant14 Mar 2023 4:51 p.m. PST

Probably because those of us who have not read it do not want to have to pay £21.00 GBP just to do so.

Cavcmdr15 Mar 2023 7:17 a.m. PST

Thanks for the warning, Red.

Oliver Schmidt15 Mar 2023 11:10 a.m. PST

I think Showalter's article gives a good overview on the background of the Landwehr from 1813 to 1815 and its capabilties. Maybe some of the examples chosen to illustrate the problems are a bit too extreme to give a completely well-balanced impression of the overall situation. Still it is entertaining and instructive.

The second half of the article deals with the reorganisation of the Prussian Landwehr after 1815.

Showalter bases his article mainly on German sources, which is good for those interested in the subject, but not knowing German.

If you want to read the article for free, you can get it in your local library though inter-library loan. Some people who want to save the way going there, might use instead for example Sci-Hub:

The best book on the organisation of the Prussian Landwehr, dealing with every single unit, is this one (contains the complete text also in an English translation), alas it is a bit difficult to obtain at the moment:


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Mar 2023 4:27 p.m. PST



Prince of Essling16 Mar 2023 12:55 a.m. PST

The article is readable on JSTOR, not downloadable without payment. You need either an institional account or personal one to access.

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