Friday, December 10, 2010

Kesselsdorf 1745 and More Storms

The 265th anniversary of the Battle of Kesselsdorf is coming up this Wednesday. Some places you will read that it was December 14 but it was the 15th. By an odd quirk of mathematics this year the days of the week and the dates match up with the ones in 1745, so for the people back then it was also coming up on Wednesday. exactly the same as now.

Even as things are happening in more than one place now, so they were then. Of all the 18th Century wars under examination here the War of the Austrian Succession must be the most complicated one to follow and understand, because of the numerous sub-plots all happening at once, the players changing sides, and having pretenses of peace here and there, leaving allies in the lurch, and pursuing interests of their own at various times.We've become accustomed to such pretenses in our time as being at peace in one theater while providing auxiliary troops elsewhere to a conflict without having an official or legal war. A lot of that went on in the WAS.

When Voltaire wrote a book about it he called his book La Guerre de 1741. Then there are the War of Jenkins' Ear, the Pragmatic Sanction, the Austrian Succession, and most simply of all, the Forty-Five.
It started and ended at different times for different people, and that's the nature of it.

The Forty-Five refers to the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland of 1745, to keep it distinct from several others such as the Fifteen of 1715, and other troubles. In this one Bonnie Prince Charlie had landed and the volunteers came out to fight. The English called on their foreign troops to help as the Jacobites came down in the increasingly cold weather for London itself, and right about this time were coming up on Derby.

The Dresden area in Saxony was the focus of action on the European Continent at the same time, and that is where the Battle of Kesselsdorf comes in as the deciding battle.

We will also have a look at something mentioned previously, how did Frederick the Great come to be called 'Great?'

Even as the Austrian Succession was complicated, our weather here and now is so complicated as to beggar easy description. We had a storm last night of about half an inch of snow, following several extremely cold days, after the previous storm which came out ultimately as an official five inches of snow.

What comes next for us is more storms, followed by even more extreme cold than we have just had. It was averaging about five degrees Fahrenheit at night. Anyway I'll soon find out because I am heading off for another 12-hour night in the Salt Mines de la Chin Gada.

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