. Daun must be driven into Moravia be he weak or strong, else we do not win Prague and cannot resist the other enemies who come on, and the whole campaign, however well begun, is lost.鈥?
The cause of this note to Bevern was that with less than 10,000 men he had at last fallen back before the enemy. Daun, whose caution was to earn him the nickname 鈥淔abius Cunctator,鈥?had assembled
an army some 54,000 strong and was advancing under strict orders to venture a battle for the relief of Prague. Frederick felt that the crisis called for his own presence. 鏉窞妗戞嬁浣撻獙 For the issue he had no fear. In order to risk nothing during his absence, he took with him only some 14,000 men, so that by strict count of heads he would attack against odds of more than five to three. But if Schwerin were worth 10,000 men, the King may well have believed that 鏉窞瓒虫荡tykjmldl his own value was far greater. On June 16th he wrote to his representative in London that he had joined Bevern,
鈥渋n order to march straight on Field-Marshal Daun, to fight him, and to drive him altogether out of Bohemia into Moravia. I flatter myself that in a few days I shall221 be able to give you good news of our success; and when this expedition is happily
over, I believe that the town of Prague will fall of its own accord, and that then with hands more free, I shall be able to send a detachment against the French.鈥?
The King鈥檚 confidence was in 鏉窞鐗规畩spa great part warranted by what he had already seen in the present war. It seemed that only a Browne would dare to attack Prussian troops led by their King. Had not Prince Charles been overruled by his generals, he would have abandoned Prague to avoid a battle. Daun had retreated before 鏉窞鐢峰＋鍏荤敓浼氭墍 Bevern till he became overwhelmingly superior in force, and he advanced only when his Queen promised him gratitude for a victory and her continued favour if he were beaten. The most that could be expected from such commanders as these was that they would stand on the defensive in a strong position.
This very fact made the tactics of the Prussians doubly formidable. Drilled to the last degree of perfection, they could change their formation with a speed which their enemies admired but could not rival. Frederick could therefore veil his movement till the 鏉窞瓒虫荡鎸夋懇 last moment. Having chosen the enemy鈥檚 most vulnerable wing, he could strengthen the wing opposed to it without fear that the enemy would either accomplish the countermove in time or attack the section which he had weakened. It was therefore of little consequence that the Austrians greatly outnumbered the Prussians in the part of the field where no fighting was likely to take place. The battle was gained because the222 Prussians swiftly overcame all that nature and art could oppose to them at the spot selected by the King for contact. The doomed wing would be broken, the centre laid bare, and then the cautious Austrian would make off, rejoicing that it was not dishonourable to be beaten by the King of Prussia, and that the attack demanded so much preliminary marching that the weary victors were not often terrible in pursuit.
Such 鏉窞姘寸枟浼氭墍鎺掑悕 were the ta