The cross of fire

The «long bridge» in Potsdam was a powerful lesson for Frederick Trenk; a that the German would say, «ein Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl», or that the Hungarian would say, «a rebuke with the petrenczerud.»

But he didn’t even understand. He dreamed of the ideal of his love and complained of the king’s rigor. Such a long captivity for a little late! It was because of the delay.

The prisoner could only walk on the long bridge, down and up the middle road. Through the grate of his window, he could see the willows on the Spree shore begin to make their way. When-100-then the willows sprouted well, then the hour of deliverance finally came. The Potsdam space commander visited him in his prison and informed him that he had received mercy from the king, now hurry to Berlin; he has three days to put his things in order; then immediately ride on a horse and hurry after the king who went with the guard to Silesia. The new campaign begins.

So he was freed just to go to war.

But he was still given three days to put his things in order.

What he could have done before was to visit the idol of his heart. He hurried to the ducal palace with a rather thoughtless wind. On a bright day, he ran up the main stairs. A big surprise awaited him. Instead of the charming fairy, she was greeted by the prince herself: the husband. This, too, was released from captivity in Vienna; exchanged for a prisoner with an Austrian general.

The prince welcomed the lovable young man with great joy. He rebuked him for not showing himself in the ducal palace so long ago. The princess is very apprehended to neglect her. He didn’t see it all winter. He wasn’t in the balls either. Where were you hiding all the time? He finally invited her to a party. There will be a nice company together, ladies as well, perhaps among those who are interested in the young gentleman.

Frederick just bit his lips in anger. Then he thanked him nicely for the gracious invitation, excusing himself for having to hurry to the guard immediately after the king. She entrusted her husband with passing on his worshiping greeting to his wife, and then, with a shrinking mood, left her a paradise of pleasures, without even being able to exchange a glimpse of her ideal.

He did not even stay in Berlin any longer, but hurried to the camp after the king.

II. Frederick went to defend his busy Silesia.

The wheel of military fortune turned so that now his enemies were over. English and Dutch are strong-101- they attacked his ally, the king of France, with an army, whose army was led by a sick man: Móricz Szász; just below the camp, the lower body was operated on with a dangerous operation, and Maria Theresa and the Saxon prince entered into a covenant of arms, the ultimate goal of which was to divide Prussia itself between the two of them. They had a large enough army, ninety thousand men, many cavalry, against which King Frederick could only transport sixty thousand men to camp.

But King Frederick himself counted as much as an army. There was a strict order in his camp. You saw it after all. At the head of his guard, he led the foreword and personally conducted the spy. The guard had to stand everywhere. He sat in the saddle at two o’clock after midnight and slept no more than three or four hours a day; but the king shared the same destiny. The guard was the mediator of the king’s personal actions. That one and a half hundred brave, trained, noble knights, many wise men, informed the whole camp in a few hours of the king’s decisions. However, there was never any confusion or misunderstanding: everyone knew their job and also that if they had completed a task, what comes next what does the neighboring corps start? and that he should be involved in it? This wonderful organization made Frederick’s army so triumphant.

And then the goddess of military fortune is also whimsical. This queen does not know loyalty. The sick Szász Móricz defeats the united British, Hanoverian and Dutch armies next to Fontenai (after a lost battle) and the king of England himself is attacked by a dangerous competitor in Albion: the throne-claiming Prince of York, Stuart Ede, .

King Frederick is left alone on the battlefield with his two opponents.-102-

They have already invaded Silesia together and are looking for the king.

Frederick does not consider cunning to be a despicable weapon in warfare either. He dismisses spies who profess to be the believers of the Austrians. They rumor to Charles of Lorraine that the Prussian king is terrified of the overwhelming forces of his opponents and is about to retaliate from Silesia. Prince Charles believes in falsehood and shapes his battle order to cut off his retreat to King Frederick. Because of this, he leaves his strong mountain camp stand and descends in long columns of glide.

– They’re here where I need them! the king cries out when he sees their regiments unfolding on the mountain roads.

Nothing reveals the whereabouts of the Prussian army. A drum word, a trumpet is not sounded, no campfire is set, they do not go to the river bank to drink: silence reigns throughout the countryside.

Then, when evening falls, the whole Prussian army rises up and goes in front of its opponents without any signal. At midnight, at two o’clock, the regiments are given the battle password, the leaders the war plan, and at the first twilight they blow the trumpets and run forward.

At four o’clock in the morning the battle began between the Saxon cavalry and the Prussian close-ups and dragoons: by six o’clock the Saxon cavalry had been swept away from the battlefield. But with all the bravery did the infantry stand under the protection of a low forest, from where he received the Prussians with murderous fire: the Burkus grenades drove them out of the forest. The Saxons then retreated behind a swamp of overgrown coconuts, the steep slopes of which were surrounded by hedges, a long dam marching along the swamp, fighting under its protection in despair, thrown to the chest, with a bayonet and a rifle. The Prussian grenadiers broke through ditches, hedges, swamps, and pushed the Saxons out into the shroud. They’re still here-103- they also stood their ground: on one command, the entire infantry formed a triangle and repulsed the attack of the grenade regiments.

Then King Frederick dropped the cavalry regiments on the fearsome triangle: a close-up, a dragoon regiment, and the cavalry of the guard from the pasture. Jasinszky’s guards smashed the side of the triangle from the pasture, cutting down two squadrons of Saxon grenades.

It was here that Frigyes Trenk first got into a serious battle. He fought valiantly: worthy of his comrades. It was now clear what value the small team, brightly endowed but trained in difficult exercises, has. These one hundred and fifty knights decided the fate of the battle. The triangle was turned up and the Saxon army, throwing up its rifle, fled the battlefield in a wild run.

It was seven o’clock in the morning.

In that warmth, the Prussian army turned against the Austrians.

They listened up close to the great cannon from early dawn; but they lived in the happy belief that now the Saxon prince was attacking King Frederick and taking his retreat. It was only when the shattered Saxon cavalry brought the rumor that Prussia was the attacking party and that the Saxon army was in great danger: then Archduke Charles decided to send aid to his comrade-in-arms.

Even then, the Prussian infantry could be seen advancing in the torn terrain. Prince Charles tried to stop it with a cannon fire and, after no success, sent his cavalry forward. But they stopped at the waters of the Strigau and greeted the commander-in-chief that they could not cross: the area around the river was so sunken, the shores so steep that it was impossible to cross it without a bridge. Ferencz Trenk, with his hussars and pandurs, was not there! They could have waded through the Strigaun!-104-

There were fifty-six squadrons of cavalry in a crowd under Prince Charles. Soon the cavalry of King Frederick arrived: it only counted twenty-five squadrons, they did not have a high bank of the Strigau, a deep swamp, they were run over and in a short hour they crushed twice as many Austrian cavalry.

Here, too, the hero’s name was earned by Frigyes Trenk. Two horses had already been shot underneath, the third was borrowed from his servant. He was in front of the fight everywhere and no one could wound him with his sword. But as he was chasing a shattered cavalry, a dragoon officer, to whom Frederick called out to surrender, aimed his pistol at him instead of answering and shot Trenk’s hand through it.

This then made him incapable of fighting.

By eleven o’clock at noon, the battle ended with the complete triumph of King Frederick. The united lost four thousand dead, five thousand prisoners, sixty-six flags, forty cannons. King Frederick writes of his soldiers that they fought like lions for their homeland and that the ancient Romans did not commit brighter feats either. The victory also cost them a thousand two hundred dead. The number of wounded went to sixteen thousand.

The king still handed out a military order of merit among all his officers on the battlefield. Now Frigyes Trenk could be proud of himself: he was served honestly.

But with his wound, he had to go to the camp hospital in Schweidnicz and was treated there for four weeks until his hand was healed. But even then, he couldn’t use it for swordsmanship for a long time. As he returned to the guard, declaring himself healed, the king received him very graciously.

“You have now passed the baptism of fire yourself: just wear yourself in a way that suits a man.”

The prince, who commanded a regiment, was also extremely kind to him.-105-

“I told the princess that you were wounded, and she asked me to express my deep regret.”

The king then used Frederick only for slave services and relieved him of the more difficult tasks.

And the prince endowed him with a good hunting weapon.

“I know how passionate you are: I had the opportunity to experience.” Here he now gets it from the military service. The king does not want to be present at the parades. You can go shoot pheasant.

Frederick also used gracious obedience, which had a good dose of malicia.