|King Fredrick William III|
Our Prussian ADC player had this to say on Oct 19, 2013:
Metternich on the King of Prussia at this time:
The King of Prussia, calm in the midst of a highly excited people, and by nature little inclined to believe in easily gained victories, even where his army thought them certain, was a severe critic of all plans (without himself bringing forward any) for the intended operations...
Seems pretty close to the way FW is being played, I think.
He displays the Russian army as such as being quite reluctant to press the war into Germany west of the Oder, the reconquest of Poland being quite enough for them; and suggests that if Kutusov had been alive still he would have prevented it, Alexander being the mainspring of the move when it came, and part of his boldness owing to the realisation that he needed to wrap things up quickly or lose the faith of his troops. One must wonder what effect the current inane countermarching and gentle skirmishing must be having on the patience of his generals and their men, as they contemplate winter quarters in battered Germany or the return march into Russia.
The Prussian army I suspect Metternich has trouble characterising-at the start of the campaign describing it as a nullity, later on he describes it as composed largely of fanatic volunteers, whose only thought is revenge, a war of extermination, as was the feeling of much of the educated people of the kingdom-which is to say, not a good thing from Metternich's point of view at all. There seems little doubt that both Unser Fritz and Metternich himself were thoroughly conscious of the national genie which they were allowing to escape from the bottle, and full of forebodings about what this would later cost them and Germany.
Francis he describes politely as a model of wise statesmanship, ripened by nature in the school of experience, and so on and so forth, as you might expect. There is no reference to the dynastic connection to Napoleon which he had established not long before, and which must be giving both Alexander and our Freddie some cause to wonder just which side the man will come down on in the end. Who was it who described him as a skeleton whom the worth of his ancestors had placed on the throne?
To which the player performing as King Fredrick William III said:
Yes, it seems to me that without the influence of my dear wife, I will be reliant on news of victories to stay within the Coalition, and despite the absolutely masterful spin emerging from Bautzen, it is clear enough that my Imperial colleagues have in fact totally failed to destroy the French Army there, whilst nothing has been achieved either in the siege of Berlin. I really do see little point in committing Blucher to further marching up and down, with no clear objective, whilst I am looking to a reply from the Emperor....how many days now since the message was sent, meinen Herren?
More from Haugwitz:
Euerer Majestaet displays his invariable wisdom, if he will allow his humble courtier to venture an opinion...has a single man, pray, in the Habsburg army, yet moved a step closer to the rescue of imperilled Berolina? May we have an accounting of the number of guns taken from the enemy at Bautzen, the customary measure of victory in these cases, I am told? There has been time to count the guns, surely, by now, has there not?