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The Giants of Potsdam

"The most beautiful girl or woman in the world would be a matter of indifference to me, but tall soldiers—they are my weakness." Thus confessed Frederick William, second king of Prussia, whose passion compelled the creation of an elite regiment of six-foot-plus grenadiers. Recruitment, diplomatic gifts, and the occasional abduction of a spindly peasant or acromegalic tradesman supplied thousands of "giants" for the ranks; experiments with breeding programs and stretching machines were somewhat less successful. Frederick II, Frederick William's son and successor, dispersed the regiment when he succeeded to power in 1740. The Potsdam Giants had never actually seen combat, the main part of their duty having been to drill and parade before their enraptured king. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jan 9, 2014 - 18 comments

 

History doesn't always repeat itself; sometimes it rhymes

Germany celebrates a leader who was instrumental in bringing her power and glory as well as being responsible for carving up Poland [more inside]
posted by Renoroc on Jan 25, 2012 - 25 comments

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