Frederick ll, who laid the foundation for Germany to become one of the strong nations in Europe and for Prussia to unify Germany, ascended the Prussian throne on May 30, 1740. Charles VI of Austria died in October of the same year and his daughter Maria Theresa acceded to the throne. Frederick ll attacked Silesia, Austria in December of the same year, which was the beginning of the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years’ War, and the Napoleonic Wars.
In his youth as a prince, Frederick detested military exercise and was more interested in literature and art. That is why all of Europe was surprised when he attacked Austria upon ascending to the throne. The surprise did not end there. In Seven Years’ War that followed the attack, this young King, who loved literature, took the world by surprise by his tactics and military insight. After his death, strategic genius Napoleon of France conquered Prussia and visited the tomb of Frederick ll. “Hats off, gentlemen, if he were still alive, we should not be here,” Napoleon told his generals in front of the tomb.
Frederick ll’s military capabilities stood out not only in battles but in diplomacy as well. Frederick the Great did not consult with France before making the decision to attack Silesia. Being confident that France would support Prussia, Frederick ll told French envoy that Prussia is fighting for France. As he predicted, France joined the war against Austria. Frederick the Great turned to diplomacy to gain interests in the war, predicting France’s move and eliciting the support. This attitude made him “the great king of modern Germany.”
North Korea’s effort to elicit support from Russia has recently ended in failure as the North did not have anything Russia wanted. Even if it did, it was insufficient to offset the losses Russia would have to suffer. It was another catastrophe for North Korea following the breakdown of the Hanoi summit. Maybe North Korea should learn from Frederick the Great’s diplomatic skills.