FREDERICK II, The Great, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Frederick II sends a secret cipher

FREDERICK II, The Great (1712-1786). King of Prussia.
Letter Signed ('Fr' with a flourish) to General Major von Kreytzen, 1 page 4to with a separate signed postscript also 1 page 4to, Camp near Tzirna, 7 October 1744. A fine letter written during the War of Austrian Succession sending a cipher for secret military communication, and in the postscript, which amounts to a separate letter, giving instructions for the defence of the town of Budweis.
[Translation:] 'I am sending you herewith a cipher for both enciphering and deciphering, which you should use if you wish to send Me something particular, either concerning the movements of the enemy or another matter concerning your garrison or its defence, so that if you send me your messages in this way ... and they should fall into enemy hands, the contents of the messages will nevertheless not be discovered. You must keep the cipher very securely. ...'
[Postscript letter:] 'I further wished to send you by this letter the following instruction regarding the post entrusted to you at Budweis, that in the event that you are besieged by an enemy you shall not hand over that town until the main rampart has been fully breached. In the event that you are attacked, you can rely on it that I shall certainly come to your assistance. ...'
Although Frederick's invasion of Bohemia had opened successfully, a series of blunders led to his loss of Budweis and the retreat across the Sasawa and Elbe in November of this year.
With full transcripts of the original German, and English translations.
[No: 20439]


The image is of the original letter only.


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