第八章 十一届三中全会开辟社会主义事业发展新时期 (2)

On Wednesday morning, December 15, the advance-guard of the Prussians saw before them the allied army, thirty-five thousand strong, occupying a very formidable position. Marshal Grüne and General Rutowski had advanced a few miles north from Dresden to meet the Prussians. Their troops were drawn up in battle array, extending from the River Elbe on the east, to the village of Kesselsdorf on the west. A small stream, with a craggy or broken gully or dell, extended along their whole front. The southern ridge, facing the advancing Prussians, bristled with artillery. Some of the pieces were of heavy calibre. Leopold had only light field-pieces.

But, notwithstanding this wonderful victory and narrow escape, it still seemed that Fredericks destruction was only postponed for a short time. He was in the heart of Silesia, and was surrounded by hostile armies three times more numerous than his own. The French minister at the court of Berlin, Count Rothenburg, was a Prussian by birth. He was a man of much diplomatic ability, and a very accomplished gentleman. Having spent much of his life in Paris, he had acquired the polished manners of the French court, and wore the costume appropriate to the Tuileries and Versailles. He and his associates in the embassy attracted much attention as they appeared in their cocked hats, flowing wigs, laced coats, and other gorgeous trimmings. The king, in his homespun garb, was apprehensive that the example so obnoxious to him might spread.

The field of Leuthenfor so this battle-field was calledwas a vast undulating plain or rolling prairie, extending for miles in all directions. One or two brooks flowed sluggishly through it. Here and there were expanses of marsh which neither horse nor foot could traverse. A few scraggy firs dotted the dreary landscape,441 and there were also a few hamlets of peasants huts scattered around. Frederick concealed his movements as much as possible behind the undulations, and succeeded in deceiving the Austrians into the belief that he was to make an attack upon their right wing. The Austrian officers, on windmills and in church belfries, were eagerly scrutinizing his man?uvres. Deceived into the conviction that their right wing was menaced, they impetuously pushed forward large re-enforcements of horse to the support of the presumed point of attack. Thus the left wing was weakened. 92 The royal yachts glided down the Main to the Rhine, and thence down the Rhine to Wesel. Probably a heavier heart than that of the prince never floated upon that world-renowned stream. Lost in painful musings, he had no eye to gaze upon the picturesque scenes of mountain, forest, castle, and ruins through which they were gliding. At Bonn he had an interview with Seckendorf, whose influence was great with his father, and whom he hoped to interest in his favor. To him he said,

At the bridges Frederick found but three thousand men of his late army. The huts around were filled with the wounded and the dying, presenting an aspect of misery which, in these hours of terrible defeat, appalled his majesty. In one of these huts, surrounded by mutilated bodies, groans, and death, Frederick wrote the following dispatch to his minister (Finckenstein) at Berlin. It was dated Oetscher, August 12, 1759: