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Grundsatz Zu Erhaltung einer graden Linie bey denen in Front Marche vormarschirenden Officirs.
Prague 1782-83 1783 - Siskowitz (Siskovics) [Josef (József) von] Count. (1719-1783) Grundsatz Zu Erhaltung einer graden Linie bey denen in Front Marche vormarschirenden Officirs. Prague 1782 – 83. Calligraphic manuscript in brown ink on Dutch watermarked paper. Folio (320 x 204mm). [84] pages = [13 + 3 blank + 51 + 1 blank + 10 + 2 blank + 12]. Introductory 4- page letter in French in roman letters signed by the author at the end; main text in German penned in a neat gothic hand arranged in half-page columns; with tactical sketches in two of the ample blank margins. also some notes. Leaves with vertical folding marks in centre- page; contents inscription on recto of front blank leaf in a contemporary gothic hand: Grundsätze Ueber die Richtung mit mehreren Batallions von dem F[eld]z[eug]m[ei]ster Grafen von Siskowitz 1782. Contemporary sprinkled brown boards; gilt morocco title label in top of backstrip; ends of spine worn; contemporary armorial bookplate pasted inside frontcover. £1950 An unpublished Austrian 18th century treatise on linear tactics and function. The present manuscript interprets the principle of officers and non-commissioned officers having to maintain a straight line consisting of several ranks when advancing in battalion strength. This was based on the author’s experiences during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63), when Prussian infantry advanced in three lines of battalions with three ranks apiece. Movement in the formation was very slow and a breakdown in cohesion likely unless the battalion was well trained. Described in detail are the various manoeuvers involved for directing marching columns, keeping proper distance, and wheeling at the right moment; two illustrations (one half-page) and 15 commentaries are contained in the ample blank margins. Siskowitz, an Hungarian staff officer from Szeged, made a rapid career in the Imperial Austrian army reaching the rank of lieutenant.general . He distinguished himself at the battle of Kolin in 1757, where he successfully carried out an order by Fieldmarshal von Daun to ambush a Prussian column with a force of 7000 men for which he was decorated and ennobled. The author died in Prague on 18th December 1783. The present manuscript was submitted to the attention of an unnamed military superior by way of an introductory letter in French on the subject. The 4-page extract , dated 12th February 1783, signed ‘C[om]te.Siskovics’, has been bound to precede the manuscript in this volume. The letter refers to an imperial order by Joseph II to align flags and marching columns of several battalions before advancing on the enemy; Siskowitz states that he considers it necessary to prescribe his method saying that he has no difficulty whatsoever to submit it to the recipient as an old friend if he wishes to make use of it. However, he stresses that his system should be carefully studied before it is put it into practice. Siskovitz insists the relevant maneuvers be carried out by officers and non-commissioned officers, never by other ranks, that they must be properly exercised before applied, and that it was not sufficient to rely on reading his instructions. He states that he demonstrated his method in 1782 with 13 batallions taking 2000 steps in 8 seconds. Both letter and manuscript are written on the same quality Dutch laid paper showing two different watermarks respectively : a larger with the legend ‘PRO PATRIA’ surrounding a circular composition and a smaller one wih the the crowned initials GR of the paper maker within a round border of intertwined leaves. The ‘Pro Patria’ or ‘Maid of Dort’ watermark shows a seated maid, holding a hat on the point of a spear, and a rampant lion brandishing a sword and holding a bundle of arrows; both are surrounded by a palisade, a symbol of Holland maintaining liberty by force of arms. Reference: Churchill, W.A. Watermarks in Paper in Holland, England, France etc. in XVII and [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Hünersdorff Rare Books ABA ILAB]
Last Found On: 2016-10-08           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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