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Frederick II ("the Great") of Prussia, "General Principles of War," 134-Page Manuscript in French (1748), issued as Confidential Instructions to his Generals in 1753 (1748/1753)

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6. by severely punishing marauding, the source of the greatest excesses;

7. on marching day, not withdrawing the guards from the villages until the army is under arms;

8. marching at night only for compelling reasons;

9. strictly prohibiting people from leaving the ranks on marching days;

10. having Hussar patrols ride alongside the infantry when it is marching through a forest;

11. on marches through defiles, placing officers at the entry points and end points, and having them immediately put the troops into formation again;

12. if retreating movements are necessary, carefully concealing this from the troops and inventing a pretext that soldiers like to hear;

13. always making sure that the troops want for nothing, be it meat, bread, straw, brandy, and so on;

14. investigating the causes if desertion takes root in a regiment or a company, and determining whether a soldier is regularly receiving his pay and all the allowances to which he is entitled, or whether the captain is guilty of embezzlement.

The maintenance of discipline requires no less discipline. Some may say: the higher ups will see to that! But that is not enough. In an army, everything must be pursued to perfection, and one must recognize that everything that happens is the work of a single person. The greater part of an army consists of negligent people. If the general is not constantly on their backs, the entire artful and perfect machine will fall into disorder very quickly, and he will possess a well-disciplined army only in thought. One must therefore become accustomed to working unceasingly. Whoever does that will learn by experience that this is necessary, and that abuses need to be remedied every day. They escape the attention only of those who do not make the effort to look out for them.

This constant, laborious work may seem harsh, but a general who does it will see himself richly rewarded for it. What successes he can achieve over the enemy with such mobile, brave, well-disciplined troops! A general who would be considered audacious in other nations, with us does only what accords with the rules. He can venture and undertake everything that humans are capable of achieving.

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