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German History in Documents and Images
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Arrival of Prussian Troops in Dresden (June 18, 1866)
During the two weeks leading up to the decisive Battle of Königgrätz on July 3, 1866, Prussian troops marched in three huge columns towards Bohemia for their final showdown with the forces of Austrian General Ludwig von Benedek (1804-1881). In those two weeks, the Prussians invaded and occupied the Kingdom of Saxony, which lay directly in their path. This woodcut, based on a sketch by August Reinhardt, shows Prussian troops marching through Dresden’s Postplatz as they entered the Saxon capital on June 18, 1866. The imposing procession elicits the intended response from civilian onlookers: a mixture of resignation and excitement.