Sanssouci, 20. und 21. Juli 1756.

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 23. Juli, über die ihm in Potsdam am 20. und 21. Juli gewährten Audienzen, in denen er sich der durch den Erlass, Whitehall 9. Juli, ihm ertheilten Weisungen entledigt hat: „I began by acquainting His Prussian Majesty with the King's intentions of supporting and extending the engagements His<98> Majesty has entered into with him, and I assured the King of Prussia in the King's name that, in case his dominions were attacked, the King would rigorously support him.

The King of Prussia received these assurances in the best manner imaginable, and added that, in the present situation, neither His Majesty could give him much assistance, nor was it in his power, with the load of enemies on every side of him, to give that suecour he wished to do, to His Majesty, that the fleet in the Baltic98-1 was the only assistance he expected from the King, and that only in case of necessity; that on his part, if we could keep the Russians quiet, he would give 20,000 or perhaps 30,000 men for the defence of His Majesty's German dominions.

I then told the King of Prussia that the King was ready to concert with him the means of mutual defence and to make a convention with him immediately, in the nature of a defensive treaty, though perhaps it might be better at présent to avoid the form of a treaty, for fear of giving new jealousy to the Russians.

The King of Prussia approved of this and desired me to put into writing what I had to propose, which I did and delivered it to him, in the afternoon. The next day98-2 he gave me back that paper with his answer to the articles contained in it, of which your Lordship has an exact copy inclosed (the original being very much blotted), and which in itself is as clear as to want no explanation from me. I imagine98-3 that his offering a subsidy to His Majesty,98-4 was occasioned by the offer of money on the part of the King in the 3rd article as an alternative, and I have observed that the King of Prussia grows impatient, if money is mentioned.

The King of Prussia thinks that Russia is absolutely lost to us, that the French and Austrian interest will certainly prevail at that court, and from the various intelligence he has, he believes that the Russians certainly intended to attack him this year on one side, while the Empress-Queen was to have attacked on the other, but that the Russians were not ready and have been prevented by divers accidents from executing their part of the plan;98-5 which however he is informed is only deferred till the next spring. He likewise has had notice that they have ordered a great number traîneaux to be made as if they intended to attempt something in winter.

The intentions of the court of Vienna have manifested themselves beyond all doubt by the great préparations made in Bohemia and in Moravia,98-6 and by the unguarded declarations that some of their ministers and generals have made.98-7

He likewise thinks that he had reason to believe that the court ot<99> Vienna have stipulated with the court of France not to assist him, in case he should be attacked, and that the like stipulation has been agreed to by France with regard to the Port; if this last should be true, he says great use may be made of it at Constantinople, to excite the jealousy and even the resentment of the Turks against the courts of Vienna and France …

The King will wait the return of the express (from Vienna),99-1 which he expects by the 28th current, before he takes any farther Step, and regulate his conduct according to the answer he shall receive from that court.

When I urged that perhaps the motions of his troops here99-2 and the reports that had been spread in consequence of them, might so have alarmed the court of Vienna as to make them send these extraordinary succours into Bohemia and Moravia to prevent his invading of them, the King of Prussia said they knew well enough that he had99-3 no such intention, that he desired peace and was his interest so to do, that, all that he had yet done, was to march 11 or 12 battalions into Pomerania,99-4 which he thought could give no more uneasiness to the Empress-Queen than her marching of troops into the dukedom of Florence should give to him, that hitherto not a single man has been sent into Silesia, and all he had yet done, was to order the palisades to be placed and the canons to be mounted in the fortified places in that country.99-5 — All this, I believe, is strictly true, yet he has made such a disposition as in fourteen days to be able to send 40,000 men into Silesia, which will make upwards of 90,000 with the troops already there.

The King of Prussia approves highly of the step the King has lately taken to restore the Dutch ships etc.99-6 He thinks it a very just and wise measure that will conduce more than any weight and vigour to the King's friends in that country, and which cannot fail to raise and fortify the Stadtholder's party and interest. He is likewise much pleased with colonel Yorke's behaviour to his minister at the Hague,99-7 who has some time ago received Orders to second and support all His Majesty's measures in that country.99-8

The minister of the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt99-9 lately said to the Prussian minister at Ratisbon99-10 that his master had 6000 men which he would willingly give to His Majesty,99-11 it he has occasion for them, but that, if the Landgrave was not spoken to soon, he believed he intended to dismiss part of them. The King of Prussia desired me to mention this, and he says they are very good troops, well disciplined and worth His Majesty's having.


Though the King of Prussia does not yet see much appearance of the French attempting anything in Germany this year,100-1 they having upwards of 170 battalions on the coast of the Ocean and in the Mediterranean, which with the garrisons they must necessarily keep, exhaust almost their whole number of troops; he advises nevertheless that His Majesty should strengthen himself as fast as possible, by taking such troops as may be depended upon, into his pay, as in case he, the King of Prussia, should be attacked by the two empresses at once, he will not then be able to give that assistance to His Majesty as he wishes to do.

He again mentioned to me the importance of the Elector of Cologne, and still thinks with proper management that he may be gained. The plan he proposes for this, I have explained in my secret letter of the 14th May,100-2 which the King of Prussia still persists in, as the only way to succeed, but he added, in case there were not among His Majesty's Catholic subjects persons properly qualified for this undertaking, that he thought Monsieur de Frechapelle would have been very fit for that commission, if he had not unfortunately incurred the King's displeasure.

I communicated to the King of Prussia the news from Spain, Sardinia etc., which, I perceived, gave him sensible pleasure, but as he had then just received an account of the loss of fort St. Philip,100-3 he raised some doubts whether that event might not make an altération in the sentiments of Spain …

The King of Prussia asked me why, with a fleet so superior to that of France, we had hitherto remained on the defensive. I pointed out the many different services required of the fleet which probably had hindered any offensive attempt on Our part. He said he wished we were in a condition to attack the French, this would give them occupation, and he mentioned St. Domingo or some other of their possessions in the West Indies.

…The King of Prussia told me that, since he went to the camp at Magdebourg on the 14th of June last,100-4 he had raised 9 additional battalions for the garrison-regiments,100-5 which are now completed; besides I am well informed that there has been 10 men added to every Company of foot, which are already disciplined and incorporated into the respective regiments. The whole of this augmentation will amount to almost 70,000 men,100-6 yet he told me that he could not bring into the field above 120,000 men …“


Paper referred to in the preceeding letter.101-1


Tant que le Roi ne se trouve point assuré de la Russie, il se trouve hors d'état de fournir des secours au roi d'Angleterre, se trouvant lui-même à la veille d'être attaqué par les deux plus puissants princes de l'Europe. Si le Roi devait fournir des troupes à l'Angleterre dans cette guerre présente, il faudrait nécessairement qu'il fût assuré de la Russie et qu'on eût fait de l'autre côté une alliance avec les Hollandais, et cela pour couvrir les pays de Clèves, qui seraient exposés aux insultes des Français et des Autrichiens, si quelque autre puissance ne se chargeait pas de leur défense. En cas de réquisition, le Roi pourrait, ces préalables établis, fournir sept bataillons au roi d'Angleterre, faisant le nombre de 5,000 hommes, et lui payer le reste en subsides, n'ayant pas plus de sept bataillons dans ces provinces.

En cas que le roi de la Grande-Bretagne serait attaqué dans ses royaumes par quelque puissance que ce soit, ou en cas d'une rebellion en faveur du Prétendant, on désire de savoir combien de troupes Sa Majesté le roi de Prusse veut passer, de ses États les plus voisins, dans la Grande-Bretagne ou en Irlande, pour secourir le roi de la Grande-Bretagne, sitôt que cela se pourrait après la réquisition faite.

Le moment présent, par les raisons qu'on vient d'alléguer, on se trouve hors d'état de donner des secours ni à l'Angleterre ni à l'électorat, et on ne peut en donner à l'électorat qu'au cas qu'on ait toutes ses sûretés du côté de la Russie. En ce cas, le secours pourrait consister en 20,000 hommes.

Si les États du roi de la Grande-Bretagne en Allemagne sont attaqués, on désire de savoir combien de troupes Sa Majesté le roi de Prusse veut fournir pour leur défense.

Le roi d'Angleterre dans le moment présent se trouvant dans

Si Sa Majesté le roi de Prusse était attaqué par quelque puis-

le même cas que celui de la Prusse, on ne lui demande aucune espèce de secours, si ce n'est une escadre pour la Baltique,102-1 au cas que les circonstances de l'Angleterre trouvent ce secours compatible avec leur sûreté. Loin de demander des troupes au roi d'Angleterre, l'amitié et les étroites liaisons d'intérêt qui subsistent entre les deux cours, obligent de lui conseiller, par un simple effet d'attachement, d'augmenter ses troupes d'Hanovre et d'en prendre des princes d'Allemagne comme du duc de Gotha, du prince de Darmstadt, d'augmenter le nombre des Hessois, d'augmenter ceux d'Anspach etc., pour pouvoir assembler en Allemagne une armée de 50,000 hommes, capable de résister aux entreprises que les Français pourraient tenter, l'année qui vient, contre cet électoral

sance que ce soit, le roi de la Grande-Bretagne s'engagera réciproquemment de fournir …102-2 en troupes, ou l'équivalent en vaisseaux de guerre ou en argent, selon la proportion qui doit être réglée entre les Hautes Parties Contractantes.


Si les secours spécifiés ne se trouvent pas suffisants, les Hautes Parties Contractantes s'obligent de s'assister mutuellement totis viribus.

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 23. Juli (separate), des weiteren über die Audienzen am 20. und 21. Juli. Der König hat sich über die Beunruhigung des dänischen Hofes durch die französischösterreichische Allianz und über die dem preussischen Gesandten in Kopenhagen ertheilten Instructionen102-3 ausgesprochen. Nachdem Mitchell mitgetheilt, dass sein Hof Verhandlungen in Kopenhagen zu beginnen gedenke, um Dänemark zur Lossagung von der französischen Allianz zu bewegen, hat der König geantwortet: „If it was thought his concurring in this negociation could be of any use, that he would do it most cordially. He added that in his opinion the points to be insisted upon, were:

1° The danger to the constitution of the Empire, since France,<103> the chief guarantee of the treaty of Westphalia, was become the friend and ally of the house of Austria.

2° The danger to the Protestant religion from the union that was endeavouring to be formed among the Catholic princes, which had been shewed by some proceedings at the diet of Ratisbon.103-1

3° The unfair means made use of by the house of Austria to debauch the Hereditary Prince of Hesse and to withdraw him from his duty to his father and to destroy the Protestant religion in that country, and that a full narrative ought to be prepared of all the Steps that had been taken in that affair and of the negociation of Monsieur Pretlack. 103-2

4° That care should be taken to avoid the mentioning of commercial or of maritime affairs, which could only serve to excite the jealousy of the Danish nation. 103-3

5° That Monsieur Moltke should be first applied to, and a hint given to Monsieur Bernstorff to concur with him, which the King of Prussia thinks will make things go easier than if Bernstorff should take the lead.103-4

The King of Prussia concluded with saying that he would instruct Monsieur Hæseler, his minister at the court of Denmark, who is now at Berlin,103-5 to give all the assistance he could, to Mr. Titley in the carrying on of this negociation, and that he would concur in every measure for that purpose as soon as Mr. Titley should be instructed from his court, and he desired me to write to Mr. Titley … The King of Prussia added that, besides other advantages from the alliance with Denmark, a considérable one might arise, if the King of Denmark could be induced to furnish a good body of cavalry, which will be very much wanted, if war should be begun in Germany …“103-6

Nach den Ausfertigungen im Public Record Office zu London.

100-1 Vergl. S. 79.

100-2 Vergl. Bd. XII, 329.

100-3 Schreiben des Prinzen Friedrich Eugen von Württemberg, d. d. Hauptquartier von Mahon, 29. Juni. Vergl. auch S. 55.

100-4 Vergl. Bd. XII, 407.

100-5 Die Vermehrung der Garnisonregimenter im Sommer 1756 bestand im Ganzen aus 13 neuen Bataillonen.

100-6 Wohl ein Missverständniss Mitchell's statt 17,000. Die gesammte Vermehrung im Sommer 1756 bestand, soweit bisher festgestellt, aus 18,580 Mann. (Gesch. des siebenjährigen Krieges, bearbeitet von den Officieren des Grossen Generalstabs, Berlin 1824, I, p. 19.)

101-1 Vergl. S. 98. Die rechte Spalte enthält den Entwurf Mitchell's, die linke die Antwort des Königs.

102-1 Vergl. S. 34.

102-2 Die Zahl der eventuellen Hülfstruppen festzustellen, war der weiteren Verhandlung vorbehalten.

102-3 Vergl. Bd. XII, 410.

103-1 Vergl. Bd. XII, 512.

103-2 Vergl. Bd. XII, 510.

103-3 Vergl. Bd. XII, 447.

103-4 Vergl. Bd. XI, 427.

103-5 Vergl. Bd. XII, 405.

103-6 Eine Mittheilung des Königs an Mitchell, von welcher dieser am 22. Juli an Holdernesse berichtet, ist wahrscheinlich ebenfalls in der Audienz vom 20. oder 21. Juli gemacht worden: „, …The King of Prussia seems persuaded that the King's interest at the court of Petersburg is indeed at a very low ebb, and the King of Prussia told me that he was informed, when Sir C. H. Williams went to visit the Vice-Chancellor, the answer he received was that he, Vice-Chancellor, could not see him, as he was busy with chevalier Douglas … (Public Record Office zu London,)

98-1 Vergl. S. 34.

98-2 21. Juli.

98-3 Im „Letter-Book“ des Mitchell'schen Nachlasses im British Museum: „I have observed that etc.“

98-4 Im ersten Artikel, vergl. S. 101.

98-5 Vergl. S. 114. 115; auch 95.

98-6 Vergl. S. 11. 38. 81.

98-7 Vergl. S. 81.

99-1 Vergl. S. 90.

99-10 Bericht Plotho's, Regensburg 12. Juli.

99-11 Georg II.

99-2 Vergl. S. 5.

99-3 Letter-Book: „he knew well enough that they had.“

99-4 Vergl. S. 5.

99-5 vergl. S. 16—23. 119.

99-6 Vergl. S. 71.

99-7 Vergl. Nr. 7730.

99-8 Vergl. Bd. XII, 458.

99-9 Schwartzenau.