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Hassenhausen Museum in Germany chronicles the battles of Jena and Auerstadt (often jointly known as the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt). These battles of the Napoleonic Wars saw the Prussian Army defeated by the army of Napoleon I of France in two locations on 14 October 1806, confirming Napoleon’s military might and severely damaging that of Frederick William III of Prussia.

Hassenhausen Museum history

On 14 October 1806, the Prussian main army was defeated by the French in Hassenhausen. At this time, Napoleon was at the height of his power. He invaded Berlin shortly afterwards. The Prussian king fled to East Prussia. Napoleon could no longer be prevented from reshaping Europe to suit his purposes. Thus Hassenhausen unintentionally became a symbol of European history.

The museum in the vicarage commemorates the events of 1806: about 15,000 people were mortally wounded on 14 October 1806. Military-political calculations on both sides at that time (and unfortunately to this day) did not care about individual human lives. Among those who fell victim to this battle at the time was the commander-in-chief of the Prussian army: Duke Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand von Braunschweig. He was not only an important military leader, but also a great politician of his time who was eager for reform, and he embodied as a person the tragedy and contradictions of that time. Thus it makes sense to present the events of that time as the intersection of an entire epoch.

At the site, visitors can see the church, the main monument from 1906, the monument to the Duke of Braunschweig and 14 other memorial stones, which are important marking points of the battlefield from that time.

Hassenhausen Museum today

Located near the Auerstedt Battlefield, Hassenhausen Museum looks at the background and context of the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt as well as its aftermath. Visitors can view an intricate diorama of the battle, pieces found on the battlefield and also visit nearby monuments and memorials as well as touring the battlefield itself.

In the museum, visitors can see the monuments and memorial stones and remember the people who perished here over 200 years ago.

Its exhibits are small, though well-curated.

Getting to Hassenhausen Museum

The Hassenhausen Museum is a 20 minute drive away from Naumburg centre and 1.5 hour drive away from Leipzig Altenburg airport.


Welcome to the Augusta Museum of History

The Augusta Museum of History is dedicated to creating a safe environment for our staff and guests. We have implemented procedures that help us reduce contact, maintain social distancing, and keep our facilities clean.


We are:
Disinfecting public areas regularly
Wearing masks
Placing plastic barriers at close contact areas
Limiting our capacity to allow adequate space to social distancing
Posting helpful social distancing markers and signs

We require that adults and children children over the age of 2 wear face masks or face coverings while inside the Museum. Medical exceptions are allowed with a note from a doctor. There are no other exceptions.
Stay home if you do not feel well or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
Practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you and others.
Wash your hands frequently and practice good hygiene when coughing or sneezing.

The Augusta Museum of History collects, preserves, and interprets history in relation to the past of Augusta and the Central Savannah River region for the education and enrichment of present and future generations.

Founded in 1937, the Augusta Museum of History is Augusta's oldest historical agency devoted to the preservation and presentation of local and regional history. The not-for-profit agency functions as the steward of the community's rich, diverse, and invaluable material past. The museum curates the largest and most significant historical collection in the CSRA and functions as a historical research and resource center for professional and amateur historians, media, organizations, and individuals, and is home to permanent exhibition Augusta's Story, a 12,000 year journey through the region's past.


In the footsteps of Goethe and Schiller

Jena and the surrounding area
The museum of Romantic Literature, am unteren Markt, Jena, is dedicated to Jena romanticism. The building was in fact the former home of the philosopher J. Fichte, who at one time taught in Jena.
The museum concerns all the personages and esthetic, artistic and philosophical schools of thought of the period. It represents a good introduction to the discovery of the great cultural events at the end of the 18th and of the 19th century in the area of Weimar and Jena.
Schiller’s garden pavillion, SchillerBächen 2, Jena. This pavillion, bought by Schiller in 1797, was one of the residences of the poet and University professor. It was here that Schiller wrote some of his works, including his famous Wallenstein trilogy. The museum, carefully renovated, belongs to the University, and still gives off the spirit of the place.
Goethe’s “garden pavillion II” nestles in the idyllic Tuscan thermal park in the town of Bad Sulza. It is an identical copy of the original at Weimar. Open to visitors in a new setting, and faithful to the spirit of Goethe, it is even possible to spend the night here.

In Weimar
The visit to Goethe’s house, n°1 Frauenplan, brings us into the world of this great German author. The house, in the baroque style with a garden, was built in 1709. The poet, statesman and scientist Goethe lived here during nearly 50 years until his death in 1832.
The permanent exhibition in the adjacent National Goethe museum presents the various aspects of Weimar classicism.
Goethe’s garden pavillion, in the park near the Ilm, is also an attractive place to visit. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe moved into this small house a few months after his arrival in Weimar. He lived and worked here until his move to the house on the Frauenplan in 1782. A walk in the park by the Ilm is an excellent way to discover this pavillion.
Schiller’s house is another of the sights of Weimar, n°12 Schiller street. It was in 1802 that Friedrich Schiller bought the late baroque townhouse (built in 1777) on the esplanade at Weimar.
He lived here with his family until his death in 1805. Here he wrote “The fiancée of Messine” and “William Tell”, as well as fragments of “Demetrius”.
The Historic cemetary, am Poseckschen Garten
Contains a princely crypt, the tomb of the local princes, built between 1824 and 1827 on the orders of the grand-duke Charles-Augustus. It houses the tombs of Goethe and Schiller. In 1860/62, a Russian Orthodox chapel was added to the princes crypt, which houses the tomb of Maria Pavlovna, daughter of the Tsar and grand-duchess.

In Dornburg
The palaces in Dornburg, Krehenstrasse 2, are remarkable on several accounts. In fact, the Renaissance palace was built in the 16th century as a residence, and renovated in the 19th. It serves as a place of remembrance in memory of Goethe’s stay here in 1828.
The rococo palace was built in the 18th century as a summer palace for the duke Ernst-Augustus of Saxe-Weimar. The old palace is mentioned in 10th century documents, as an imperial palace for the emperor Otto, that today serves as a meeting-place.


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06/17/2021

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Battle of Auerstädt, 14 October 1806

The battle of Auerstädt (14 October 1806) was the most important of two simultaneous French victories over the Prussians and saw Marshal Davoût with a single corps defeat the main body of the Prussian army while further south Napoleon with most of the Grand Armée defeated the smaller Prussian flank guard at Jena.

In September 1806, at the start of the War of the Fourth Coalition the Prussians advanced into Saxony, forced the Saxon army to serve alongside them and then paused while their commanders attempted to decide what to do next. After repeatedly changing their plans they eventually decided to concentrate at Erfurt and advance to the south-west, a move that might have threatened Napoleon's communications.

The biggest flaw in the Prussian plan was that they assumed Napoleon would stay on the defensive. Hardly unexpectedly he didn't do this, and instead concentrated the Grand Armée at Bamberg. He then crossed the wooded hills of the Thüringerwald in three columns, a move that would put him on the Prussian's left flank and threaten to cut them off from Berlin. Napoleon's aim was to force the Prussians to accept battle and prevent them from retreating towards their Russian allies.

Davout and Bernadotte formed the central column of the army as it crossed the Thüringerwald. The advance began on 8 October, and the army emerged safely from the hills without being challenged. Minor clashes at Schleiz (9 October) and Saalfeld (10 October) alerted the Prussians to their presence, and began a short period in which neither side was entirely sure what the other was doing. On 10 October Napoleon believed that the Prussians would move east across the Saale River and move to Gera, from where they could block the road to Leipzig. He ordered his army to move towards Gera hoping to get there before the Prussians. The Prussians had a different plan. Hohenlohe with the flank guard was to move to Jena while Brunswick with the main army concentrated at Weimar, between Jena and Erfurt.

On 11 October Napoleon learnt that the Prussians weren't heading for Gera. He now decided that they must be concentrating around Erfurt and so on 12 October he ordered his army to wheel to the left and prepare to cross the Salle, advance west and attack the Prussians at Erfurt on 16 October. Davoût was ordered to make for Naumberg, where he would form the right flank of the army while Bernadotte was sent towards Kosen, where there was another bridge over the river. Two corps were to head for Jena and the rest of the army watched the road to Leipzig.

On 13 October Napoleon issued three sets of orders. In the first set he ordered Bernadotte to join Davout. Soon after issuing this order he received a series of reports that convinced him that the Prussians were planning to retreat north towards Magdeburg. Davout was ordered to stay where he was, but Bernadotte's orders were altered and he was sent to Dornburg, further south along the Saale. Finally a message arrived from Lannes informing him that a strong Prussian force was facing him at Jena. Napoleon decided that this must be the main Prussian force and that the Prussians might attack Lannes. He now ordered most of his men to concentrate at Jena. Davout was ordered to advance towards Apolda, passing through the town of Auerstädt. If Napoleon was right then this would put Davout behind the Prussians and cut their lines of retreat.

At the end of Davout's orders a postscript was added that would cause much controversy. It read 'If &hellip Bernadotte is with you, you can march together, but the Emperor hopes that he will be in the position assigned to him at Dornburg'. When this ordered reached Davout, early on 14 October, Bernadotte's corps was very close to him. The order was passed on, but Bernadotte refused to alter his plans and spent 14 October marching in the gap between the two battles, taking part in neither of them.

Napoleon was wrong about the Prussian intentions. When they discovered that Davout was already to their north-east they decided to retreat north. They would march through Auerstädt and then turn north after briefly crossing the Saale. This meant that the Duke of Brunswick's main body and Davoût's single corps began the day marching towards each other along the road between Auerstädt and Kosen.

Davoût had command of III Corps. This consisted of Morand's, Friant's and Gudin's infantry divisions, with 26,000 men between them, supported by 1,622 cavalry, 1,681 artillerymen and 46 guns.

He faced the main Prussian army under the command of the Duke of Brunswick, but with King Frederick William III of Prussia also present. This army contained around 60,000-63,000 men in total, although only around 50,000 of them took part in the battle, and the troops that did take part were fed into the battle piecemeal. The Duke was mortally wounded early in the battle. After that King Frederick William was in formal command of the army, but he never really got a grip on the situation.

The Prussian army was not as well organised as the French. The 1st Division or Right Wing was commanded by General William Frederick, Prince of Orange. The 2nd Division, or Centre, was commanded by General von Wartensleben. The 3rd Division or Left Wing was also the Army Vanguard and was commanded by General von Schmettau at the start of the battle. He was wounded early on and Brunswick's chief of staff Scharnhorst took command. The Reserve Corps, under General Count von Kalkreuth, was split into two reserve divisions, the 1st Reserve Division under Graf von Kuhnheim and the 2nd Reserve Division under General von Arnim. Finally General Blücher had command of the Advance Guard Division, made up largely of light troops.

The Battlefield

The battle was fought on hilly ground to the west of the Saale River. The river had a steep wooded escarpment on the west bank. At Kösen there was a stone bridge over the Saale. The road then climbed up the steep pass of Kösen, which climbed up that escarpment, to reach the top of a plateau. From there it ran west to the plateau of Hassenhausen before reaching the village of the same name. The road then dropped down a gentle slope to the villages of Tauchwitz and Poppel (close to each other in a shallow valley). From there the road ran south-west to Gernstedt, then continued on in the same direction as it dropped down to Auerstädt, on the River Emsen.

On the night of 13-14 October the Prussians were camped around Auerstädt and the French were at Naumburg, with an advance guard at Kosen, where they occupied the pass west of the village. Both sides were aware that the other was close, but they reacted in different ways. Davout prepared to advance along the road and see what he found. Brunswick, fearing that Napoleon was present in person, decided to move to Hassenhausen and then attempt to slip away to the north without fighting a battle.

The opening moves on 14 October took place in the fog. Neither side was thus entirely sure where the other was. Gudin's 3rd Division began to move at around 4am, with the 25th line at the head of the infantry and a cavalry screen ahead of them. By 7am the leading French cavalry was approaching Poppel and the infantry was close to Hassenhausen.

The Prussians were also on the move. They left Auerstädt at around 6am, and advanced from Auerstädt towards Poppel. At around 7pm the French cavalry ran into some Prussian dragoons at Poppel. The French were forced back towards their infantry. Gudin formed square just in case, and this paid off a few minutes later when the pursuing Prussian cavalry arrived. The Prussians were repulsed. Davout ordered Gudin to occupy Hassenhausen and then advance west to the valley leading to Poppel (the Lissbach).

At this point the mist lifted. Gudin could see that he faced ten squadrons of cavalry (temporarily commanded by Blucher). The French artillery opened fire, knocking out the Prussian horse artillery. Blücher was forced to withdraw and wait for the infantry. Both sides struggled to get more troops to the battlefield. On the Prussian side Schmettau's division, with nine battalions, arrived by around 8am. On the French side Friant's 2nd Division was crossing the Saale bridge and Morand's 1st Division was further behind.

The Prussians outnumbered Gudin's men, but they failed to coordinate their attacks. Blücher's cavalry attacked first and was repulsed by the French, who had formed squares at Hassenhausen. The infantry then advanced towards the village, but then paused to allow Wartensleben time to arrive and deploy on the Prussian right. This delay gave the French time to move Friant's division into the line. He was posted on the French right to guard against Blücher's cavalry. Davout expected the main Prussian attack to come to the north and so his right flank was his strongest.

At around 10am the Prussians finally launched a major attack, with Schmettau on the left and Wartensleben on the right. Schmettau's attack failed, but Wartensleben was more successful, routing the French 85th Line. Davout was able to restore the situation, but all of his available troops were now in the front line. One division was still to arrive, and he hoped to receive help from Bernadotte.

The Prussians had a short-lived chance to attack the French left while it was still vulnerable, but instead they chose to attack in the centre, where a series of attacks were repulsed. At this point the Prussian high command suffered a series of blows. Schmettau was wounded while Brunswick's chief of staff, Scharnhorst, was visiting his division. Scharnhorst was thus away from the high command when the Duke of Brunswick was mortally wounded. Frederick William's senior military advisor, the elderly Marshal Mollendorf (a veteran of the Seven Years War), was also soon out of action. The King decided to take personal command of his army, but he proved to be an ineffective commander. At this point less than half of the Prussian army had been committed, while the French still had one fresh division.

Both sides received reinforcements before the next major bout of fighting. On the French side Morand arrived and was posted on the French left. On the Prussian side the Prince of Orange arrived, but his division was split. One brigade was sent to the left while the rest of the division was sent south to fill gaps in the line. Both sides now had three infantry divisions in their line. The Prussians had more cavalry, the French had a better position and better led troops. These troops arrived on the field at about 11am.

Morand's men effectively won the battle. First they helped defeat a Prussian infantry attack on the French centre. Next they formed into squares and repulsed five attacks by thirty squadrons of Prussian infantry. Finally they formed into columns and pushed the Prussian infantry back into the Lissbach valley (west of Hassenhausen). This attack broke the morale of Wartensleben's division, which now began to flee from the field.

At this point the Prussians still had fourteen infantry battalions, five cavalry squadrons and three artillery batteries that they hadn't used and a skilful offensive could have saved the day. This wasn't to be - Frederick William was convinced that he was facing Napoleon in person, and refused to consider launching another attack.

That role was instead performed by Davout. Despite being heavily outnumbered, at about noon the French launched a general attack along their line, with the two divisions on the flanks ahead of the central division in a crescent formation. On the French right Friant encountered fierce resistance at Poppel but eventually took the village and 1,000 prisoners. On the left Morand continued his strong performance. The Prussians were forced back to Rehausen, south of Poppel and the French then occupied the Sonnekuppe Hill, a dominating position. The French artillery pounded the Prussian right from this high ground and the Prussian army began to retreat.

Blücher managed to create a rearguard and attempted to hold up the advancing French. Gudin's division, which had been in combat all day, launched a frontal assault on this last obstacle, while the other two French divisions attacked its flanks. The French continued to press the Prussians until around 4.30 when they finally stopped on the heights overlooking Auerstädt.

Aftermath and Conclusion

The Prussians probably lost 15,000 dead and wounded during the battle along with 3,000 prisoners and 57 field guns. They left the battlefield as a coherent force, but this didn&rsquot last for too long. The organised retreat from Auerstädt ran into the disorganised survivors of Jena, and the army lost much of its organisation. Davout reported having lost 258 officers and 6,794 men wounded or killed, with Gudin's division having suffered the worst.

Davout had won one of the most remarkable victories of the Napoleonic Wars, not just holding his position, but inflicting a significant defeat despite being outnumbered by more than two-to-one. When the news reached Napoleon at Jena late in the day he initially refused to believe the reports, but eventually had to admit that his subordinate had fought the larger battle of the day. In the Fifth Bulletin of the Grand Armée, issued on the day after the battle, Napoleon stated that 'On our right, Marshal Davout's corps performed wonders. Not only did he contain, but he pushed back, and defeated, for more than three leagues, the bulk of the enemy's troops, which were to debouch through Kosen'. This was fulsome praise for Napoleon, and indicated the debt he owed to Davout. If Davout had not won his battle at Auerstadt the bulk of the Prussian army would have escaped intact, and Napoleon's own victory at Jena would have lost most of its significance.

Over the next two weeks Napoleon swept up the rest of the Prussian army. Berlin was occupied and the last few fortresses west of the Oder surrendered. Only the king escaped from him, fleeing into Prussian occupied Poland. The War of the Fourth Coalition was about to enter a more difficult phase for the French as they invaded Poland for the first time.


Napoleon Inflicts The Greatest Defeat in Prussian Military History

The twin battles of Jena-Auerstadt proved a major turning point for not only the Napoleonic wars, but also for 19th century Europe as a whole. Immediately, it brought about the end of Prussian resistance to Napoleon. But in the long term shocked the Prussian military system, showing their younger officers that something had to change. After this battle, Prussia began taking steps towards becoming the dominant military power in Northern Europe, eventually uniting all of the German states into the German Empire.

The War of The 4th Coalition, as the conflict between October 7th, 1806 and July 1807 was called, saw an alliance between Russia, Prussia, Great Britain, Saxony and Sweden against France. The Prussians first marched south on October 9th, as a show of force against Napoleon’s control over the Rhineland and Austrian territories. But the Prussian military wasn’t in a fit state for prolonged conflict at this point.

Frederick the Great, his battle acumen and skill led Prussia to victory after victory in the 18th century. But war had changed by the Napoleonic period, and many of the Prussian generals still clung to the old ways. This proved disastrous at Jena- Auerstadt.

For most of the 18th century, the Prussian army had gained a reputation for the successful use of highly skilled mercenaries. Many of the Germanic states had armies for hire, and it was in no way hard to hire an army for a single campaign. Under Frederick the Great they enjoyed many victories in the Seven Years War. By the 4th Coalition, most of the Prussian general staff had come of age under Frederick the Great and were staunch traditionalists. Adding to this, was the disorganized command structure of the Prussian army. There were three chiefs of staff and endless squabbling between them. Because of this, while they had mobilized before Napoleon, they immediately lost the initiative. There were multiple plans of attack to defeat the French forces, but the high command couldn’t decide on which one to implement. This wasted precious time, and by October 13th, 1806 it was too late.

Napoleon’s forces had been marching north, with little resistance. One of his generals, Lannes, had found an advance Prussian force near the town of Jen on the 13th of October. He reported this to Napoleon, who ordered him to take up a strong position. The French troops took up a line of battle on the hills north of Jena, overlooking the plains below them. Initial contact was with only about 5,000 Prussian troops, with 15,000 marching up behind them. By the next morning, they would face around 40,000 Prussians, and Napoleon believed this to be the main enemy force in the region. He began pulling in his reserves, hoping for a decisive victory to crush the Prussians early on.

Louis Nicolas Davout, the commander of the III Corps, received orders to march from his position at Naumburg, north of Jena, to Apolda. Napoleon wanted this force, only 27,000 men, to encircle the Prussians retreating from Jena, to fully secure the victory. Davout’s troops set out around 0400 on the 14th, headed southwest.

Two hours later, Lannes, under orders from Napoleon, advanced towards the Prussians. Along with the French generals Suchet and Gazan, he captured the towns northwest of Jena. But the Prussians counterattacked and forced Lannes, who had pushed out past the French line, to fall back in line with Suchet and Gazan. The Prussians then pushed the attack, but were repulsed by French light infantry which had been hidden from view. Marshal Michel Ney now arrived on the battlefield, with an additional 3,000 men.

He was originally ordered to support Lannes’ right flank, but seeing that Suchet was already in position there, moved to the left. He pushed out past the French line with a combination of infantry and cavalry. While he was initially successful, he overextended himself and was quickly encircled by Prussian troops. Napoleon ordered units from the center to reinforce Ney’s weakened position, giving him a chance to retreat. This left the French center exposed, but Napoleon sent his Imperial Guard into the gap.

Napoleon speaking to his Imperial Guard. These troops answered to Napoleon directly, and he used them as an extension of his own strategy in battle. This adaptability allowed him to recover from the potentially disastrous advance of Marshal Ney at Jena.

The Prussian infantry could have exploited this weakness, but their leaders were sticking too stiffly to their plan, and leaders in the field had too little opportunity to use their own initiative. This would eventually cost them the battle, as the French were able to solidify their position, and repulse the ensuing Prussian assaults. By the end of the day, the French had broken the Prussian line, killing 10,000 men, taking 15,000 prisoners, and capturing 150 pieces of artillery at Jena.

Marshal Murat, leading a cavalry blow during the final push at Jena. French troops present Napoleon with captured Prussian banners at the end of the battle of Jena.

During all of this, another battle was raging to the north. Davout’s III Corps had come in contact with Prussian cavalry and artillery early in the morning and formed a defensive position at Hassenhausen. The Prussians were initially successful, with around 50,000 men, had nearly twice that of Davout. They forced the French into the town of Hassenhausen itself. Then everything went downhill for the Prussians.

Davout with his troops near Auerstadt. His adaptability, and those of his subordinates allowed a small group of French troops to defeat a Prussian force almost twice their size.

Davout’s forces arrived in full around Hassenhausen. Their artillery had come into position, and they were ready to put up a defense. The Prussians attempted to launch a large-scale assault, but due to poor communication couldn’t coordinate between commanders. Their cavalry attacked to the north, only to be met by squares of French infantry. The Prussian infantry attacked to the south, but both were repulsed.

By 1100 it was clear that the Prussian troops were wavering, two of their commanders had been mortally wounded, and the Prussian king Frederick William assumed command. But the King was wrongfully convinced he was facing Napoleon himself, which terrified him. He refused to make a large scale attack, for fear that the French would have a trick up their sleeve and counter. The French then launched a full-scale attack, breaking the Prussian line, and seizing the day.

In all the Prussians lost 13,000 men near Auerstadt and another 20,000 near Jena. But Auerstadt proved to be the most humiliating defeat, for they nearly outnumbered their opponents 2 to 1. After this day, it became clear to a small group of younger Prussian officers that something had to change. Gebhard von Bluecher, Carl von Clausewitz, August Neidhart von Gneisenau, Gerhard von Scharnhorst, and Hermann von Boyen were all present that day.

The Committee to Reorganize the Prussian Army. After Jena and Auerstadt the Prussian army went back to square one. They began rebuilding with a clear, simplified command structure. Promotion was based on skill, rather than political gain or nobility, and training was improved. They managed to turn a gruesome and embarrassing defeat into continuous victory. The Prussian, and later the German, military was almost undefeated from 1815 to 1914, with the start of WW1.

These would later create a reform committee which revolutionized the Prussian military. They realized that mandatory service was necessary, that individual initiative needed to be taken by commanders at the front, and reliance on mercenaries and conscripts wasn’t a viable option anymore. Their reforms set the stage for Prussia’s military might in the rest of the 19th century, eventually allowing them to crush the French in the Franco-Prussian war, establishing the German Empire as the military powerhouse on the continent.


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Hassenhausen Museum - History

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75,000,000 BC is an immersive gallery that discusses what Arizona looked like 75 million years ago. This was a time of huge volcanoes and dinosaurs. Visitors will learn about the geology that formed Arizona into what it is today, including a copper rich state. Follow us on social media for a behind the scenes view!

Ologies Will Be Our First Entirely Bilingual (English And Spanish) Exhibit, It Looks At The Science Of Anthropology And Paleontology, Focusing On Our Research Collections And Behind The Scenes Museum Work.

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