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Maps, views and diagrams of military reviews and encampments


Military review at Zeithain and Mühlberg, 1730

1730 or later

Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour on paper. Several of the diagrams have flaps, on which different troop positions are drawn, pasted to the base map/diagram. | Scale: 1:15,000 approx. [based on Ruthen]. | RCIN 727034

A set of 51 diagrams representing the military review and manoeuvres of the Saxon army at the Camp at Zeithain, from 31 May to 28 June 1730, under the command of Field Marshal August Christoph von Wackerbarth (1662-1734), in the presence of Frederick I of Prussia and many members of European royalty. Oriented with north-east to top.

The military exercises represented in these diagrams took place during what was apparently the largest military review in Europe at that time – the ‘spectacle of the century’. Its location is sometimes described as at Mühlberg, which lies to the north-west of Zeithain. The Zeithainer Lustlager (Zeithainer pleasure camp), as it was generally known, was organised by Friedrich August the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, to demonstrate the power of the newly reorganised Saxon army. The whole army of about 27,000 men in 30 battalions of infantry and 50 squadrons of cavalry, took part in the manoeuvres. The audience included many invited members of the European principalities, including Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia and his son, the future Frederick the Great. The military exercises were followed by revelries and diverse entertainments, the whole event lasting from 31 May to 28 June, 1730.

The exercises and the camp took place on about 1,000 hectares of land between the villages of Radewitz 51°19ʹ59ʺN 13°23ʹ36ʺE, Glaubitz 51°19ʹ30ʺN 13°22ʹ41ʺE, Lichtensee 51°22ʹ50ʺN 13°22ʹ29ʺE, Tiefenau 51°23ʹ24ʺN 13°23ʹ48ʺE and Streumen 51°21ʹ24ʺN 13°24ʹ13ʺE, all of which form the boundaries of the first map in this set. The first map is the only one to show all the topographical details of the area, within which the extent of the land used for the military exercises is marked by the outer dashed lines.

The subsequent maps/diagrams are all drawn to a similar scale but lack the topographical detail. They are arranged in six sets to correspond with the six days of military exercises: 1) Tag von der Revüe [4 plans]; 2) tag des Exercice des Infanterie [4 plans]; 3) Tag der Colonnen [13 plans]; 4) Tag der Linien [14 plans]; 5) Tag des Quarrés [11 plans]; 6) Tag des Combats [5 plans].

  • JF Berger (active 1730) (draughtsman) [top right, bottom of cartouche on RCIN 727034.a:] J.F. Berger fecit.

  • Condition: all maps/diagrams have one fold line; each has slight surface dirt; some of the edges are creased, some have small tears; there are double pin holes to each corner, occasionally these have been trimmed off. Verso: induced discolouration. If the condition of an individual item is markedly different from this general statement, it is described separately

  • Scale: 1:15,000 approx. [based on Ruthen]. Scale bars: Schritt [72 mm = 1500]; Ellen [72 = 2000]; Rh. Ruth.' [75 mm = 300]. [The measurements of the scale bars vary slightly.]

  • K. Mil. dummy sheet:

    Title [ink:] 50 [i.e.51] Plans dessinés des differents Excercices et Mouvements militaires executés par les Trouppes / Saxonnes de Sa Majesté le Roy de Pologne et Electeur de Saxe au Campement de Zeithayn, / depuis le 1.e jusqu'au 26.e de Mois de Juin 1730. / Folio .... [no place mark]. / VII/34 Zeithayn 1 - 26 Juin 1730 [Annotated in ink at top of sheet: No:s 184-230, these numbers relate to the stamped numbers that appear on all the manuscript items in the collection. A pencil note states that the 50 in the title should be 51; another pencil note at the bottom:] (34-1 - 34-51) CMB Nov '86 [i.e.1986]; the bottom of the sheet is creased and slightly torn.
    Watermark: J WHATMAN 1811.
    Size: 47.5 x 33.3 cm (sheet).

    George III catalogue entry:

    Zeithayn Plans dessiné des differentes Exercises et Mouvements Militaires executés par les Troupes Saxonnes de S.M. le Roy de Pologne et Electeur de Saxe au Campement de Zeithayn depuis le jusqu’au 26.e de Juin 1730. Fol.

  • Subject(s)

    Zeithain, Saxony, Germany (51°20ʹ01ʺN 13°20ʹ17ʺE)

    Mühlberg, Brandenburg, Germany (51°26ʹ04ʺN 13°13ʹ18ʺE)

  • Bibliographic reference(s) (last visited 30 August 2019)

    H. Beschorner, ‘Das Zeithainer Lager von 1730’, Neues Archiv für Sächsische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, 28, 1907, S. 50–113 und S. 200–252 

Page revisions

  • 27 March 2024