Frederick II, King of Prussia, was a legendary ruler, artistic patron, man of letters, lawgiver, and commander -- in David Fraser's words, "one of the most extraordinary men ever to sit on a throne or command an army". He personally commanded his army in war after war with such supreme skill that he became acclaimed as the greatest soldier of his time. Fraser, himself a noted general and the author of a bestselling biography of Erwin Rommel, places Frederick's life as a soldier at the center of this immaculately researched book, allowing us to understand his strengths and weaknesses in the field more completely than in any previous biography. Fraser not only brings to these pages the authentic smell of battle but also offers a sweeping account of strategy and maneuver, of psychology, morale, and the impact of victory and defeat on both the victors and the vanquished. But he also knows how to view military action in the context of eighteenth-century European diplomacy and the ever-shifting balance of the various political forces shaping the history of the period. Fraser's spellbinding account is a full-scale portrait of an enigmatic historical figure, rendered with subtlety and infectious spirit.