Das kursächsische Offizierskorps 1682–1806
Sozial-, Bildungs- und Karriereprofil einer militärischen Elite
Hamburg 2019, 416 Seiten
ISBN 978-3-339-11152-4 (Print), ISBN 978-3-339-11153-1 (eBook)
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The study’s focal point elaborates an investigation of the Army of the Electorate of Saxony. The officer corps were examined in terms of social composition, training courses and further career paths. Thus, the sample period covers the era of first establishments concerning the standing army in Saxony in 1682 up to a profound restructured military organization in year 1806.
Besides issues of elite formation and professionalization, the study displays aspects of societal continuities as well as gaps in the troop development. In order to acquire data the study’s research design involved methods of “collective biography”. The analysis was carried out comparatively in order to gain knowledge about individual curricula vitae, which were reassembled on the basis of serial data sources such as muster rolls, ranking lists and qualitative sources for example ego documents. In order to investigate this innumerous amount of data a closer look was taken on three biographical issues. Firstly, social continuity and change in the strata of military officers were taken into consideration. In this case the gathered biographical data covered the corps member’s social and regional origins. Secondly, educational training courses of the officers were examined. The study questioned places of knowledge acquisition as well as the level and quality of knowledge. Consequently, the officer’s military careers were reconstructed in a third step.
The study found that Saxon officer corps in the 18th century certainly belonged to elite strata of society in order of their social, educational and career profiles. By dominating most parts of society, nobility and its elitist social status were highly represented in military careers. While the noble stand was mostly required to grant access to the officer corps, the officer’s career itself should now increasingly qualify for nobility.
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