1913 Prussia (German States) 2 Mark, struck to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Napoleon's defeat.
In 1812, in part of his efforts to subjugate the entirety of continental Europe, Napoleon invaded Russia with 450,000 men. The Russians avoided challenging Napoleon on the battlefield and the French army gradually moved deeper and deeper into Russia. The Russians were finally forced into action when Napoleon came with striking distance of Moscow. The Battle of Borodino took place on a single day—44,000 Russians and 35,000 French died, making it the single bloodiest battle in human history to that point. The Russians retreated, but burned Moscow to the ground before they left, leaving Napoleon the conqueror of a city of ashes. Napoleon soon realized his position was untenable and began moving his army out of Russia in the middle of the brutal Russian winter. Of the 450,000 troops who entered Russia, only 40,000 left.
Napoleon's Russian failure emboldened the rest of Europe, and a grand alliance was formed between Russia, Austria, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and Prussia. Napoleon won a series of victories against this coalition before being ultimately overwhelmed by their sheer numbers. After a fatal defeat in the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon was forced to abdicate for the first time and was exiled to the tiny island of Elba.
This coin commemorates the 100th anniversary of Prussia's declaration of war on the French Empire and Napoleon's defeat. The reverse features the Prussian Eagle seizing a "French" snake (reminiscent of the Mexican coat of arms) while the obverse features a Prussian military leader (probably Field Marshal Gebhard von Blucher) being celebrated by the thankful people.
|Country||Prussia (German Empire)|
|Metal Alloy||Silver (.900 fine)|
|Obverse||"DER KONIG RIEF UND ALLE ALLE KAMEN | MIT GOTT FUR KOENIG UND VATERLAND"
("The King called and all came. | With God, for King and Fatherland")
|Reverse||"DEUTSCHES REICH 1913 | ZWEI MARK"
("German Empire 1913 | 2 Mark")
|Mintmarks||None (Berlin mint)|