Prussia had suffered defeat and hum iliation at the hands of N apoleon, a defeat not expected by the seemingly invincible. Yet tha t defeat came at a m om ent in time when Prussia’s leaders were convinced tha t the state was badly in need of reform. They had already cautiously made their own preparations for reform and found themselves surprised by the disaster, but soon afterw ards recognized that this disaster provided the opportunity to im plem ent their plans.