Action takes place at Fehrbellin and in Berlin, 1675. The Prince of Homburg, a young officer of the Great Elector, is exhausted after a long campaign. Walking in his sleep, he puts on a laurel wreath. Several noblemen notice this, and the Great Elector plays a trick on the Prince, which leads him to declare his love for the Elector's niece, Natalie. He is able to take one of her gloves. After waking from his dream the Prince is puzzled by the glove in his hand. When at the next council of war the plans for the next battle are being discussed, and duties are being handed out, the Prince is thrown into confusion by the appearance of Princess Natalie, who reveals herself as the owner of the glove, and he is distracted to the extent that he fails to take on board his orders, which are not to engage the enemy without a direct order to do so. Contrary to his instructions he attacks the enemy at the Battle of Fehrbellin – and wins.