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For God and KaiserThe Imperial Austrian Army, 1619-1918$
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Richard Bassett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300178586

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300178586.001.0001

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The Austro-Prussian War

The Austro-Prussian War

Königgrätz 1866

(p.328) Chapter 15 The Austro-Prussian War
For God and Kaiser

Richard Bassett

Yale University Press

The Six Weeks War, which culminated in the battle of Königgrätz, remains one of the most decisive and fateful conflicts of the nineteenth century. The notion of a modern united Germany under Prussian leadership was born here. German hegemony in Europe, and the two terrible wars of the twentieth century fought to prevent it, could not have happened without Prussia's victory in 1866. This chapter describes the men who initiated this chain of events. On the Prussian side was the “Iron Chancellor”, Otto von Bismarck (1815—98), whose political statecraft first cajoled a reluctant Prussian monarch into war with Austria. The second Prussian protagonist of that day was Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the Prussian General Staff. During this battle he directed operations with almost unfailing skill despite being in his 67th year. Ludwig Benedek was the unfortunate officer who was “on call” to confront these formidable characters and was summoned to sacrifice himself for the Habsburg dynasty.

Keywords:   Six Weeks War, battle of Königgrätz, Germany, Prussia, Otto von Bismarck, Iron Chancellor, Helmuth von Moltke, Ludwig Benedek

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