The Great Strategists Of The 19th Century

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War history has had its heroes, its thinkers and strategists who by means of their abilities moved martial arts ahead and have influenced the course of history. One of the greatest strategists of the 19th century was Helmut von Moltke, a German Field Marshal. Moltke was the Chief of General staff of the Prussian Army for three decades (1857 – 1887) and is considered the creator of modern methods of warfare. Moltke’s conceptual, organizational, and doctrinal changes in the Prussian Army created a "military machine", which none of the European military powers could compete with. Victories over Denmark in 1864, Austria in1866 and France in 1871 led to the unification of Germany and were examples of the capabilities of this military thinker.…show more content…
He recognized that often decisive role that moral factors played in victory. Although it may seem that the French Revolution and industrialism influenced the adaptation of the Prussian army automatically, as Moltke 's influence is quite evident. Moltke 's concept of war involved combining ‘rapid mobilization, transportation, deployment, movement, and combat into one continuous sequence, making every effort to bring superior numbers to bear in the final decisive battle’ therefore, the key task of Moltke’s reform was to create, from the Prussian army, an efficient, modern way warring fighting force. Primarily his effort was focused on the restructuring of the General Staff and the officers’ training. Moltke oversaw further improvements in Prussia 's military recruitment and education systems once he became Chief of Staff. ‘These resulted in a doubling of the size of the field and the army and further strengthening of its reserve consequently capability’. ‘The old divisions of the Great General Staff were replaced by three departments, which recalled the "Theatres of War". This restructuring of the General Staff formed the basic framework of the whole Institution. Moltke developed the method of general directives into guiding principles’. As a new Chief of General Staff, he required initiative and independence from his officers. His subordinates were trained to
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