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Field Marshal Helmuth Graf von Moltke is best known for his direction of the German/Prussian campaigns against Austria in 1866 and France in 1870-71, yet it was during his service as chief of the General Staff that he laid the foundation for the German way of war which would continue through 1945.
Professor Daniel Hughes of the Air War College, in addition to editing and assisting with the translation of this selection of Moltke’s thoughts and theories on the art of war, has written an insightful commentary on “Moltke the Elder” that places him in the broader context of Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s sometimes abstract philosophical ideas.
The book also contains an extensive bibliographic and historiographic commentary that includes references to Moltke and his theories in the current literature in Germany, England, and the United States—a valuable aid to anyone doing research on the subject.
This volume, in addition to its appeal to scholars, serves as an introduction to the theory of the German army, as well as a summary of Moltke’s enduring theoretical legacy.
Praise for Moltke on the Art of War
“Moltke molded the Prussian and ultimately the German army at a time of technological and economic change. For that reason . . . this book deserves a much wider audience than those interested in nineteenth-century military history. Readers will be particularly grateful for the editor’s careful explanation of terms that are easily mistranslated in English, and for concise and useful footnotes and bibliography. A model of fine editing.”—Foreign Affairs Magazine
“This valuable work ably compiles the selected writings on the art of war of one of military history’s greatest geniuses. [Moltke’s] impact on American military thinking persists, especially in various military staff college curricula. Strongly recommended.”—Armed Forces Journal
“A thoughtfully edited, well-translated anthology that merits a place in any serious collection on the craft of war in the modern Western world."—Journal of Military History