The Austro-Prussian War, 1866

The result of the Seven Weeks’ War in 1866 subordinated the Austrian Empire to Prussian ambitions. Brian Bond describes the last lightning victory in the Napoleonic manner, until Hitler’s blitzkrieg of 1940.

On July 3rd, 1866, three Prussian armies converged to defeat Austria’s Northern army and that of her Saxon ally at Konig-gratz or Sadowa1 in Bohemia; it was one of the biggest and most decisive battles in modern history. Both sides had begun to mobilize in earnest in May, and by June 5th the Chief of the Prussian General Staff, Helmuth von Moltke, had carried out an extraordinary deployment by distributing his main armies, comprising some 250,000 troops, over an area of 270 miles along the frontiers of Saxony and Bohemia, his object being to safeguard Silesia as well as the more direct route to Berlin via Dresden.

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