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Helmuth von Moltke

Helmuth von Moltke was the name of two German generals.
Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (October 26, 1800 - April 24, 1891), who became Helmuth Graf von Moltke in 1870, was a famous Prussian general, born in Parchim[?].

Von Moltke joined the Danish service, then in 1822 the Prussian army. From 1835 to 1839 he served as advisor to the army of the Ottoman Empire. From 1857 to 1888 he functioned as head of the Prussian Großer Generalstab (chief of military staff). He planned and led the successful military operations during the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and the Franco-Prussian War (1870 - 1871), which paved the way for the Prussian-led German Empire founded in 1871. He served in the Diet of the North German Conderation[?] from 1867 to 1871, and from 1871 to 1891 he was a member of the Reichstag, the German parliament of the time.

He wrote a number of works on military theory. His main thesis was that military strategy had to be understood as a system of options since only the beginning of a military operation was plannable. As a result, he considered the main task of military leaders to consist in the extensive preparation of all possible outcomes.

He died in Berlin.


Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von Moltke (von Moltke the Younger) (1848 - 1916), a nephew of the Great Moltke, served as German Chief of Staff[?] from 1906 to 1914. He perfected the military plans initially conceived by his predecessor, Alfred von Schlieffen, and put the Schlieffen Plan into operation at the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The failure of the strategy of this melancholy man at the First Battle of the Marne led to his breakdown and replacement by General Erich von Falkenhayn[?]



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