Moltke, Helmuth (Karl Bernhard), count von


Moltke, Helmuth (Karl Bernhard), count von

biographical name

(born Oct. 26, 1800, Parchim, Mecklenburg—died April 24, 1891, Berlin, Ger.) Prussian general. He joined the Prussian army in 1822 and was appointed to its general staff in 1832. After a stint as adviser to the Turkish army (1835–39), he traveled widely and wrote several books on history and travel. In 1855 he served as personal aide to the Prussian prince Frederick William (later Frederick III), then was selected as chief of the Prussian general staff (1857–88). Highly intelligent and militarily creative, he reorganized the Prussian army and devised new strategic and tactical command methods for modern mass armies. He directed the strategies that produced victories in the Prussian and German wars against Denmark (1864), against Austria in the Seven Weeks' War (1866), and against France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). He was created count in 1870 and field marshal in 1871.

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