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The Road to Koniggratz: Helmuth von Moltke and the Austro-Prussian War, 1866, by Quintin Barry

Solihull, West Midlands: Hellion/ Philadelphia: Casemate, 2010. Pp. xviii + 529. Illus., maps, appends., notes., biblio., index. $69.95. ISBN: 1906033374.

In The Road to Königgrätz , Barry follows up his excellent two-volume The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-1871 (2007) to look at the earlier career, works, and wars of the great Helmuth von Moltke. 

Although the book necessarily is focused on the decisive Austro-Prussian clash at Königgrätz (July 3, 1866), Barry begins his tale much earlier.  He gives us a look at Moltke’s early life and military education, his impressive scholarly interests, his service in the Turko-Egyptian War, the political and military developments in the German states during “the Red ‘48”, the Prussian military reform, the Schleswig-Holstein War of 1864, and the political and diplomatic background to the war with Austria and her allies in 1866.  As he did in the earlier volumes, Barry gives appropriate attention to the less spectacular events during the brief war (June 4 - August 23, 1866), with a good look at the minor campaigns in central Germany.  He also devotes some attention to events in Italy, where the defeat of their Italian allies played an important role in the subsequent Prussian victory at Königgrätz, and to the dipolmatic front and the international implications of the war. 

An excellent read for those interested in the nineteenth century military history, as well as German and Italian history and military experiences.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

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