Helmuth von Moltke

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 first 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 Gro├čer 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.

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