Helmuth von Moltke, the military man who led the German unification

Helmuth von Moltke, the military man who led the German unification

Helmuth von Moltke was one of the great architects of the german unification. From his position as a military man and as head of the General Staff, he succeeded in helping the Prussian armies, in theory inferior in everything, to impose themselves first on Denmark, then on Austria and, finally, on France.

The future German marshal was born on October 26, 1800 in Parchim into a Prussian family with a military tradition living in the Duchy of Holstein. To maintain this tradition, the young Helmuth joined the Copenhagen Cadet School. But at the age of 22 he abandoned her and joined the royal army of Prussia. He enlisted in the General War College in Berlin and began to stand out from the rest of his peers. He was a disciple of Clausewitz, who at that time was regent of the Berlin military center.

Thanks to the performance that Moltke was showing in the different destinations, he managed to enter the Army General Staff in 1833. This new status was accompanied by a promotion to the rank of Captain and access to the royal court.

In 1835, on a trip to the Mediterranean, he met the Sultan of Constantinople, Mahmut II, who asked him for help to reform his country's land army. With the consent of the Prussian court, Moltke agreed to do so. Although he managed to carry out a successful campaign in Kurdistan, the corrupt administration and interference of the Sultan caused no one to listen to him at the Battle of Nizip in 1839, where Egyptian artillery devastated the ranks of the Ottoman infantry.

When he returned to Prussia, He was awarded the medal of merit and was assigned to the General Staff of the IV Army Corps. Shortly thereafter, he was assigned the task of being Prince Henry's personal assistant in Rome. There he remained for a year until the prince died. He returned to Prussia and was promoted to General. The court was happy with the work that Moltke had carried out with Enrique, reason why they called to him to be personal assistant of prince Federico Guillermo, who put him at the head of the General Staff to reinforce the armed forces.

The outbreak of the war of the duchies It allowed him to show his great ability as a strategist, by engaging in very fast battles that surprised the enemies. They were similar to the Blitzkriege that the German army would use in World War II. In the next two conflicts, the seven week war in 1866 and the Franco-German war, he re-deployed his military skills, to the point that Otto von Bismarck was delighted with the way he had led the army.

As a reward for all that was offered to Prussia, he was awarded the Marshal rank and he was awarded the noble title of count in 1871. Furthermore, due to his merits, he earned a seat as a life member of the Prussian Upper House. He continued to command the General Staff and transformed the Confederate army of 1870 into a true German army, to which he transmitted the essentials of the Prussian military tradition.

In 1888, shortly before the advent of William II, resigned and chose to lead a quiet life. On April 24, 1891, he died at the age of 90 and the entire country joined in a national mourning.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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