Book Review: The Campaign of Germany in 1866

       This work is the Official History of the 1866 Seven Weeks’ War prepared by the Prussian General Staff after the war. I got this book for use in my thesis and it probably would not be of interest to anybody except for hard-core history fans or specialists. That being said, it is one of the better official histories I have ever read.
       It is readable and concise and includes a wealth of information. Perhaps the best part of this work from a historian’s perspective is that it is based on primary source documents that are no longer available because they were destroyed in the closing days of World War II during a U.S. air raid. The work covers both theaters of the war in which Prussian troops took part, the campaign against Austria and the campaign against the south Germans states such as Hannover, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Bavaria.
       I would compare this book to the US Army Official History for both Theaters in World War II for ease and enjoyment of reading. The US Army Official History books were written by professional historians who were given unprecedented access to archival material. The Prussian history was written by the Military History section of the Great General Staff, which makes the outstanding quality of the work that much more exceptional in my eyes.
       Anybody interested in 19th century Prussian military history will find this work invaluable in gaining a greater understanding of Prussian methods. It is also provides an idea of how much the Prussians improved between the end of this war and the outbreak of the much better known Franco-Prussian War four years later.