Battle Analysis-Sedan, 1870

The Battle of Sedan, fought on 1 September 1870 displayed the superiority the Prussian Army had attained over the French in the nearly sixty years since their devastating defeat at Jena in the Napoleonic wars. The battle was notable for several developments in warfare, which were showcased by the Prussian and French army’s different abilities to effectively utilize the new technologies and methods existing. The most dominant military technologies of the time were railroads, repeating rifles, and modern cannon. While the French had at their disposal the Chassepot rifle which was superior to the Prussian needle-gun, their artillery was inferior in both quantity and quality to the Krupp guns deployed … More after the Jump…

Was the Franco-Prussian War Modern?

The Franco-Prussian war was a modern war although it was not the first of Europe’s modern wars.   The Franco-Prussian war was also not a total war because while it was intensive in manpower while it lasted, its limited duration did not force a radical reorganization of both countries economies in order for it to be waged. In order to determine whether the Franco-Prussian war was a modern war or not we must define what a modern war is.   Is it a war in which all the modern implements of war as well as the modern methods of raising armies are employed?  Is it a war in which all … More after the Jump…

The Political Acumen of Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) was probably the most accomplished politician that Germany has ever produced.   He was almost single-handedly responsible for the emergence of the nation of Germany during the nineteenth century.   He was appointed Prime Minister of Germany in 1862 by the Prussian King Wilhelm I (1797-1888) in the middle of a constitutional crisis in Prussia in which the Reichstag refused to authorize a state budget.   Bismarck handled this crisis with ease by using the machinery of state to collect taxes without the Reichstag thus making them irrelevant.   He continued to collect taxes and finance the state for four years until finally the Reichstag was … More after the Jump…

History, the News, Egypt, and American Foriegn Policy

Niall Fergusson, one of my favorite current historians recently wrote a piece in Newsweek that perfectly captures what I think is the best way to use history as a guide in determining the best way to act in the present.   Of course, he is slamming the current US Administration in this piece so that rather makes me happy too.   The piece is here.   He also went on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and expanded on his views.

His biggest point is that the administration blew it with Egypt because they changed their mind so many times.   I love it how he uses a quote from Otto von Bismarck to illustrate what Obama did not do.   Here is the quote from the story:

“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.

Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely.

More after the Jump…History, the News, Egypt, and American Foriegn Policy

Some Thoughts on Otto von Bismarck

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) was probably the most accomplished politician that Germany has ever produced.   He was almost single-handedly responsible for the emergence of the nation of Germany during the nineteenth century.   He was appointed Prime Minister of Germany in 1862 by the Prussian King Wilhelm I (1797-1888) in the middle of a constitutional crisis in Prussia in which the Reichstag refused to authorize a state budget.   Bismarck handled this crisis with ease by using the machinery of state to collect taxes without the Reichstag thus making them irrelevant.   He continued to collect taxes and finance the state for four years until finally the Reichstag was … More after the Jump…