The Austro-Prussian War: Austria's War with Prussia and Italy in 1866

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Geoffrey Wawro recounts the story of this crucial European war, from its diplomatic origins to its pivotal battles. This is the first history of the Austro-Prussian War in more than thirty years, and the first ever to be based upon extensive research in the political and military archives of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and England. Wawro has reconstructed the Austrian campaign, blow-by-blow, hour-by-hour. He divulges the secrets of Prussian military success, as well as the dismal, sometimes lurid reasons for Austria's military collapse and Italy's near collapse. The book is most notable for the light it sheds on the Habsburg war effort.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 started the modern Hundred Years' War that did not end until 1945. Professor Geoff Wawro's book is the most comprehensive treatment of the subject. Thoughtful and well written, it is a major contribution to an understanding of history." Henry Kissinger

"The Austro-Prussian War is an outstanding work, illustrating once again that operational military history can make important and enjoyable contributions to understanding the past. A must for undergraduate, graduate, and specialist collections." Choice

"The Austro-Prussian War is an outstanding work, illustrating once again that operational military history can make important and enjoyable contributions to understanding the past. A must for undergraduate, graduate, and specialist collections." Choice

"Geoffrey Wawro's lively and insightful new study offers the reader a view of the familiar events of the Königgrätz campaign from the relatively unfamiliar perspective of the AustrianFeldzeugmeisterLudwig Benedek's headquarters." German Studies Review

"Wawro's discussion of the strategic plans and dispositions of the three major belligerents and Austria's lesser allies is excellent. The simple maps aid understanding of the deployment and mofvements of widely separated forces on terrain unfamiliar to most American readers." SFC John T. Broom, Military Reviews

"Comprehensive, erudite, balanced, and clearly written, we have here the best work on this war in any language." J. Arden Bucholz, Central European History

"...offers a curious mixture of historical writing. ...Wawro presents excellent campaign history, particularly of the little-covered events in the Italian theater of operations. ...truly valuable for its narrative of events in the Italian theater." Scott W. Lackey, Historian

"This is an extraordinarily luminous book about not only a war but also a continent and a century. Written with verve and wit, The Franco-Prussian War harnesses scholarship and story-telling to wonderful effect. Geoffrey Wawro has given us a magnificent yarn." Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"As the author of a history of the Franco-Prussian War that has held the field for some forty years, I was deeply apprehensive when I learned that Dr. Wawro was at work on another. I had good cause to be. His work is magnificent. The research is both wide and deep, the operational analysis masterly, and there is not a dull page in the book. Dr. Wawro has established himself as one of the leading military historians of his generation." Sir Michael Howard

"A lively narrative history, based on an abundance of new research." MacGregor Knox, The London School of Economics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521629515
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 330
  • Sales rank: 809,553
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Geoffrey Wawro
Geoffrey Wawro is the General Olinto Mark Barsanti Professor of Military History and Director of the Military History Center at the University of North Texas. Wawro has hosted many programs on the History Channel and taught for several years at the U.S. Naval War College. He received his B.A. from Brown and his Ph.D. from Yale.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Strategy and tactics in 1866 6
2 Origins of the Austro-Prussian War 36
3 War plans and mobilization 50
4 Italy declares war 82
5 Custoza 100
6 Podol, Vysokov, and Trautenau 124
7 Munchengratz, Burkersdorf, and Skalice 156
8 Jicin and Benedek's flight to Koniggratz 181
9 Koniggratz: Benedek's stand in the "Bystrice pocket" 208
10 Koniggratz: Moltke's envelopment 238
11 Aftermath: The peace and Europe, 1866-1914 274
Bibliography 297
Index 309
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2002

    Essential Reading

    This work fills a major gap in European history. Prussia's victory heralded the rise of Germany and sealed the fate of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Militarily, the war was a proving ground for Prussian arms under Moltke. Moltke's methods, perfected in the Franco-Prussian War, would drive the Great Powers to war, culminating in the bloodbaths of the Somme, Verdun, and Ypres. Overall, the book is well written and researched. Wawro provides sharp descriptions and analysis of the operational and strategic levels of the war. Decisionmaking, planning, staff action, and terrain analysis are all aptly described with the appropriate lessons, positive or negative, highlighted. Tactical analysis is not quite as detailed, but the author provides enough background to see the big picture and this fact does not detract from the overall work. Tactical analysis primarily focuses on the superiority of the Prussian needle rifle and the failure of Austrian shock tactics to overcome it. The maps were small and difficult to read, though they did have sufficient detail. The battle of Koniggratz was the largest battle in Europe since the Napoleonic Wars and each map of the battle did not even take up half a page. Better maps would have made this a five star book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000


    Warro's description of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, and the causes of the conflict is an excellent study in mid-19th century military science. His timelines are clear and the text cuts straight to the issues without delay. The books contains many detailed maps and illustrations which make it easy for those not well-versed in central German and northeastern Italian geography to understand the battlegrounds and strategic maneouvering involved in the campaign. The writing is concise, but in some places Warro tends to 'give away the ending' as to the outcomes of some of the engagements before they are fully described, though this does not detract from the end result. Overall it is an outstanding work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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