On July 3rd, 1866 a Prussian army overwhelmed and defeated an Austrian army near the fortress city of Koniggratz in a bloody battle that lasted all day. The foremost power in Germany and central Europe had been reduced to a second rate player. The event caused alarm in the rest of the Western world. How was a country like Prussia able to upset the balance of power in Europe? Only sixteen years earlier Austria's treaty of Olmutzit had put it in its place. Its performance as an Austrian ally had been less than stellar in the 2nd Schleswig War of 1864. Yet within five years a Prussian-led army would humble France and a Prussian King would be crowned Emperor of a united Germany. The history of the world would be changed forever. The story of this army is the subject of a new book by acclaimed military author and artist, Bruce Bassett-Powell, The Armies of Bismarck's Wars. He chronicles its growth from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the reforms of the 1860s, as well as a full account of the wars against Denmark and Austria, showing how the confluence of the lives of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Helmuth von Molkte, and Otto von Bismarck provided the ingredients that created such an irresistible force. This copiously illustrated book describes the history and battles of the Prussian army, as well as lesser kwn details concerning its rise to prominence. The growth and influence of the General Staff is also examined along with the recruitment and training of officers and men. The author fully describes the organisation of Prussia's army and its fledgling navy, as well as the weapons with which they fought. In particular he gives a detailed account of their dress and accoutrements accompanied by 24 full-page colour illustrations depicting over 70 uniforms.
Bruce Bassett-Powell is an author and artist who specialises in military uniforms.
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colour a/wk, line drawings and illustrations, maps