By David Wetzel
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Extra resources for A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871
39 A plan had, for this reason, to be both ﬂexible enough to envisage a whole set of different outcomes and speciﬁc enough to enable the quick deployment of soldiers to their appointed destinations. But, beyond this, and more important still, Moltke was one of the few men of his time who wished to take advantage of the intensive program of railway construction that had taken place in Prussia in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The impact of the railroad on the face of war was, he grasped, nothing short of revolutionary.
32 Equally important, it ruled out romantic and ambitious undertakings in parts of the world remote from the nation’s salient area of interests, concerns, and perils. Hence Bismarck’s expostulation to a colonial champion during the 1880s: “Your map of Europe is very beautiful, but my map of Europe is very different. Here is Russia and here is France and here we are in the middle. ”33 Otto von Bismarck’s facilities were, in a word, analytical and critical in character. They were analytical in the sense that he endeavored to discover what was in the minds of his antagonists when the latter led him into confrontations of one kind or another.
Order in Berlin, and we shall have order in the country. . They [presumably King Frederick William IV and his ministers] now have the power in their hands and a perfect right to use it. ”36 Moltke’s hope was disappointed. The king, Frederick William IV, was ﬁrst inclined to use the troops to crush resistance in the capital, but, as usual, at the critical moment his resolve deserted him, and he determined to follow a moderate course of action. The years after 1848 disillusioned Moltke. The Prussian army was, in many respects, a ramshackle operation.