The Austro-Prussian War: Austria's War with Prussia and Italy in 1866 Hardcover – 13 Jul 1996
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"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
"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
This is a history of the Austro-Prussian-Italian War of 1866, which paved the way for German and Italian unification. Geoffrey Wawro describes Prussia's successful invasion of Habsburg Venetia, and the wretched collapse of the Austrian army in July 1866.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Wawro explodes the myth of the Austrian General Benedek as a competent commander betrayed by unruly subordinates. He demonstrates that Benedek was a fumbling inept general who threw away chances of victory and whose staff tried to rewrite history.
Not only this but his accounts of the battles are vivid if tragic. One cannnot feel anything but sadness and horror as he describes how the white coated Austrian infantry in obsolete columns throw themselves at better armed and trained Prussians and are cut down in droves.
If you have any interest in 19th Century Warfare you must buy this book.
If a military historian wants to be taken seriously then in my opinion he cannot afford to make simple errors of scholarship on page one. To claim that Fontenoy was fought in 1743 suggests either ignorance, carelessness, poor editing, or a combination of all three. Unfortunately this isn't the only factual error to be found in the text, for example and in no particular order; the sun couldn't have glinted on the Austrian Cuirassiers body armour at Koniggratz as they had divested themselves of the breastplate in 1862; Prussian 'schrapnel' didn't burst in the Austrian ranks as the Prussians had no air burst capability in 1866; the introduction of the rifled musket did not increase the range of the infantryman to 1200m!; an Austrian field hospital at Koniggratz couldn't have been overun by 8000 Austrian Cuirassiers as there were probably no more than 5000 Cuirassiers on all parts of the field in total. And so it goes on, page after page of foolish errors and hyperbole combining to irritate the informed reader and, more seriously, to reduce his faith in the author's credibility. Add to this an unfair and almost pathological distain for the non-Germanic elements of the Austrian army* and Dr. Wawro's book begins to look decidedly thin.Read more ›
But whilst the book was scholarly (filled with references for example) and also comprehensive, giving a full account, in chronological order, of each and all of the skirmishes and mini battles that led up to the final denouement at Konigratz (Sadow), several things seemed to be missing.
Firstly, more maps would have helped me properly understand the troop movements and the terrain.
Secondly I needed an appendix with the chain of command in the armies. I found it very hard to follow the characters and exactly who was doing what. Some have similar names for example Prince Friedrich Karl and Prince Friedrich Willhelm, whilst others seemed to change their title and position during the conflict. I kept checking -- was this the person who previously was doing such and such on page y, or not. A list of the major characters at the end, together with the particular bit of army the were commanding, and when, would have been invaluable.
But most serious of all it didn't seem to give the big picture. I was looking for the grand themes as well as the detail and they seemed either absent or simplistic. For example I was left thinking that the Germans won simply because a) they had a better gun and b) the Austrians were incompetent. Wawro seems rather dismissive of the loser.
Despite these limitations I'm not sure you'll find a better book on the topic. His other book on the Franco Prussian war is much better!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book to be very dry and a bit hard to get through. The theme is interesting.Published 19 months ago by michal stefanczak
As others have commented, this is a mixed bag. Yes, there are sloppy factual errors, getting the date of the Battle of Fontenoy wrong was particularly jarring; yes, there was a... Read morePublished on 11 Mar. 2012 by David Carey