Chapter

Queen Of The Battlefield

Eric Dorn Brose

in The Kaiser's Army

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780195143355
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199872015 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143355.003.0003
Queen Of The Battlefield

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This chapter presents a picture of the German Army in the mid-1880s. At the apex was a gerontocracy headed by Kaiser William, Helmuth von Moltke, and 18 aging corps commanders whom the sentimental head of state refused to retire. Most of these elderly generals frowned on the prospect of wartime field duty. Army administrative leadership was increasingly divided, moreover, after the forced resignation of Kameke. These counterproductive divisions exacerbated already existing rivalries among the three main branches of the service. Cavalry, infantry, and artillery squabbles over military technology and appropriate tactical responses further divided the army against itself. It is significant that in all three branches, conservative factions managed to write their technophobic doctrines into regulations. Foreign military developments made Germany's drift toward antimodernism even more alarming. It was the French and the Russians, not the Germans, who blazed the trail of modern military technology in the 1880s and 1890s.

Keywords: German Army; military technology; Kaiser William; Helmuth von Moltke; antimodernism

Chapter.  6979 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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