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Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen: Observations on the State of the Austrian Army (1854)

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The exercises with mixed weapons showed that both the management and the leadership were in an infantile state, which I found surprising. Everything was prescribed by the upper management of both parties, and the victory was determined in advance, rather than being made dependent on the leaders' rules and on penalties using an umpire. This resulted in some delightful maneuver ideas. E.g., the general idea implied: the northern corps defends the position N.N. and occupies it with the reinforced right wing. The southern corps attacks this position.

1st moment: unlucky attack on the part of the southern corps against the enemy right wing.

2nd moment: Successful attack against the enemy left wing etc.

The result was that the attacker used very few troops during the first attack because it was supposed to be unlucky, and this [using few troops] required fewer battalions to take the same path twice, and another result was that, at the start of the second attack, the defender would immediately evacuate its excellent artillery position, because then the attack would succeed and the artillery could be put on the spot.

[ . . . ]

Source: Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Aus meinem Leben: Aufzeichnungen des Prinzen Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen [From My Life: Chronicles of Prince Kraft zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen], ed., Arved von Teichman und Logischen. Berlin: Ernst Siegried Mittler und Sohn, 1897-1907, vol. 1, pp. 257-59, 280-82.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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