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Helmuth von Moltke: Memoradum on the Possible War between Prussia and Austria (1866)

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Putting ourselves, as is then necessary, in possession of Mainz, we [will] then have in this place, in Coblenz, Cologne, and Erfurt, the kinds of bases essentially maintained by militia, so that even the most improbable invasion of the Rhine Province or Thuringia by the south Germans cannot be of any consequence as soon as we are finished with Austria. Moreover, the VIIth and VIIIth Army Corps would be a more imminent threat to Munich if they were to penetrate through to Prague than if they were to be concentrated around Mainz.

If, with respect to Bavaria's military situation, the minimum that needs to be attained is not conceding the use of the Regensburg railway for Austrian transports (which would really be a hostile measure against us), then we will still have the decisive advantage of the initiative in the event of an immediate mobilization of the army.

If Austria wants an alliance with Saxony, then it cannot avoid contributing to the country's defense; otherwise, Dresden's cabinet would have to seek a separate peace at the last moment. We shall reach Dresden with the IVth, VIIth, VIIIth, and Guards Corps on the 31st day with over 100,000 men.

If everything that is now available in Bohemia goes to support Saxony, then we would only encounter 74,000 men. For with only one railway line, it would not be possible, at the designated time, to assemble more than 100,000 men from the Austrian crown lands, from Hungary and Galicia, and these would necessarily have to fight against our Ist, IInd, IIrd, Vth, and VIth Corps, which have over 150,000 men.

We would therefore have the prospect, in Bohemia as in Saxony, of striking the first blows from a position of significant superiority.

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