Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke (1800–1891) was Chief of Staff of the Prussian Army and the German Army for thirty years (1857–1888). He led Prussian and German forces in the “Wars of Unification” against Denmark in 1864, against Austria and its German allies in 1866, and against France in 1870–71. One of his chief strategic insights was that army corps should march separately and then merge together in time for battle. He is also renowned for his use of telegraph communications and railroads to direct the movement of troops before a conflict. In October 1870, after his victory over the French a month earlier at the Battle of Sedan, he was ennobled as a count [Graf]. The next year he was promoted to the rank of field marshal. This portrait by Heinrich Lessing (1856–1911) dates from 1886.

Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke, Chief of the Prussian General Staff (1886)


Source: Heinrich Lessing, Portrait of Helmuth von Moltke. Oil on canvas (1886). Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin. Inv.-Nr.: Gm 95/40. Available online at: http://www.dhm.de/lemo/bestand/objekt/95001241

© Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin