The Franco-Prussian War
The Franco-Prussian War is another example of military strategy being the decisive factor in a war, as opposed to sheer numbers and firepower. By changing their overall strategy and not just the tactics in battle (which was done in the Battle of Königgrätz) the Prussians were able to outsmart the French and defeat them. Initially, the Prussians were struggling to succeed against the French, because this kind of defensive battle was the kind of warfare the French Army was built around. The Prussians gained the advantage through superior commanders, speed, and positioning. Their success came in the ability to get around the enemy and strike them at their rear and flanks, which was a result of the superior Prussian artillery restricting the movements of French troops as the Prussians closed on their position. A retreating French force was promptly met, and after a series of battles, were pushed back into the fortress which was later besieged. The land Prussia conquered from this war led to friction between France and Germany in later years, and pitted them against each other in the first World War. Germany’s ability to outsmart their opponents rather than overpower led them to great success, and caused them to become a feared and respected military force in 19th century and early 20th century Europe.