The Battle of Königgrätz (Austro-Prussian War)
The Battle of Königgrätz is a fine example of Prussia’s efficient use of their munitions and the men wielding it. Prussia triumphed over a far larger army in this battle by effective use of its weapons and artillery. In this battle, the Germans (Prussians) were greatly outnumbered by the Austrians, and initially the Germans were kept at bay by Austria’s artillery and positioning. However, the advancement of Prussia’s army through the forest (which was cleared out by Prussian troops) kept Austria’s superior cavalry from doing any significant damage. This close-proximity battle favored Prussia’s faster reloading artillery and faster discharging weapons that had superior fire rate over Austrian arms. They held this position effectively but were eventually pushed back to the outskirts of the forest by an Austrian charge. This charge, however, left the Austrian army’s right flank completely exposed to Prussia’s proceeding infantry. The Prussians focused nearly all their fire on the Austrian army’s right flank, and it was not long before they pushed through the Austrian defense and seized Chlum. A waiting division of foot-soldiers then broke through Austria’s left flank. The Austrian line was promptly collapsed by the Prussian firepower, and caused the Austrians to retreat across the Elbe. This battle was one example of Prussia’s masterful battle strategies. They effectively dispersed the troops across the battlefield to strike where the enemy was weakest. They knew the strength of their army was outmatched by the Austrians, but were able to command their army in such a way that won them the battle and the war.