Talk:Austro-Prussian War

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Use of new technologies, esp railroads[edit]

It would be nice if this article included a discussion of the use of new technologies, especially railroads, in the Austro-Prussian War. I would add it myself, but I'm not qualified. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 05:03, 14 March 2005 (UTC).


Are there any maps associated with this page? Maps would help the greatly reader. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:28, 9 November 2005 (UTC).

Map added - 52 Pickup 13:49, 30 October 2006 (UTC

) Königsgrätz was located in Bohemia, where about one third of the population was German. Therefore the German name.

Koninggratz is a seprate War?[edit]

The casualty list for the Austrians said 20,000 KIA,WIA etc for the entire war previously, but seeing as the battle of Koninggratz says for ONE BATTLE 25,000+ Austrian soldiers KIA and WIA. Now, I am inclined to believe the Battle article over the war article, as 1. The Prussians and Italians were outnumbered by Austria, and thus if more pf them were killed then the Austrians (as the war article would have us beieve previously, 20,000 V. 35,000) then the Austrians would have had the momentum to bring the fight to Berlin. 2. Most records I have read about Koninggratz put Austro-Germanic losses at around 23,000-29,000. And finally 3: Most of the Records for overall war deaths I have read give about 40,000-47,000 dead. I have altered the War article untill further notice. ELV —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 05:07, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


The same anonymous contributor (User talk:, who has a history of doing this to many articles (which immediately get reverted), has now twice changed the number of Austrian casualties with no explanation on the talk page:

I am reverting this back to 20,000 because this editor simply cannot be trusted. Gsd2000 13:03, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Contemporary military source says over 71 thousands just for Austria. I changed it, with reference and link to newspaper copy. Pavel Vozenilek (talk) 21:43, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Something that doesn't make sense[edit]

Under "Alliances" there is a sentence that reads: while the Russian Empire still bore a grudge against Austria from the Crimean War.

Why did the Russians have a grudge against Austria? I didn't think Austria participated in the Crimean war! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by TehNomad (talkcontribs) 01:17, 19 December 2006 (UTC).

I think this is discussed in the Crimean War article. It's certainly discussed on that talk page. The Russians expect that the Austrians would support them in the diplomatic crisis in the near east, or at least would remain benevolently neutral. Instead, the Austrians made an alliance with the British and French, and sent an ultimatum to Russia demanding it evacuate the Danubian Principalities. Throughout the war, the main Russian armies were tied up in Poland to defend against a possible Austrian attack. The Russians felt that the Austrians, who owed them big-time from their intervention in the Hungarian Rebellion in 1849, had been complete ingrates, and held it against them more or less forever (although there were periods of marginally warmer Austro-Russian relations). john k 05:54, 19 December 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't 'disillusion' be 'dissolution'? Just asking. Go easy, guys, I'm a complete newbie. Philip Trueman 13:22, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Citations needed - March 2007[edit]

Perhaps it is a bit presumptuous of me, but I have inserted the "citations required" template at the head of the "Causes" section. The section contains a vast amount of turgid, hard-to-follow debate on the interpretations of historians Feutchwanger (sp ?), A.J.P. Taylor and Carr, without once citing the works in which these are set out.

It seems to me that this huge section should be reduced to five or six simple declarative paragraphs, with perhaps one or two mentions of any academic disputes. I have separated out some of the military factors, but lack the knowledge of the political and diplomatic settings to tidy the complete section.

HLGallon 05:16, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I just looked at the section and found that the the references to the historians seem to take up a majority of the section. It makes the entire section seem biased and it also could be copied from somewhere...Typer525 Talk 15:38, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
I have attempted to remove some of the "turgidity," but there is absolutely a huge Bismarck/Prussia bias in this section. I'm just trying to wipe away some of the easy grammar missteps before I can attack the actual content of the opening (which is just waaay too long anyway -- WWI and the Crimean War combined have a shorter "cause" description than this thing). But if this was copied from somewhere, the original author must have had a terrible editor.--ColorOfSuffering 20:51, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
The section looks a lot better now, though it could still use a few cites or references. I suspect that the section as it stood in March was not actually copied from anywhere; it looks suspiciously like original research. HLGallon 23:47, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Unification War/German Civil War[edit]

It is certainly not called the Unification War, as it is one out of three. Also, I can't remember ever having read German Civil War. If this is really used, how about some source. -- 14:23, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Michael Balfour [The Kaiser and his Times, Houghton Mifflin (1964) pp. 67-68) points out that Crown Prince Frederick: (1) "was the only member of the Prussian Crown Council to uphold the rights of the Duke of Augustenberg and oppose the idea of a war with Austria which he described as fratricide." (2) Although he supported unification and the restoration of the medieval empire, "Fritz could not accept that war was the right way to unite Germany."Italus (talk) 11:52, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Clean up of Economic Factors[edit]

I have attempted to make this section more readable and relevant, but I don't have the knowledge to redo it properly. The references to so many historians seems a little unnecessary and confusing. Susanna144 11:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Clean up economics section[edit]

There has been a clean up tag on the economics section since 3-07. The section loosely attributed some quotes to five "experts", two of whom could be identified and have articles about them on WP to which we can link for purposes of credibility. The other three: J.Bruilly, Feutchwanger, and Carr are likely legitimate, but can not be easily identified or corroborated as experts on this subject. I suggest that any quotes within this article be referenced with footnotes or at least cite the work in the reference section if you are going to name-drop. However, I sense this was just a cut and paste from elsewhere. --Kevin Murray 01:06, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

"The first major war between two continental powers in many years" Really?[edit]

The first words in the "Course of the War" section currently say, "The first major war between two continental powers in many years..." I am puzzled how neither the Crimean War nor the Second War of Italian Independence would count as major wars between continental powers, nor would I say that the number of years between these and the Austro-Prussian War would count as "many years". Perhaps the editor was referring to the wars of Napoleon I, which certainly fit as major and having occurred many years before. If headcount is the criteria for a major war, the Crimean War seems large enough, and goodness knows that duration would not be a measure by which the Austro-Prussian war should be measured for "greatness".

I will grant that the results of this war were far more significant than the results of the other two named above, but I don't know that the importance of the outcomes is necessarily the best measure of major vs. minor wars.

Other esteemed editors' thoughts?

Mmccalpin (talk) 15:37, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I completely agree with the above comment. I also note that 18 months later the incorrect statement remains unchanged. I have therefore changed it.

pmr (talk) 11:24, 28 June 2009 (UTC)


There's a refence in the introdcution to the annexation of Hanover causing a lasting diplomatic split between Great Britian and Germany. Can someone detail what form this took, as Anglo-German relations in the late 19th Century always seemed quite cosy. Indisciplined (talk) 22:30, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

"Anglo-German relations in the late 19th Century always seemed quite cosy"

I hope your joking. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Table of Contents[edit]

Does anyone else like the table of contents bumped up against the infobox like that? Personally, I think it looks crowded. I would change it now, but I wanted to see if anyone else had an opinion one way or the other...? ColorOfSuffering (talk) 03:59, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


"Hesse-Darmstadt: Surrendered some of its northern territory (the Hessian Hinterland) to Prussia. The northern half of the remaining land (Upper Hesse) joined the North German Confederation". I think there is some confusion here. The only territory lost by Hesse-Darmstadt in 1866 was the part of Hesse-Homburg it had acquired earlier in the year when the ruling house of Hesse-Homburg died out. This was north of the Main, but was not part of Oberhessen. I do not understand "the Hessian Hinterland". The northern half of "the remaining land", i.e. the northern half of those parts of Hesse-Darmstadt which did not become part of Prussia, was called Oberhessen, i.e. "Upper Hesse"; so contrasting "the northern part" with "Upper Hesse" does not make sense. Maproom (talk) 15:53, 23 February 2009 (UTC)


Can somone tell what literature they used,for this article? can somone send me message?--Serbianboy (talk) 11:12, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Can somone give me some literature?--VuXman talk 11:27, 19 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Serbianboy (talkcontribs)

When did it start?[edit]

As far as I can tell, the first date mentioned in this article is that for the battle of Koniggratz. When did the war itself start? Parsecboy (talk) 23:59, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

June 14. john k (talk) 03:24, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
There's very little here on the start. Plus the sentences "When Austria brought the dispute before the German diet and also decided to convene the Holstein diet, Prussia, declaring that the Gastein Convention had thereby been nullified, invaded Holstein. When the German diet responded by voting for a partial mobilization against Prussia, Bismarck declared that the German Confederation was ended." seem to contradict "Most of the German states sided with Austria against Prussia, even though Austria had declared war." When anybody declared war is not stated, but the former suggests that Austria and most of the German states had all agreed on war (or at least partial mobilization) over the Prussian occupation of Holstein. Rwestera (talk) 02:58, 19 January 2013 (UTC)


The following line was omitted during the merge from Battles of the Austro-Prussian War. I include it here for completeness' sake, and on the off chance someone can research the battle and add it as appropriate. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 14:48, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Proximate cause[edit]

The article mentions a lot of political, economic, and military background as setting the stage for the war, but doesn't go into much detail about the disagreement that led to the war. What kind of issues over administrating Schleswig-Holstein did Bismarck have? Was war declared immediately or were there further negotiations? And so on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Why not aim lower?[edit]

In the section Armaments and tactics, we read

In the Franco-Austrian War of 1859, French troops had taken advantage of the fact that the rifles of the time fired high if sighted for long range

Weren't the Austrians aware of this too? So why didn't they just aim lower? There must be something missing from this explanation. Maproom (talk) 14:13, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

The Austrian infantry concentrated on the Stosstaktik, marksmanship training was traditionally neglected - while the Prussian infantryman was required to fire 100 practice shots per year, the Austrian was allowed only twenty rounds per year, which meant that on average Austrian marksmanship (certainly that of the line infantry regiments) was notoriously poor. (The Austrians actually reduced their army budget means on peace-time target practice after they analysed their experiences from the 1859 war, thus failing to exploit the superior range and accuracy of the Lorenz rifle over the Dreyse gun.) (talk) 05:05, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
As for the 1859 campaign proper - (actually some Austrian troops were still armed with M.40/M.42 Augustin smoothbores) - many soldiers received their M.54 Lorenz rifles only on the way to the front and never fired them before actual battles (so the unfamiliarity with them perhaps played some part) - but the greatest single problem of the Austrian infantry in 1859 was generally poor marksmanship practice. (talk) 20:17, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Waht Was Sadowa?[edit]

There is a picture of the battle, and discussion of "revenge for Sadowa" but it is not explained. Thvv (talk) 22:04, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Click on the link in the picture's caption, and you will find that Sadowa is another name for Königgrätz. I agree that this could be better handled in the article. Maproom (talk) 09:16, 10 September 2011 (UTC)


  • Certainly in the Prussian-Italian pact was mentioned only Venetia. But the Italy's targets were more and larger in order to go on with the national unification process. If Italian army and navy would have defeated Austrians, and it had not been not the case, Italy would attempt to gain Trentino and at least some islands of Dalmatia. In fact Garibaldi invaded Trentino and the Italian navy was busy in landing to Lissa when it was unexpectedly attacked by Austrians. Landing to Lissa was not a promenade, but the first step for the annexation of this island and then possibly of other islands nearby. In many cases at the end of the war territorial gains were more than mentioned in previous pacts. Soviet Union got from Romania Basarabia as well as Bukovina, although in the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact only Basarabia was mentioned. I will try accordingly to change the wording in a more soft way.--Deguef (talk) 16:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


The text given in the article is not complete. Likewise, the user who wrote that the requium begins and ends with the word "selig" is wrong, or partially wrong. It does begin with "selig". --Former Contributor B. Hain, 6:19, 30 September 2013 (GMT) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Nguyen dynasty?[edit]

The Nguyen dynasty fought alongside Prussia and Italy? News to me — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:39, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Merge with Third Italian War of Independence?[edit]

Honestly, I can't see why they are separate articles. Italy joined the war only because of its alliance with Prussia and seeing a preoccupied Austria with a chance to conquer their territories. This article has pictures, information and links to subjects that should technically be linked to the third italian war of independence (referred to as TIWI from now on). Also, the actual "course of the war" section is scant in information and doesn't actually give any sort of narrative of what happened in the war.

I suggest a couple of different courses could be taken: 1. Merge the TIWI article into this one or leave a rump article that links to this one. Then create separate "theatre" sections in this article where it provides narratives of the campaigning in the different regions. This is my favoured idea as the TIWI article is poorly written and completely slanted towards the Italian POV, there is almost no information at all about the Austrians in the article. 2. Remove a vast majority of references to TIWI (battles, pictures, etc) from this article and leave just a linking paragraph about TIWI somewhere early in the article, and overhaul the TIWI article. This is my least preferred course of action as in reality, these were both the same war, just different theatres.

What does everyone else think?

-- (talk) 00:08, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Quoting contemporary newspapers[edit]

I strongly disagree with the uncommented inclusion of long quotes from contemporary news articles that comment on issues of nationalist sentiment. Using contemporary newspapers as though they were unbiased, neutral historical sources is extremely problematic. The quote given in the article is the following:

There is, in political geography, no Germany proper to speak of. There are Kingdoms and Grand Duchies, and Duchies and Principalities, inhabited by Germans, and each separately ruled by an independent sovereign with all the machinery of State. Yet there is a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans into one great nation, ruled by one common head as a national unit.

If you read on, though, it continues as follows:

This feeling dates as far back into antiquity as the days of Hermann, when all the German tribes, or Staemme, united under him against the Roman invasion under Varro. It culminated in, in the Christian era, after Charlemagne, in an elective Empire, which for many centuries represented a consolidated Germany in the political world.

Clearly, this is based on how the issue was perceived in the 19th century, not modern historical interpretations of popular views of nationalism in Germany of the 1860s. If quotes like this are to be used, they need to be backed up with some sort of analysis or comment by modern historians. Otherwise, it constitutes a form of WP:SYNTH since articles in the New York Times written during the war is essentially a form of primary source.

Peter Isotalo 03:09, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

As for the rules we should be following WP:NEWSORG. Peter's statement on my talk page "Newspaper articles are never authoritative historical sources " does not follow those guidelines -- he invented that "rule". What we have here is a how contemporaries who were neutral in this war looked at the key players. That is a relevant primary source regarding elite attitudes at the time, and is introduced that way. I might add that historians of the US Civil War often quote Karl Marx's newspaper stories about it. The excerpt follows the Wiki rules on careful use of primary sources. WP:PRIMARY = primary sources that have been reputably published may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. [in this case editors made no interpretation.] Peter seems to reject this rule by saying NEVER use old newspapers. In terms of substance I think the statement is quite good. the editor of the NY Times Henry Jarvis Raymond was an expert on central Europe and was nominated the following year by President Johnson as ambassador to Austria (he declined). Rjensen (talk) 16:29, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, historians cite primary sources all the time as historians. But on Wikipedia you're an editor like everyone else and you have to cite published works for stuff like this. If you feel that your summaries accurately reflect consensus among historians, then it would be pretty simple for you to get references for it. Otherwise, WP:NEWSORG is very clear regarding analysis, which is what this quote represents:
Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact.
An extremely general claim about "a natural undercurrent tending to a national feeling and toward a union of the Germans" is an opinion. It's very relevant to the issue of the rise of nationalism in 19th century Europe, but the issue of nationalism in relation to the consolidation of European nation-states is an extremely complex issue that can't be accurately represented by citing a single news article from a US newspaper.
You've also justified to keep the quote by injecting your own views regarding the relevance of the source in the article text:
Well informed neutral analysis was provided to outsiders by a leading New York newspaper:
Unless you have something to back this up with, this is synthesis and is exactly the type of interpretation that WP:PRIMARY warns against. It's problematic enough to include a quote from a specific primary source in a place of prominence without those kinds of non-neutral caveats.
Peter Isotalo 17:01, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Synthesis = taking A and B from the sources and coming up with a new idea C. Not happening here. Yes newspapers are RS -- and in this case the editor (Raymond) was a leading expert on the subject based in a neutral country. He was the presiderntial nominee for ambassador to Austria the next year. That tells us what experts thought about the participants at the time. Note that NO interpretation is being offered of the quotation. And for the record I did NOT add the quote in the first place--another editor did. Rjensen (talk) 17:09, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
This is actually pretty clear synthesis. It's fairly likely that it's true that Raymond had a hand in this, but it's kinda difficult to simply accept it when the article has no assigned authorship. This is mostly a way for you to argue the merits of the source itself.
Please stop using references that aren't in any way related to the topic of the article. The inclusion of the NYT article is not ideal to begin with since it focuses on US opinion, and there's no support that it's representative of the European press.
Peter Isotalo 13:46, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Raymond as the editor & owner was in charge of the editorials. As the chairman of the GOP party he was very well known nationwide. it represents the American press--no one claims it represents the European press. If you have some relevant European press clippings please add them rather than complain so much. Rjensen (talk) 18:28, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I understand your argument and it's logical. But it's still just an assumption without any support in secondary references. Raymond is clearly relevant to US politics and The New York Times, but this article isn't about any of those things but a European war. What's the argument for inclusion of a US newspaper opinion in the first place? Was the NYT widely read and respected in Europe? I also don't see any indication that either of the US major parties had an affect on this issue.
I've provided what I believe is a functional compromise with the quote intact, so I'll stick to my criticism. To me the problem is that this amounts to US-centric perspective that goes against the spirit of WP:WORLDVIEW.
Peter Isotalo 19:21, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
how German nationalism & unification are seen around the world is a relevant topic. the article is 1/10 of 1% US-centric. What would be useful is to summarize the British position, as reported in Chris Williams (2008). A Companion to 19th-Century Britain. pp. 42–43. , as well as the actual French position (instead we get Bismarck's view of the French ). Rjensen (talk) 19:58, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that it's very interesting, but press opinion is still just mostly a sub-topic of this article. So placing quotes from NYT in a prominent position is definitely WP:UNDUE. The British and French positions are extremely relevant, though, and even Bismarck's views on the French position.
But the position of the NYT is by itself does not appear to be very relevant. This is not a matter of simply going by who was neutral at the time, but by looking at the players that were involved and affected the historical events. We have enough problems on Wikipedia with a general European-US perspective in our articles. We don't need to narrow that focus even more by gratuitously including contemporary US views on European history.
Peter Isotalo 20:19, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

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