What was the better military of the Franco-Prussian War?

10/11/2012 • Ask Mr. History

What do you consider the greater power, the Prussian military or the French military of the Franco-Prussian war.


? ? ?

Dear Dawn,  

You might want to do some reading into the details, but generally speaking the French had the more technologically advanced army, including the bolt-action Chassepot rifle (superior to the once-innovative but already dated Dreyse needle gun) and the mitrailleuse (a proto-machine gun). The Prussians, however, proved to have a more efficient command structure and staff system, and its leadership and overall strategy, under the overall command of Helmuth von Moltke, prevailed over the French commanders, many of whom found themselves over their heads.




Jon Guttman
Research Director
World History Group
More Questions at Ask Mr. History