In the shadow of Bismarck: Kaiser Wilhelm I, soldier on the throne

83
In the shadow of Bismarck: Kaiser Wilhelm I, soldier on the throne

The period of the German stories The 1870s and 1880s are often referred to as the "Bismarck era" or the "Bismarck era", and one might get the impression that these two decades are just one chapter in the biography of the "Iron Chancellor". Otto von Bismarck really played a huge role in the history of Germany, not without reason one of the most famous biographers of Bismarck called his hero "the magician of power" [2].

In the eyes of posterity, and even contemporaries, the figure of Emperor (Kaiser) Wilhelm I was in the shadow of Otto von Bismarck. William I is credited with a very characteristic statement:



"It is not easy to be emperor under Bismarck" [1].

Not only the emperor, but the entire German society was in the shadow of the "iron chancellor". Nevertheless, the history of Germany of this period is quite bright and contains many other equally worthy names. This is primarily the head of the general staff, Helmut (Helmut) von Moltke, and the Minister of War, Albrecht von Roon. All of them were united by the fact that they revealed their talents just in the era of the reign of Wilhelm I Friedrich Ludwig Hohenzollern.

At the same time, not so many books are devoted to Kaiser Wilhelm I, much less than to his grandson Wilhelm II. Last year, the Eurasia publishing house published the work of the famous German historian Nikolai Anatolyevich Vlasov "Kaiser Wilhelm I", in which he interestingly outlined the biography of the German emperor - the author of this article borrowed a lot of factual material from this work, which, of course, deserves to get to know him.

“After the death of his grandfather, Wilhelm II declared that it was the Prussian king who was the creator of German unity, and everyone else, including Bismarck, were pygmies, tools in his hands. These words caused a storm of indignation and ridicule throughout Germany ...
At the same time, to this day, the opposite interpretation is widespread, in which Wilhelm I appears only as a powerless puppet in the hands of a brilliant politician, a capricious old man who only prevented Bismarck from pursuing his line. Such a picture distorts the past by no means to a lesser extent [1]”,

‒ writes Nikolai Vlasov.

In this material, we will try to answer the question - what role did Wilhelm I really play in the unification of Germany, as well as in the domestic and foreign policy of Prussia and the Second Reich.

First Soldier of the Kingdom of Prussia


The future emperor Wilhelm was born on March 22, 1797 at a very turbulent time for Europe. In 1789, a revolution began in France, which coincided in time with a serious crisis in international relations and aggravated it.

When the boy was four years old, the theologian Delbrück was appointed his teacher. A man of moderately conservative views, Delbrück nevertheless was a supporter of new pedagogical theories, in particular, philanthropism, fashionable in those years. At the heart of this current lay the idea that children need, firstly, to be taught taking into account their inclinations, and secondly, to teach what is really useful in life. Therefore, instead of ancient Greek and Latin, the princes studied modern languages, mathematics, history and geography [1].

However, the most important of all sciences for the prince, who was not supposed to inherit the throne (he was the second son of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm), by default was the military. This was typical for many royal courts in Europe, where the younger offspring devoted their lives to serving in the army. Already at the age of 9, Wilhelm began to undergo special military training.

On February 1, 1807, he was formally accepted for military service in the Prussian army, but there was no talk of any real service for the 10-year-old Wilhelm. However, much attention was paid to his military training [1]. Speaking about Wilhelm's studies, it should be noted that he was considered a disciplined and diligent student, but not too gifted and understanding. The prince's interest in studies also left much to be desired.

Events 1813–1815 in Germany they were called the Wars of Liberation and, as historian Nikolai Vlasov notes, they became one of the most mythologized pages of history. Naturally, the participation of Prince Wilhelm in the war is also shrouded in myths. Subsequently, various military exploits were attributed to him - for example, in one of the battles, the young man allegedly launched an attack and led the soldiers of the Russian Kaluga regiment [1].

In reality, everything was somewhat different: most of the time, Wilhelm stayed at the headquarters of the allied armies. Nevertheless, once the prince still managed to be under bullets. On February 27, 1814, at the battle of Bar-sur-Aube, the king sent his son on an assignment to one of the generals who was in the thick of the battle. Wilhelm not only fulfilled his mission, but also took part in the attack. For participation in the campaign, Wilhelm received the Iron Cross 1st class and the Russian Order of St. George 4th degree (in Russia, the young prince gradually began to be treated as his own person in Berlin), and was promoted to major.

Contemporaries noted the calm nature and strict bearing of the young prince, his practical mind and unfailing courtesy in dealing with others. His appearance corresponded to his character - tall (188 centimeters) with regular, noble features. Wilhelm had all the qualities necessary for a Prussian officer, the only thing he was deprived of was military talent [1].

If he were the offspring of an ordinary noble family, Wilhelm could become an excellent commander of a battalion, regiment, division, and even an army corps. It would be a clear mistake to entrust him with the management of the army, fortunately, he himself understood this very well and never aspired to play the great military leader [1].

At the age of 27, Wilhelm assumed the position of commander of the III Army Corps, which was considered the highest in the peacetime Prussian army. It is worth noting that the Prussian army was formed according to the territorial principle, the whole kingdom was divided into 8 corps districts, in which the corresponding corps were stationed.

The prince took his position very seriously and sought to contribute to the development of the Prussian army. In 1837 he was appointed commander of the Guards Corps. Almost simultaneously with this, he becomes the head of the commission for the development of the military regulations of the Prussian army. The following year he was appointed Inspector General of the VII and VIII Army Corps, and a year later the V and VI Corps.

Thus, Wilhelm becomes the first soldier of the kingdom, the highest-ranking military figure in the Hohenzollern dynasty.

Wilhelm on the way to the royal title


Frederick William IV
Frederick William IV

Having celebrated his 60th birthday, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia believed that all the most important things in his life were already behind him and only sunset, old age and slow fading were waiting for him. However, fate decreed otherwise.

In July 1857, King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the elder brother of Prince Wilhelm, had his first stroke (in other words, a stroke). Frederick William IV was out of action for two weeks. In October, a new, even more severe stroke followed - the king was unconscious for several days and his possible death was already discussed at court [1].

As a result, Frederick William IV still came to his senses, but it was clear that he would no longer be able to fulfill his duties. In such a situation, a regent should have been appointed, and according to the law, only Prince Wilhelm could become one [1].

Considering that there were serious political differences between the brothers, the king and his supporters in every possible way delayed the moment of making a decision. In Berlin, the political struggle began to boil, the whole court was shrouded in a network of intrigues. Ultimately, the head of the government, Otto von Manteuffel, after much deliberation, decided to support Wilhelm's claim to the regency. On October 7, 1858, Friedrich Wilhelm IV signed a decree with a weakening hand appointing his younger brother as regent.

After the appointment, Wilhelm first of all dissolved the cabinet of Manteuffel, who had been in power for 8 years, and dismissed him himself. New figures were appointed to all positions in the Cabinet of Ministers. Wilhelm purposefully appointed people who enjoyed his personal trust to ministerial posts, he also took into account the popularity of candidates in society [1]. Simultaneously with the appointment of a new cabinet, elections were held for the lower house of the Prussian parliament, which ended in a convincing victory for the moderate liberals.

Wilhelm was a supporter of moderate reforms. The regent believed that the cause of reform should be approached carefully and thoughtfully, improving the existing system, and not rebuilding it. “Slowly and deliberately” was the unofficial motto of the first years of his reign [1].

In only one aspect did he demand radical change, and that was the question of military reform. He began to take measures to strengthen the army immediately after he took power into his own hands. In particular, on his orders, the entire Prussian infantry was armed with Dreyse rifles. At the same time, a significant part of military experts opposed the Dreyse system, because all the other European armies refused to introduce breech-loading needle rifles, so the regent's decision was quite bold. However, the 1866 campaign of the year showed how serious the advantage was for the Prussian infantry thanks to the new arms [1].

In addition, Wilhelm was going to increase the size of the peacetime army, which had not changed since the Napoleonic Wars, despite the fact that the population of Prussia had grown. The events of 1848–1850 convinced him of the need for reforms, and active work in this direction began almost immediately after the revolution.

Albrecht von Roon
Albrecht von Roon

Wilhelm's closest assistant in this area gradually became Albrecht von Roon. The prince met this officer during the Baden campaign of 1849. Over the next decade, Roon held various staff and command positions in the formations stationed in the western provinces of Prussia, and thanks to this he was in constant close contact with Wilhelm. Some historians call him the closest and perhaps even the only real friend of the regent [1].

In the summer of 1858, Roon, on behalf of Wilhelm, prepared a memorandum on military reform, which was taken as the basis for further plans. Roon's idea was simple and obvious: it was necessary to do away with the chimerical structure of the Prussian army and make it uniform. To do this, it is necessary to sharply expand the conscription contingent and the number of linear connections, as well as increase the period of stay in the reserve [1].

In addition to the military reform, the regent prepared a number of internal political transformations. It was about the introduction of civil marriage, the liberalization of economic legislation, the abolition of tax privileges of the nobility, the reform of local government [1].

Edwin von Manteuffel
Edwin von Manteuffel

At the same time, it is erroneous to assume that the regent in these years was under the influence of the liberal environment. An example of the opposite is the figure of Edwin von Manteuffel, the cousin of the former head of government. Having made a successful career under Frederick William IV, he was able to enlist the trust of his younger brother. Manteuffel quickly became one of the main associates of the regent, actively supporting the appointment of Albrecht von Roon as Minister of War.

However, there were issues that Wilhelm could not solve in any way - firstly, this is the question of the unification of Germany, which was desired by the German nationalists, and secondly, this is the adoption of a military reform, which they still could not agree on in parliament. The Landtag refused to approve the expenses necessary for this. The reform was eventually carried out on a whim, which finally brought the situation to a standstill.

On January 2, 1861, Friedrich Wilhelm IV died and Wilhelm officially became king. Wilhelm I was already 63 years old - a very respectable age by the standards of that time. On October 18, his solemn coronation took place. It took place not in Berlin, but in Königsberg. It was there, in the old capital of the Duchy of Prussia, that the first king, Frederick I, was crowned in 1701.

The choice of the city became a deeply symbolic act - Wilhelm not only emphasized dynastic succession, but also made it clear that he would continue the old Prussian tradition [1].

At the same time, the political crisis in the country was growing. Due to the fact that the Prussian policy did not achieve any results in the issue of German unification, disappointment in the nationalist camp was growing rapidly.

As Nikolai Vlasov notes, the attempt on the life of Wilhelm I, which took place on July 14, 1861 in Baden-Baden, where the king was on vacation, was a more than tangible sign of this disappointment of the nationalists.

“Student Oscar Becker fired at the strolling monarch, but the bullet only scratched his neck. The intruder was captured, and during interrogation he stated that he had decided to attempt the assassination, since the Prussian king had not fulfilled his mission to unite Germany [1].”

Wilhelm I is an effective manager


Kaiser Wilhelm and Bismarck
Kaiser Wilhelm and Bismarck

By appointing a liberal ministry, William I had no intention of giving up his royal prerogatives. One of them was the leadership of the armed forces; the army was traditionally considered the personal domain of the king. The liberal majority of the parliament, however, did not agree with this point of view [2].

The "military conflict" between the crown and parliament turned into a "constitutional" one, into the question of who owns power in the state. In 1862, the internal political crisis reached its peak. Wilhelm I parted with his former liberal sympathies, which were already not very deep, and increasingly thought about appointing a man with an “iron hand” as the head of government [2]. And one of the main candidates for this post was Otto von Bismarck.

A significant role in this appointment was played by Wilhelm's old friend, War Minister Albrecht von Roon - it was he who agitated the monarch to appoint the experienced and energetic diplomat Bismarck as head of government.


Bismarck himself during these months launched an active activity aimed at leading the government. In letters and reports, he convinced his Berlin addressees that he was the person who could cope with the crisis [2]. On September 22, the king summoned Bismarck to his place in Babelsberg. In the ensuing conversation, the diplomat demonstrated his readiness to defend the interests of the crown and his confidence in success, and eventually convinced the monarch to appoint him head of the Prussian government.

“This day is considered one of the most critical in the fate of Germany. The entire German history of the second half of the 1th century was in the shadow of the mighty figure of Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck's wars, Bismarck's unification, Bismarck's empire... Many authors, having set out to write about this era, on the third page stray into a story about the life and work of the "Iron Chancellor". The famous German publicist Sebastian Haffner, in his book on Prussian history, even called the corresponding chapter "King Bismarck I [XNUMX]",

‒ writes historian Nikolai Vlasov.

He notes that there are at least two reasons for this.

On the one hand, Bismarck was a truly large-scale figure, and the significance of his personality in German history is enormous.

On the other hand, after his resignation, the "Iron Chancellor" was extremely successful in creating a miraculous monument for himself - a legend about a wise, infallible politician who single-handedly saved Prussia from the crisis and put it at the head of Germany. Bismarck laid the foundation for this legend in his memoirs [1].

Based on Bismarck's memoirs, it follows that Wilhelm I was a good person in his own way, but mostly dangled under the feet of the "Iron Chancellor" and prevented him from working productively.

It cannot be said that the characterization that Bismarck gave his king has nothing to do with reality at all. An outstanding politician quite accurately noticed some of the character traits of Wilhelm I: his officer mentality, fear of responsibility in critical situations. However, in general, the picture is rather one-sided. If the Prussian king really had such a weak character, Bismarck would not have lasted a year in his post [1].

Wilhelm I until his death was the main and in fact the only support of Bismarck. In the Prussian, and then the German system, the head of government was appointed by the monarch and depended only on him. The loss of confidence on the part of the crown bearer was enough to dismiss an arbitrarily popular and influential politician - the "Iron Chancellor" himself managed to see this in his declining years [1].

At the same time, at first, the parliament and public opinion were sharply opposed to Bismarck; in court circles, the “mad Junker” had influential opponents. Should Wilhelm I hesitate, Bismarck would have collapsed. And all this is against the backdrop of an acute political crisis, a confrontation between the king and the Landtag, which has come to a standstill [2].

The favorable international situation allowed the head of the Prussian government to soon achieve the unification of Germany. First, at the end of 1863, the Schleswig-Holstein question escalated - one of the "frozen conflicts" of the then Europe. The North German duchies belonged on the basis of a personal union to the Danish monarch, but were not part of Denmark. Holstein and the southern part of Schleswig were predominantly populated by Germans, northern Schleswig by Danes. The conflict escalated due to the desire of Denmark to integrate at least Schleswig into its composition.

When the Danes refused to make any concessions, the two great German powers, Austria and Prussia, agreed to "peace enforcement" of their northern neighbors. The official goal of Berlin and Vienna was to restore the status quo. As a result, on August 1, a preliminary peace treaty was signed, according to which the Danish king renounced all rights to Schleswig and Holstein.

The question of the further fate of the duchies was on the agenda. The Gastein Convention of 1865 did not resolve the Austro-Prussian contradictions. Already in winter, both capitals began to prepare for a possible war. The decision to prepare for a war with Austria was approved by Wilhelm with great doubt, even on May 25, when the armies of both sides were mobilized and the conflict seemed inevitable, the monarch told his associates that the main thing for him was the issue of maintaining peace [1].

The fact is that the war between the Germans (and the idea of ​​the Austrians as a separate nation was formed only in the 2th century) was perceived as fratricidal, civil and was extremely unpopular in society [XNUMX].

During this short war, Helmuth (Helmuth) von Moltke fully showed himself, who first became acting chief of the general staff in 1857, and a year later was approved in this position. This happened thanks to Wilhelm I. Moltke literally showered the king with memorandums urging him to begin mobilization and start deploying troops. Together, Bismarck and Moltke convinced the Kaiser of the need to mobilize and start a war.

On June 2, Wilhelm I issued an order according to which all his orders, as commander in chief, were to be transmitted to the troops through the chief of the general staff. Moltke was thus appointed chief military adviser to the king. In practice, this meant that he actually became the commander-in-chief at the front (read more about Moltke's career in the material "The main object of operations should not be the territory, but the army of the enemy ": the military legacy of Helmuth von Moltke Sr.).

Bismarck, Roon and Moltke
Bismarck, Roon and Moltke

“They say that the retinue makes the king. No less true is the statement that the main quality of a good leader is the ability to form a successful team. In this sense, Wilhelm I was an eminently efficient manager. He managed to bring closer to himself and appoint people who were able to achieve stunning success and give shine to his reign.
When, in 1866, after the victorious conclusion of the war with Austria, the troops returning home solemnly entered Berlin, three people galloped behind the king: Bismarck, Moltke and Roon. These three have played a key role in the success of the past decade. All of them were henchmen of Wilhelm...
At the same time, the king had the wisdom not to interfere with his assistants, not to make himself a great commander, politician and diplomat. And this, of course, was his dignity [1]”,

‒ writes Nikolai Vlasov. And it's hard to disagree with that.

Soldier on the throne
(as a conclusion)


Bismarck, Roon and Moltke

“Wilhelm I, King of Bismarck for life, was a much stronger sovereign than Frederick William III, although the title of ‘Great’, which his grandchildren tried to bestow on him posthumously, nevertheless never stuck to him…
You can call him the second king-soldier of Prussia: in body and soul he was a real soldier, an experienced career officer. Thanks to him, a military reform was carried out in Prussia, without which, perhaps, Bismarck's wars would have gone much less successfully and not so smoothly.
To the same extent, the personal merit of the king is the appointment of the unprepossessing, but outstanding and capable Chief of the General Staff, Moltke.
Finally, the subordination of the command of the troops to the General Staff is an exclusively Prussian recipe for success, which was introduced under Wilhelm I, and for a long time it was advanced in military affairs.
And in addition to his generally more than outstanding military competence, Wilhelm I also possessed strong common sense, great political life experience - when he became king, he was 64 years old - and a strong monarchical sense of his own dignity. He was anything but a ghost king [3]",

‒ writes the German historian Sebastian Haffner. The characterization that he gives to the Kaiser is the most consistent with historical reality.

Wilhelm I, who became the first German emperor, was already a very old man in 1871 - he was 74 years old. He came to the Prussian throne only in connection with the childlessness of his older brother. In his younger years, he was never prepared to be at the head of the country; like all junior princes in the Hohenzollern dynasty, he was brought up for a military career [5].

Wilhelm I was an adherent of the old monarchical traditions, and paid special attention to the army, considering it his personal domain.

“A former general who wore a military uniform day after day, he, in the role of head of state, felt himself first and foremost a military leader [4]”,

Helmut Seyer writes about him.

Wilhelm I was not a puppet in the hands of Bismarck (as is sometimes represented), but he was sincerely attached to him and was horrified at the thought of having to part with him. This further allowed the “iron chancellor” to blackmail the emperor more than once with his resignation [5].

“How could you even think that I can agree with this thought! My greatest happiness is to live at the same time with you and to be in firm agreement with you. Your name stands in Prussian history above the name of any other statesman. And I should dismiss such a person? Never! [6]"

This is how Wilhelm reacted to Bismarck's request for resignation in 1869.

Historian Nikolai Vlasov rightly notes that Wilhelm I was a soldier on the throne, a man originally destined for a military career, but who eventually became one of the most powerful monarchs in Europe.

In conclusion, it should be noted that Kaiser Wilhelm I Friedrich Ludwig Hohenzollern played a huge role in German history, and the era of his reign, without exaggeration, became one of the brightest in the history of Germany.

Использованная литература:
[1]. Vlasov N. A. Kaiser Wilhelm I. ‒ St. Petersburg: Eurasia, 2022.
[2]. Vlasov N. A. Otto von Bismarck. The path to the heights of power. ‒ St. Petersburg: "Eurasia", 2019.
[3]. Haffner Sebastian. Prussia without legends / Preußen ohne Legende, Hamburg, 1979.
[4]. Seier G. Wilhelm I - German Emperor / Schindling A., Ziegler W. Kaisers. Rostov-on-Don, 1997.
[5]. Vlasov N. A. Germany of Bismarck. Empire in the center of Europe. ‒ St. Petersburg: Nauka, 2018.
[6]. Schmidt R. Otto von Bismarck. Realpolitik und Revolution. Stuttgart, 2004.
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

83 comments
Information
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +6
    February 17 2023
    Wilhelm the First was indeed an old warrior. Not everyone is given time to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of his service in the army, and then die a few months later .. Wilhelm managed to celebrate the anniversary ...
    1. +9
      February 17 2023
      Not everyone is given time to celebrate the eightieth anniversary of their military service.
      .
      In RIA, Vasily Nikolaevich Kochetkov, a "soldier of the three emperors", was considered the "record holder for the term of army service"

      Having entered the service in March 1811, he graduated from it as part of the Guards Cavalry Artillery Brigade on May 30, 1892, at the age of 107, having died of heart failure.
      1. +4
        February 17 2023
        The author of "Farewell of the Slav" Vasily Ivanovich Agapkin at the age of 11 was enrolled as a student in the team of the reserve Tsar's battalion. In 1955, at the age of 72, he retired with the rank of colonel.

  2. +2
    February 17 2023
    Manteuffel

    His last name is interesting - something like Satan or the Devil ... wink
    1. +5
      February 17 2023
      In fact, this surname in German is written through "o" with an umlaut. Neither Russian nor English transcription is able to display this sound.
      1. +8
        February 17 2023
        Manteuffel -- yes, you can't read "Manteuffel" or something else. For example, "schon" (already) reads "shcheon", with a broach.
        And generally speaking. Pronunciation in German has changed a lot in recent decades. Only the Bavarian dialect retained some features of rough guttural...
        Why am I writing this? Just an excuse to say hello to everyone.
        -- Good morning dear friends! wassat )))
        In passing, I note that the neighboring article by Samsonov is very good, but so relevant that it’s scary to comment on it - two ha ha. Come to life, right?
        1. +2
          February 17 2023
          Lyudmila Yakovlevna, good afternoon. Long time no see.
          I see that you know German bm, but I safely forgot. To say that I don’t remember at all, no, I still remember some words and short phrases, in the text, I can understand., and so I need an interpreter
        2. +2
          February 17 2023
          Quote: depressant
          For example, "schon" (already) reads "shcheon", with a broach.


          Depends on the degree of admiration.
        3. +2
          February 17 2023
          Manteuffel -- yes, you can't read "Manteuffel" or something else.
          Lyudmila Yakovlevna, the classic Russian pronunciation is "Meinteufel", another thing is that the source language has a completely different phonetics. And these are not oriental languages ​​yet, (Vietnamese, Chinese). where much depends on the tone of pronunciation. Well, in Russian, he will remain Manteuffel (by the way, was there such a composer, not a relative, by any chance?), as Heine remained, and Heisenberg (uncertainty principle).
          1. +2
            February 17 2023
            Heisenberg

            Actually, I'm used to pronouncing "Heisenberg", where "X" is the average between r and x)))
            1. +1
              February 17 2023
              Actually, I'm used to pronouncing "Heisenberg"
              What are you? This is if you talk to the Germans, but in Russia no one will understand you. Do you also pronounce Heinrich Heine?
              1. 0
                February 18 2023
                Why not? Learn the basics of German, that's how V.R. Solovyov at his evenings...
                1. 0
                  February 18 2023
                  Why not? Learn the basics of German, that's how V.R. Solovyov at his evenings...
                  I don’t care about Solovyov’s evenings, it’s important for me that my interlocutors understand me, so I don’t show off with foreign pronunciation, but I speak in terms that are well-established in Russian. When you are assigned a chest x-ray, you will not speak at the reception. that you need an "X-ray" of the cell.
                  I know German, of course, worse than English, but better than Shpakovsky knows English.
      2. +4
        February 17 2023
        Quote: 3x3zsave
        this surname in German is written with "o"

        It is written with an "e", but it is not clear how to pronounce it - "e", "o", "e" ... In Leizpzig they would say with a hard "o" - Teufel ... wink

        Quote: depressant
        "schon" (already) reads "schöyon"

        The sound "u" has never been heard in this word. Always a distinct "sh". Maybe something from Dutch or neighboring Westphalian?
        1. +4
          February 17 2023
          Quote: Luminman
          The sound "u" has never been heard in this word. Always a distinct "sh". Maybe something from Dutch or neighboring Westphalian?


          Depends on the dialect and the mood of the individual.
          I can say either way, depending on the situation.
          1. +1
            February 17 2023
            Quote: Simple
            I can say so and so - depending on the situation

            Depending on the dialect.
            From the situation, no. Well, just for fun...
            1. +4
              February 17 2023
              Quote: Luminman
              .... From the situation - no. ...


              Just from the situation, too - the pronunciation "shoyeon" emphasizes the importance of admiration.
              pronunciation "shoon" - the usual statement of fact (as if in between times)
      3. +5
        February 17 2023
        In fact, this surname in German is written through "o" with an umlaut.

        Traced writing to 1885 (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 4. Auflage. Band 11, Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, Leipzig/Wien 1885–1892) All write Manteuffel.
        1. +3
          February 17 2023
          Quote: Ruyter-57
          Everyone writes Manteuffel

          They write the same way. Pronounced differently...
          1. +5
            February 17 2023
            They write the same way. Pronounced differently...

            When transferring German proper names, the literary “stage” German language (Hiihnenaussprache) is taken as the basis, just as it is done when transcribing
            into Russian of German geographical names. Therefore, one should be distracted from the dialectal features of German pronunciation during transcription.

            Letter combination eu transmitted through ой, For example:
            Eulenberg - Eulenberg (surname)

            Graphic doubling of consonants, as well as for other languages, is transmitted by doubling the corresponding Russian consonants, for example, in surnames:
            Krafft - Krafft

            Manteuffel - Manteuffel.
            1. 0
              February 18 2023
              Buehnendeutsch, however. there is no German language on my device, I am writing how it is customary to transmit an umlaut now (and also a hundred years ago)
        2. +5
          February 17 2023
          Yes, my cant, I completely forgot the language ...
        3. +2
          February 17 2023
          Traced writing to 1885 (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. 4. Auflage. Band 11, Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, Leipzig/Wien 1885–1892) All write Manteuffel.
          Umlaut was introduced during the transition from Gothic to Latin in 1918.
      4. +3
        February 17 2023
        The German (diphthong, so-called) "eu" but the pronunciation is rather closer to the Russian "oh". So probably "Mantoiffell" (emphasis on "o", kmk)
    2. +2
      February 17 2023
      Man is a man, Teifel is a devil. In his youth, he studied German.
    3. +1
      February 17 2023
      Quote: Luminman
      His last name is interesting - something like Satan or the Devil ...


      There are a lot of historical characters like that. Robert the Devil, for example, is generally a direct tracing-paper from a foreign language.
  3. +8
    February 17 2023
    Wilhelm I was the chief of the 5th Kaluga Infantry Regiment of the Russian Imperial Army and until 07.08.1914/5/1818 was referred to as the 1888th Kaluga Infantry Regiment of Emperor Wilhelm I. The regiment's chief, Wilhelm I was from XNUMX to XNUMX.
    1. +4
      February 17 2023
      Lyosh, good day, for the sake of truth, in the German army, there were also regiments where Russians were necks.
      A kind of "diplomacy" of names
      1. +5
        February 17 2023
        Svyatoslav hi
        for the sake of truth, in the German army, there were also regiments where Russians were necks.

        For a start:
        Jubilee medal in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 2nd Grand Ducal Hesse Dragoon Regiment (Life Dragoon Regiment) No. 24.
        Regiment chief: - Tsar of Russia Nicholas II.
        1. +3
          February 17 2023
          And in total there were 9 such regiments in the German army:
          -Kaiser Alexander Guards Grenadier Regiment No. 1
          (Chief Nikolay 2)
          - Guards Grenadier Regiment No. 5
          (Chief Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich)
          -2nd Guards Dragoon Regiment of Tsarina Alexandra of Russia
          (Chiefs: Her Majesty the Russian Queen,
          His Majesty Tsar Nicholas of Russia 2)
          - Cuirassier regiment of Tsar Nicholas 1 Russian (Brandenburg) No. 6
          Chiefs: His Majesty Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
          - Life Dragoon Regiment (2nd Grand Duke of Hesse) No. 24
          Chief: His Majesty Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
          - Hussar regiment of Tsar Nicholas 2 Russian (1st Westphalian) No. 8
          Chief: His Majesty Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
          -Magdeburg Hussar Regiment No. 10
          Chief: Nikolai Nikolaevich Grand Duke of Russia
          -Ulansky regiment of Tsar Alexander 3 (West Prussian) No. 1
          Chief: Mikhail Alexandrovich Grand Duke of Russia
          -Ulansky regiment of Tsar Alexander 2 (1st Brandenburg) No. 3
          Without a boss.
  4. +5
    February 17 2023
    the participation of Prince Wilhelm in the war is also shrouded in myths. Subsequently, various military exploits were attributed to him - for example, in one of the battles, the young man allegedly launched an attack and led the soldiers of the Russian Kaluga regiment
    The myth was probably born because Wilhelm was the chief of this regiment for a long time?
  5. -2
    February 17 2023
    In conclusion, it should be noted that Kaiser Wilhelm I Friedrich Ludwig Hohenzollern played a huge role in German history, and the era of his reign, without exaggeration, became one of the brightest in the history of Germany.


    And the most tragic, I might add.
    Because as a politician, he is a complete sucker who allowed himself (and his country) to be used by the Anglo-Saxons to achieve world domination. Who actually won the First World War?
    Certainly not Germany.
    1. +7
      February 17 2023
      Quote: Illanatol
      Who actually won the First World War?
      Certainly not Germany.
      You do not confuse the first with the second Wilhelm?
      1. +7
        February 17 2023
        Wilhelm 1 is not related to the defeat of WWI
    2. +7
      February 17 2023
      Quote: Illanatol
      Because as a politician - a complete sucker

      Creation of the German Empire after the victory over France! And before that, victory in the Austro-Prussian war! And even before that, the rejection of Schleswig by Denmark ... Is a sucker capable of such a thing?

      Quote: Illanatol
      Who actually won the First World War?

      Before the First World War, oh how far away ...
      1. +15
        February 17 2023
        The person simply does not understand what he is writing about. I saw the name "Wilhelm" - immediately (without reading, and without understanding the First or Second) I decided to express my "smart" opinion, believing that it was generally interesting to someone. Unfortunately, there are many such "network intellectuals", not without reason they say that God created idiots, and the Internet made them equal. In general, he is apparently jealous - he is "not a goof" after all, unlike the whole emperor ...
        1. +9
          February 17 2023
          God Created Idiots, The Internet Made Them Equal
          Cool!!! Haven't heard yet.
        2. +3
          February 17 2023
          Thank you author, please keep it. cool phrase
        3. +6
          February 17 2023
          God Created Idiots, The Internet Made Them Equal

          If I were you, I would patent this aphorism! Quite seriously.
          1. +8
            February 17 2023
            Will not work. feel
            This aphorism already has an author.


            Avram Noam (Nahum) Chomsky (often transcribed as Chomsky or Chomsky, English Avram Noam Chomsky [ˈnoʊm ˈtʃɒmski]; is an American linguist, political essayist, philosopher and theorist. Professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of the classification of formal languages, called the Chomsky hierarchy.
            1. +4
              February 17 2023
              This aphorism already has an author.

              I think you are wrong. Can you name the source?
              1. +4
                February 17 2023
                Yes, the Internet is full of his quotes and aphorisms. look for
                1. +5
                  February 17 2023
                  My compliments, Dmitry!
                  The Internet is teeming with quotes, referring to people who never uttered the words that are attributed to them. One of the clearest examples of such insinuations is Bismarck and the "Prussian school teacher".
                  1. +3
                    February 17 2023
                    Greetings Anton


                    the phrase is mentioned, but whose it is - Herman or Chomsky, or just a common aphorism at that time, is not clear
                    1. +3
                      February 17 2023
                      Yes, the Internet is full of his quotes and aphorisms. look for

                      That's why I asked the question, because I'm quite familiar with his quotes and with some books. But I have never met statements of this kind, although he talks a lot about the Internet.
  6. The comment was deleted.
  7. +4
    February 17 2023
    Article +, very informative. It's strange that so little
    1. +5
      February 17 2023
      It's strange that so little

      Well, we'll tweak it a bit.
      Not a bad article. Special thanks to the Author for the "Literature Used" list. Unfortunately, in the "History" section today it is a rarity
  8. +5
    February 17 2023
    The future emperor Wilhelm was born on March 22, 1792

    In fairness, it should be corrected - Emperor Wilhelm was born on March 22, 1797.
    1. +7
      February 17 2023
      Yes, you're right, it's a typo on my part. Didn't notice.
  9. +5
    February 17 2023
    For participation in the campaign, Wilhelm received the Iron Cross 1st class and the Russian Order of St. George 4th class.

    Wilhelm himself estimated his participation modestly and noted that he received these awards only thanks to his surname.
  10. +3
    February 17 2023
    Wilhelm I and Nicholas I are two "soldiers on the throne", and what different results!
    Apparently, the ability of one and the inability of the other to select advisers and candidates for the highest positions played a role. Moreover, the power of Wilhelm was limited by the Prussian parliament, and Nicholas was an absolute monarch (instead of a parliament in Russia until 1905 there was a State Council of courtiers, who were appointed by the emperor himself).

    Modern monarchists claim that Nikolai Palkin allegedly really wanted to abolish serfdom and even prepared such a reform. From 1825 to 1855 he wanted and wanted everything, he cooked until he died ...

    One well-known film character correctly said: "After Peter the Great, Russia was very unlucky with tsars ...".
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7bfkiwmvdw

  11. +1
    February 17 2023
    One well-known film character correctly said: "After Peter the Great, Russia was very unlucky with the tsars ..."
    .
    Why are Alexandra numbers 2 and 3 so bad?
    1. +1
      February 18 2023
      And bad and that's what.
      Both brought the catastrophe of 1917 as close as they could.

      Alexander 2 "Liberator" - started the abolition of serfdom, freeing the peasants without land (a complicated scheme for redeeming allotments through the Land Bank). The nobles, having retained their estates, continued to successfully parasitize and dance at their balls, and the peasants were able to “freely” leave their households and leave for the city on beggarly earnings.

      Alexander the Third - crushed any manifestation of free thought (Chekhov was published "with the permission of the censorship"). To make Russia as attractive as possible for foreign creditors, the wages of workers were 2 times lower than in Western Europe and 4 times lower than in the USA. 13 hour work day. Prohibition of strikes and trial of strikers. As a result, the huge external debt that the French are still trying to collect from Russia

      Both were satisfied with the total illiteracy of the population, and the state monopoly on vodka produced rampant drunkenness (they couldn’t read, there wasn’t enough money for civilized entertainment).

      Jewish pogroms, encouraged by the authorities, began slowly, and so on. and so on.

      so-called. the "military reforms" begun by these monarchs subsequently, already under Nicholas the Bloody, led to Tsushima and to defeat in WWI. Only the Turks were able to defeat Alexander 2 with great difficulty (three bloody assaults on the earthen fortifications of Plevna), as a result, the liberated "brothers" became "sworn friends" of Russia.
  12. +7
    February 17 2023
    Wilhelm I, in my opinion, is a typical example of how complete mediocrity, by chance elevated to the pinnacle of power, can not only not ruin people's lives, but also go down in history from the best side.
    The recipe, as it turns out, is quite simple. Find people who will do all the work for you and do not interfere with them. smile
    True, this also requires talent ... recourse
    Can you imagine, colleagues, a Russian tsar who would not try to do everything himself?
    Conclusion: if you are mediocrity in power, admit it, humble yourself and do not show off, giving others the opportunity to excel. smile
    1. +5
      February 17 2023
      Quote: Trilobite Master
      The recipe, as it turns out, is quite simple. Find people who will do all the work for you and do not interfere with them.
      As one of the English naval commanders said, one of the qualities of a good admiral is "the ability to do nothing at the right time" (well, or something like that) lol hi
    2. +6
      February 17 2023
      True, this also requires talent ...
      It was in this that his talent was revealed. Do not interfere.
      1. +7
        February 17 2023
        "Admitting your mistakes is not enough!
        They must be blamed on others!" (C)
        wassat )))
        1. +6
          February 17 2023
          "Admitting your mistakes is not enough!

          "This is medieval savagery. Well, I violated this code, but I am ready to admit my mistakes. Mistakes must not be recognized, they must be washed away with blood" (c). laughing laughing
        2. +3
          February 17 2023
          "Admitting your mistakes is not enough!
          They must be blamed on others!" (C)

          Good evening, Lyudmila Yakovlevna hi
          Polyakov's poem "The women from the chat have grandchildren, although they look like girls."
          can be an alternative addition to these verses smile
          1. +2
            February 17 2023
            . Polyakov's poem "The women from the chat have grandchildren, although they look like girls."


            Good evening, Dima! )))
            Polyakov writes not quite, in our understanding, poetry. He writes couplets. As a result, about women, grandchildren and mistakes are different works. The poet decided not to overlay the main meanings with excessive verbiage. What I like about him)))
            1. +1
              February 17 2023
              Lyudmila Yakovlevna, please clarify where Uncle Kostya-Kot has gone, and Sergei Korsair is not visible either. I haven't been here for over a year.
              1. +1
                February 17 2023
                . where did Uncle Kostya-Kot go, and Sergei Korsair is not visible

                Kostya has been banned for as long as a month, and we are all looking forward to his return around February 23rd. And Seryozha-Korsar does not go to the forums out of solidarity with him. Such are the things)))
                1. +1
                  February 17 2023
                  And Seryozha the Corsair does not go to the forums out of solidarity with him.

                  It's a pity. Scientist-botanist, history buff and erudite intelligent forum member.
                  After the construction of a new house and the addition of the old one, Sergey helped me re-plan the site, did an online soil analysis, advised me where to transplant, and only thanks to him we managed to save more than half of the garden trees and shrubs. Huge thanks to him!
                  I have no doubt that his students will become specialists like him.
    3. +8
      February 17 2023
      complete mediocrity

      Find people who will do all the work for you and do not interfere with them

      The mere fact that Wilhelm I was able to form a "workable team" and created the conditions for his work suggests that he is not a complete mediocrity.
      1. +4
        February 17 2023
        I have an acquaintance, an elderly uncle, already for seventy, ten years or more ago, he was the director of a small enterprise that made metal profiles, chain-link mesh and something else like that. There has never been such a thing that I came to him and someone was in his office. He always sat alone, with the TV on, and usually looked out the window.
        We did certain work for him and I came with reports on completed stages and, of course, for new money. He took money out of a drawer and simply passed it from hand to hand, listened to the reports half-heartedly, without interest. I was somehow surprised by this order, like so. He literally told me the following.
        - I do not understand production - these are in charge of my deputy. I do not understand anything in logistics - the head of the department deals with it. I am a layman in finance and accounting - I have a chief accountant. And I don't know how to conduct research either. So tell me: why am I going to pester you? You work and work, for this I pay you. You can go now.
        I didn't ask him what he was up to. But for some reason I'm sure that he would say: "Nothing. I don't need it."
        Then I learned that his enterprise was a fragment of a large Soviet plant (it was located on its former territory), and he worked at this plant either as a chief engineer, or as a head of security, or someone else. Personally, I suspect that he was in those days the head of the first department. smile When everything began to fall apart, I privatized this piece of mine and kept it, and so it went through the 90s and 2000s ...
        The talent of mediocrity - the ability to understand people? smile
        And complete or incomplete mediocrity, it seems to me, is a purely terminological question. smile
        1. +5
          February 17 2023
          So maybe this is no longer mediocrity?
          Judging by your description, the individual is self-confident, sets clear and clear goals for himself and his employees, accepts people as they are, moderately trusts others and knows how to delegate responsibility, while not forgetting about timely and reasonable control, focused on achieving success.
          What else is needed for a good leader?
          1. +3
            February 17 2023
            I did not see how he sets tasks for subordinates, personally he simply formulated the problem for me, and I formulated the tasks, including the final result, myself, he only approved what I proposed. There was practically no control over our work, and it would be impossible to organize it - such a specificity.
            The only way I could then and can now explain our autonomy is by the fact that we came to him with a recommendation. After that it was all about trust.
            This character came to my mind in connection with the conversation about Wilhelm I because it made a general impression that it was nothing - clothes, manners, the furnishings of a Soviet-era office, a car - a well-worn tranny ... Yes, and his employees treated him somehow condescendingly, that or, as to a harmless eccentric with oddities ... He even had a dacha in some kind of gardening, apparently received from the same plant ... True, I have not been there, maybe there the mansion was built five floors. .. though hardly, I doubt it. Most likely, an ordinary house and a plot with a fence from the same chain-link. smile
            If we consider as an antonym to the word "mediocrity" phrases like "bright personality", "outstanding person", "talent", "master", then "mediocrity" is just about him.
            But I am ready to agree - to manage a production enterprise for more than twenty years, to stay afloat, and even at such a time when everyone divided everything, then redid it, shot, took away and divided again ... Here you need to have some specific set of skills ...
            Wilhelm also had a difficult time. smile
            1. +3
              February 17 2023
              the car is a beat up truck...
              Not an indicator. The founder of the IKEA concern, Ingvar Kamprad, drove a shabby Volvo 340 until the end of his days. However...
              1. +1
                February 17 2023
                There and besides the tinker there was a lot to think about. smile
            2. +3
              February 17 2023
              This behavior is a well thought out strategy.
              1. Head of the Russian branch of a large Western company. The sweetest person, all the employees loved and respected him, but hated a couple of deputies who squeezed juice out of office plankton. They thought that the general director simply did not understand what kind of bastards they were. They even went to complain to the general about them. But, once in a calm atmosphere, I asked him how he sees this situation and received an answer - I won’t do routine, I follow the income. If the deputies do not provide the required figures, I will expel them in 5 minutes. How they do it doesn't really matter to me.
            3. Fat
              +1
              February 17 2023
              Quote: Trilobite Master
              You need to have a specific set of skills here.

              hi Greetings, Michael. there is a brilliant characteristic of such people - "luck". Since luck is God's providence, then systemic luck is the "God's spark", well, or "gift", in everything else a very average person. laughing
              PS Very good article in this regard...
        2. +5
          February 17 2023
          Misha! Hello!
          At the meeting I will tell you about a meeting with mediocrity, a very rich person.
          There is such a thing as "chuyka". And that's already a lot!
          1. +4
            February 17 2023
            Hi Sasha.
            About the "chuyka" - what it is, where it is located, how and when it manifests itself, one can argue for a long time. smile And lots of stories to tell. And still don't understand anything. laughing hi
            1. +1
              February 17 2023
              Energy must be applied to the chuyka. Here I have a chuyka, no energy. I can't and don't want to. I've lived like this since birth.
              wassat )))
              At the same time, the presence of internal energy does not at all imply running around, but quite coexists with meaningful calmness.
              1. +3
                February 17 2023
                better a scent without energy than excessive energy without a scent - you will do less stupid things Yes
                1. +1
                  February 17 2023
                  I wouldn't say it's an advantage. Sometimes fuss, throwing a person in different directions, lands him in a good place. Hence the proverb: money does not flow under a recumbent chuyka)))
                  1. +1
                    February 17 2023
                    there are two options: money either flows or flows away winked
  13. +2
    February 17 2023
    Great article. Only now there were no worthy successors. An empire was born in a war in a war and perished.
  14. 0
    February 18 2023
    Quote: Luminman
    Creation of the German Empire after the victory over France! And before that, victory in the Austro-Prussian war! And even before that, the rejection of Schleswig by Denmark ... Is a sucker capable of such a thing?


    And all this will be covered with a fleshy basin in the presence of his namesake descendant ... who, it must be admitted, continued the line of his ancestor quite consistently.

    From the point of view of the long-term and strategic interests of Russia and Germany, it was necessary to adhere to partnership, even allied relations, which would be good for Europe as a whole.
    However, the differences began during the Crimean War. Back then, Prussia at first took a completely allied position in relation to Russia, even provided military-technical assistance with the supply of industrial equipment and gunpowder. But then, obviously under pressure from the Anglo-Saxons, Prussia actually joined the anti-Russian coalition, which forced the Republic of Ingushetia to make concessions and agree to peace negotiations. Later, relations will also develop not in the best way, and the two continental empires (the union of which could put an end to the hegemony of the Anglo-Saxons) will find themselves in different military camps.

    Yes, the collapse of the Second Reich will occur under the next German emperor. But the first Wilhelm would lay a powerful mine under the foundation of the empire.
    However, something similar can be said about our Alexander III. But it should still be noted that his alliance with Republican France (which became the core of the future Entente) is a response to the actions of the German side.

    Quote: Luminman

    Before the First World War, oh how far away ..


    Not so far, by historical standards. The prerequisites for conflicts of this level have been developing for decades. And just as the Second World War was largely programmed at Versailles in 1918, so the First World War was partly predetermined by the Franco-Prussian War and the subsequent policy of the German Empire. France will enter into an alliance with Russia, and Germany will prefer an alliance with yesterday's enemy - the Habsburgs, supporting the latter in relation to the "Balkan issue". Thus, the basis for the configuration of future military alliances that will collide in the First World War will appear.

    History is a continuous film, not a slideshow of separate, unrelated frames.
    And the main beneficiaries in it are those who are able to impose their script on others.
  15. +1
    February 18 2023
    On February 1, 1807, he was formally accepted for military service in the Prussian army, but there was no talk of any real service for the 10-year-old Wilhelm.

    Excuse me, but if he was born in March 1792, then by the indicated date he was almost 15 years old.
  16. 0
    February 19 2023
    The article originally indicated the wrong year of birth 1792 instead of the correct 1797
  17. 0
    February 25 2023
    All of them were united by the fact that they revealed their talents just in the era of the reign of Wilhelm I Friedrich Ludwig Hohenzollern
    . Comparing the Kaiser and Bismarck is something like "Hitler is a petty tyrant of the Stalin era" laughing Could all these figures have revealed their talents in the era of that Kaiser without that Chancellor? Was that chemical reaction possible in the presence of all conditions and elements, except for the main one?
  18. 0
    February 25 2023
    If history had taken a different path, Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig of Prussia, later King Wilhelm I and even later German Emperor Wilhelm I, would have received a less than commendable entry in the history books as "Prince of Buckshot." Second son of King Frederick William III. and for a long time, Queen Louise had little hope of a royal throne, let alone an imperial crown. Yet he was so popular when he died at the age of 90 that the vernacular quickly rewrote Richard Henrion's "Fehrbelliner Reitermarsch" from 1893 to the verse "We want our old Kaiser Wilhelm to return, but only the one with the beard, with the long beard. And hundreds of monuments sticking out of the ground, on the Kyffhäuser, on the Deutsches Eck, in Berlin and the largest of all on Porta Westfalica. am

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"