Massenbach sentence example
- At this moment the Prussians were actually on parade and ready to move off to attack, but just then the " evil genius " of the Prussian army, von Massenbach, an officer of the Headquarter Staff, rode up and claiming to speak with the authority of the king and commander-in-chief, induced Hohenlohe to order his troops back to camp. Of all this Napoleon saw nothing, but from all reports he came to the conclusion that the whole Prussian army was actually in front of him, and at once issued orders for his whole army to concentrate towards Jena, marching all night if need be.
- Six hours earlier his conclusion would have been correct, but early that morning the Prussian headquarters, alarmed for the safety of their line of retreat on Berlin by the presence of the French in Naumburg, decided to leave Hohenlohe and Rachel to act as rear-guard, and with the main body to commence their retreat towards the river Unstrutt and the Eckhardtsberge where Massenbach had previously reconnoitred an " ideal " battlefield.
- Unfortunately the prince sent Massenbach to discuss the situation, and the latter completely lost his head.
- Murat boasted that he had ioo,000 men behind him, and on his return Massenbach implored his chief to submit to an unconditional surrender, advice which the prince accepted, though as a fact Murat's horses were completely exhausted and he had no infantry whatever within call.
- Bronsart von Schellendorf in his Duties of the General Staff says of Massenbach's work in this connexion, "the organization which he proposed and in the main carried out survived even the catastrophes of 1806-1807, and exists even at the present moment in its original outline."Advertisement
- This must be accounted as high praise when it is remembered how much of the responsibility for these very disasters must be laid to Massenbach's account.
- But the actual doctrine taught by Massenbach, who was now a colonel, may be summarized as the doctrine of positions carried to a ludicrous excess; the claims put forward for the general staff, that it was to prepare cut-anddried plans of operations in peace which were to be imposed on the troop leaders in war, were derided by the responsible generals; and the memoirs on proposed plans of campaign to suit certain political combinations were worked out in quite unnecessary detail.
- In 1805 came threats of the war with Napoleon which Massenbach had strongly opposed.
- Massenbach's influence clouded all the Prussian operations.
- Even suggestions of disloyalty were not wanting; an attempt to try him by court-martial was only frustrated by Prince Hohenlohe's action in taking upon himself, as commanderin-chief, the whole responsibility for Massenbach's actions.Advertisement