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The Prussian Staff College, also Prussian War College (german: Preußische Kriegsakademie) was the highest
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...

military
facility of the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen) was a German Monarchy, kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia between 1701 and 1918.Marriott, J. A. R., and Charles Grant Robertson. ''The Evolution of Prussia, the Making of an Empi ...
to educate, train, and develop
general staff A military staff (often referred to as general staff, army staff, navy staff, or air staff within the individual services) is a group of officers, enlisted and civilian personnel that are responsible for the administrative, operational and ...
officers.


Location

It originated with the ''Akademie für junge Offiziere der Infanterie und Kavallerie'' (Academy for young officers of the infantry and cavalry) in 1801, later becoming known as the Allgemeine Kriegsschule (General War-School). It was officially re-founded by
Gerhard von Scharnhorst Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst (12 November 1755 – 28 June 1813) was a Hanoverian-born general in Prussian service from 1801. As the first Chief of the Prussian General Staff, he was noted for his military theories, his reforms of the Pruss ...

Gerhard von Scharnhorst
in
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...

Berlin
on October 15, 1810 as one of three officer colleges. Its building on
Unter den Linden Unter den Linden (, "under the linden trees") is a boulevard A boulevard ( French, originally meaning bastion, abbreviated as bd in Metropolitan French, boul in Canadian French, and Blvd in English), is a type of large road, circumnavig ...

Unter den Linden
(1845/25) was designed by
Karl Friedrich Schinkel Karl Friedrich Schinkel (13 March 1781 – 9 October 1841) was a Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to ...
.


Graduation

Graduating from the ''Staff College'' was a prerequisite for appointment to the ''Prussian General Staff'' (later the
German General Staff The German General Staff, originally the Prussian General Staff and officially Great General Staff (german: Großer Generalstab), was a full-time body at the head of the Prussian Army and later, the German Army (German Empire), German Army, resp ...
).
Carl von Clausewitz Carl Philipp Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (; – ) was a Prussian general and military theorist who stressed the "moral" (meaning, in modern terms, psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology incl ...

Carl von Clausewitz
enrolled as one of its first students in 1801 (before it was renamed), while other attendees included Field Marshals
von Steinmetz
von Steinmetz
, von Moltke, and
von Blumenthal The von Blumenthal family are Lutheran and Roman Catholic German nobility The German nobility (german: deutscher Adel) and royalty were status groups of the medieval society in Central Europe, which enjoyed certain privileges relative to other ...
in the 1820s and 1830s. Ernst Emile Von Lorenz, who served as a
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare, land military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and is designated as the Army o ...
Commander in 1889, was a graduate, as was US Army Colonel
Albert Coady Wedemeyer
Albert Coady Wedemeyer
, who served in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. The ''Staff College'' restructured after
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and dissolved following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
.


Curriculum

Students at the War Academy attended about 20 hours of lectures per week. Instruction was by professors from Berlin University and officers serving on the Great General Staff, who thereby enhanced their own educations. In 1872 the War Academy was taken from the Inspector of Military Education and placed under the Chief of the General Staff. The spirit of the Academy was articulated by Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke, who emphasized the importance "of an active process of mental give and take between teacher and pupils, so as to stimulate the pupils to become fellow-workers". Admission to the Academy was highly selective. Officers with at least five years service who wanted to become General Staff officers prepared themselves for the entrance examination, which included tactics, surveying, geography, mathematics and French, with questions set to test understanding rather than rote memory. The graders of the essays did not know the names or regiments of the candidates. From hundreds of applicants, about one hundred were accepted every year to enter the first-year course at the Academy. Those who performed satisfactorily were promoted to the second and then the third year. In the first year, fourteen hours of lectures each week were on military subjects, including military history, while seventeen hours were non-military, which included general history, mathematics, science and a choice of French or Russian. Roughly the same time allocations were used in the last two years.Wilkinson 1895, p. 162. Lectures were supplemented by visits to fortifications, arms factories and exercises of the railway regiment. During the three month summer breaks the students attended manoeuvres and were taken on field tactical exercises in which they commanded imaginary units. At the end of the course they took their second examination. Only about thirty students passed this extremely difficult test. They were then assigned (''kommandiert'') to the Great General Staff, while retaining their regimental attachments. After two years they took their third and final examination, after which five to eight officers were permanently posted to fill vacancies in the General Staff a remarkable winnowing from the many who had entered the competition.


See also

* Bundeswehr Command and Staff College established in 1957 as the successor of the Prussian Military Academy *
Command and General Staff College The United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC or, obsolete, USACGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, and international military o ...
-- United States *
Staff College, Camberley Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, was a staff college for the British Army and the presidency armies of British India (later merged to form the British Indian Army, Indian Army). It had its origins in the Royal Military College, High Wycombe founded ...

Staff College, Camberley
-- United Kingdom * General Staff Academy -- Imperial Russia *
Army War CollegeArmy War College may refer to: * United States Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania * Army War College, Mhow, an institution of the Indian Army in Mhow, Madhya Pradesh * Army War College (Japan), a former college for officers of the Imperial ...
-- Imperial Japan *
École Supérieure de GuerreThe ''École supérieure de guerre'' ("Superior School of Warfare") was the most senior military education institute and staff college of the French Army, from 1876 until 1993, when it was merged into the inter-service ' (Joint Defense College), whi ...
-- France *
List of government-run higher-level national military academiesThis is a list of government-run higher-level military academies A military academy or service academy (United States service academies, in the United States) is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the officer co ...


References

{{Authority control Staff colleges 1810 establishments in Germany Military academies of Germany Military of Prussia Defunct military academies