S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.


  • [Helmuth, Count von Moltke, a Prussian general and strategist; born in Mecklenburg, 1800; as chief of staff planned the campaign against Austria, 1866, and the operations of the German armies in the war against France, 1870.]
  • The Prussian schoolmaster won the battle of Sadowa (Der preussische Schulmeister hat die Schlacht bei Sadowa gewonnen).

  • Moltke made the remark in the session of the German Reichstag of Feb. 16, 1874: “It is said the schoolmaster has won our battles.” Lehnert, under-secretary of state, declared in the Prussian House of Delegates, Jan. 25, 1868: “The Prussian school-system has been brought to such perfection that it was admitted on all sides after Sadowa, that not merely the needle-gun, but the schools, had won the battle.” The expression occurs for the first time, however, in an article by the late Privy Councillor, Peschel, in No. 29 of “Ausland,” July 17, 1866, on the “Lesson of the Last Campaign,” where the author proposes to prove that “the victory of the Prussians over the Austrians was a victory of the Prussian over the Austrian schoolmaster.”