Article ID: CBB075006559

When a Spiel is not a Game: The Prussian Kriegsspiel from 1824 to 1871 (October 2017)


The nineteenth century saw dramatic changes in military technology that profoundly changed the nature of warfare, and integrating the performance of that new technology into the existing operational and tactical thinking became hugely important. In Prussia, from 1824 onwards, the Kriegsspiel, the world’s first professional conflict simulation in official use, became a key element for learning how to make best use of the new technology. Between 1824 and 1871, the rules went through several different editions, each one revised according to the latest technological and tactical developments. The paper will provide a brief historical introduction, then concentrate on the impact of technological innovations on the rules, and finally show that the Kriegsspiel and its non-Prussian counterparts are essential for understanding how military establishments in and beyond Europe reacted to the impact of technology on war.

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Authors & Contributors
Klein, Ursula
Blanco, Mónica
Böhme, Hartmut
Fürst, Dietmar
Jahn, Ilse
Kastanis, Iason
Science in Context
Air Power History
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Central European History
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
MIT Press
Education, military
Military technology
Science education and teaching
Universities and colleges
Du Bois-Reymond, Emil Heinrich
Humboldt, Alexander von
Clausewitz, Carl von
Ehrenberg, Christian Gottfried
Müller, Johannes Peter
Reil, Johann Christian
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
17th century
20th century
20th century, early
21st century
Prussia (Germany)
United States
Paris (France)
United States Air Force (USAF)
Königsberg Sternwarte
Anatomical-zootomical Museum in Berlin
Berlin Zoological Museum
Panepistēmio Athēnōn
University of Halle

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