The national name Prussia (in Prussian: Prusa, German: Preußen, Polish: Prusy, LithuanianPrusai, Latin: Prussia or Borussia) was used by a wide variety of political factions during the 2nd millennium. At different times it has denoted a geographical region, a dukedom, a Polish province, a Polish fief, a kingdom under Brandenburg's rule which became the leading kingdom of the German Empire (comprising in its last form almost two-thirds of the Germany's area) and as republic state of Germany.
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The Prussian army was commanded by Field-Marshal Helmuth von Moltke and the Prussian General Staff.
The Prussian army was unique in Europe for having the only General Staff in existence, whose sole purpose was to direct operational movement, organise logistics and communications and develop the overall war strategy.
Two Prussian corps attacked the French advanced guard thinking that it was the rearguard of the retreat of the French Army of the Meuse.
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