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MIKSCHE, Lt Col Ferdinand Otto (1904-1992)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0099 KCLMA Miksche
Held at: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King's College London
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Full title: MIKSCHE, Lt Col Ferdinand Otto (1904-1992)
Date(s): 1936-1992
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 0.13 cubic metres (13 boxes, including one outsize)
Name of creator(s): Miksche | Ferdinand Otto | 1904-1992 | Lieutenant Colonel | writer on military affairs


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Karvinna, Teschen, Austrian Silesia, 1904; education included the Schiller-Gymnasium, Teschen, Oberrealschule, Kaschau, and the Imperial Military College; enrolled as a Cadet, Ludovika Military Academy, Budapest, Hungary [1924]; conscripted into Czechoslovakian Army [1927]; service as a Reserve Officer in an artillery regiment, Kosice and Mukacevo, Slovakia [1927-1930]; Lt, 1930; served in the International Brigades, Spanish Civil War, Spain, 1936-1939; Capt, 1936; Maj, 1938; commanded artillery battalion, Battle of the Ebro, 1939; served in World War Two, 1939-1945; evacuated from France to UK with Czech Legion, 1940; appointed Capt in the British Army [1940]; service with the Czechoslovak Independent Bde Group, 1940-1941; joined Free French forces as a Maj, 1941; served on personal staff of Free French Brig Gen Charles de Gaulle, and in the Troisième Bureau, assisting in the development for the planned invasion of Normandy, France, 1941-1944; author and military strategist, 1941-1992; awarded French Légion d'Honneur, 1944; Assistant to the Czech Military Mission, and adviser on central European affairs to the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), 1945; awarded US Medal of Freedom, 1946; Czechoslovakian Military Attaché, Paris, France, and Brussels, Belgium, 1946-1947; joined French Army, 1948; Lecturer in Tactics, Instituto de Altos Estudos Militares, Caxias, Portugal, 1950-1955; awarded Order of the Portuguese Empire [1955]; died, 1992. Publications: Blitzkrieg (Faber and Faber, London, 1941); Paratroops. The history, organisation and tactical use of airborne formations (Faber and Faber, London, 1943); Is bombing decisive? (Allen and Unwin, London, 1943); Blitzkrieg. Étude sur la tactique allemande de 1937 à 1943 (Harmondsworth, New York, USA, 1944); War between continents, with François Pierre Edmond (Faber and Faber, London, 1948); Les erreurs stratégiques de Hitler (Payot, Paris, France, 1945); Secret forces. The technique of underground movements (Faber and Faber, London, 1950); Unconditional surrender. The roots of World War III (Faber and Faber, London, 1952); Danubian Federation. A study of past mistakes and future possibilities in a vital region of Europe (published by author, printed by Kenion Press, Slough, Berkshire, 1953); Donauföderation (Forschungsinstitut für Fragen and Donausraumes, Salzburg, Austria, 1953); Atomic weapons and armies (Faber and Faber, London, 1955); Tactique de la guerre atomique (Payot, Paris, France, 1955); La faillite de la stratégie atomique (Presses de la Cité, Paris, France, 1958); The failure of atomic strategy and a new proposal for the defence of the West (Faber and Faber, London, 1959); Kapitulation ihne Krieg (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1965); Die Zukunft der Bundeswehr (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1967); Rüstungswettlauf (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1972); Vom Kriegsbild (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1976); Bis 2000 (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1979); Moskaus indirekte Strategie: Erfolge und Niederlage (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1983); Das Ende der Gegenwart (Seewald Verlag, Stuttgart, West Germany, 1991).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Lt Col Ferdinand Otto Miksche, dating mainly from 1936-1992, relating to his life and career and reflecting his interests as an analyst and prolific writer on military and international affairs from 1941, including the fallacy of nuclear deterrence and the future of international security; Soviet imperialism and the threat of communist expansion in the Third World; European affairs, especially French and German foreign policies within the NATO environment; the perils facing the West German state as it re-established a role as a primary European and global power; European integration; and central European politics. The collection comprises correspondence, both personal and relating to Miksche's publications, including letters from Free French Gen Charles André Joseph Marie De Gaulle, German Gen Heinz Guderian, Henry Alfred Kissinger, Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart and Capt Thomas Henry Wintringham; various identity cards; identity papers, passes and correspondence relating to Miksche's service in the International Bde, Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939, and his service with the Czechoslovak Independent Bde Group, 1940-1941; his publications and related papers, including some correspondence, from 1941 and throughout his career as a commentator on defence and international relations, comprising articles, press cuttings, typescripts, pamphlets, books and book jackets, and including letters to newspapers, reviews, and articles in German, French and English publications; maps and cartographic slides relating to military matters; obituaries following his death in 1992.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English, German, French, Czech, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Finding aids:

Collection level description available in reading room at Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives and online at

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Placed in the Centre by Miksche's family in 1999.

Allied Materials

Related material:

King's College London, Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, holds Miksche's library, mainly works in English, French and German on 20th-century subjects, and including reference works and books on general history, military history, World War One and World War Two, the French Resistance, the Cold War, other wars including Vietnam, Soviet foreign and military affairs, European and international affairs (Ref: Miksche); papers of Gen Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton, containing an article by Miksche, 'Can the Balkans become the Second Front', Picture Post, 17 Jul 1943 (Ref: Hamilton 17/106); papers of Capt Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart, containing correspondence with Miksche, 1942-1969 (Ref: LH 1/508), edition of Miksche's Danubian Federation. A study of past mistakes and future possibilities in a vital region of Europe, published by the author, printed by Kenion Press, Slough, Berkshire, 1953 (Ref: LH 15/5/529), bound typescript memorandum by Miksche, 'The description of an imaginary battle', on a Soviet invasion of Western Europe [1955] (Ref: LH 15/5/443), typescript text of lecture in French by Miksche, 'La strategie mondiale Sovietique', Oct 1959 (Ref: LH 15/5/325), published articles by Miksche, 1949-1965, 'The West must think again', from Everybody's magazine, 20 Aug 1949 (Ref: LH 15/5/437), 'The refugee problem', from Military Review, Oct 1951 (Ref: LH 15/5/271), 'Rommel as man and soldier', Air Force Daily, Jun-Jul 1953 (Ref: LH 9/24/32), 'Crisis of the Divisional system', An Cosantóir, the Irish Defence Journal, Oct 1956 (Ref: LH 15/5/282), 'Sword shield deterrent', NATO's Fifteen Nations, 1960 (Ref: LH 15/5/260), 'Stratégie d'une guerre future' [1960] (Ref: LH 15/5/202), 'The case for nuclear sharing', Orbis, a quarterly journal of world affairs, 1961 (Ref: LH 15/5/467), typescript 'La dissuasion atomique, c'est du bluff!', May 1964 (Ref: LH 15/5/262), 'The nuclear deterrent and Western strategy', Orbis, a quarterly journal of world affairs, 1964 (Ref: LH 15/5/267), 'Europe as a nuclear power' from Military Review, Jul 1965 (Ref: LH 15/5/261); 'Contra Seversky: review article of Capt Ferdinand Otto Miksche's book Is bombing decisive? (Ref: Misc 1). Detailed catalogues of the Hamilton and Liddell Hart papers are available online at

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Iain Mutch; revised by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Nov 1999, Mar 2001