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Blood and Iron

Blood and Iron may refer to:

  • Blood and Iron (speech), 1862 speech given by Otto von Bismarck
  • American Empire: Blood and Iron, 2001 war novel by Harry Turtledove
  • Blood and Iron, 2001 military fiction novel by Timothy Huskey under the pseudonym of Dan MacGregor
  • Blood and Iron, song from Feel The Fire, the debut studio album by thrash metal band Overkill
  • Blood and Iron, 2006 novel by Elizabeth Bear
  • Hellboy: Blood and Iron, 2007 animated film
Blood and Iron (speech)

Blood and Iron ( German: Blut und Eisen) is the title of a speech by Minister President of Prussia Otto von Bismarck given in 1862 about the unification of the German territories. It is also a transposed phrase that Bismarck uttered near the end of the speech that has become one of his most widely known quotations.

In September 1862, when the Prussian Landtag was refusing to approve an increase in military spending desired by King Wilhelm I, the king appointed Bismarck as Minister President and Foreign Minister. A few days later, Bismarck appeared before the Landtag's Budget Committee and stressed the need for military preparedness. He concluded his speech with the following statement: "The position of Prussia in Germany will not be determined by its liberalism but by its power [...] Prussia must concentrate its strength and hold it for the favorable moment, which has already come and gone several times. Since the treaties of Vienna, our frontiers have been ill-designed for a healthy body politic. Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided—that was the great mistake of 1848 and 1849—but by iron and blood (Eisen und Blut)." This phrase was popularized as the more euphonous Blut und Eisen ("blood and iron"), and became symbolic of Bismarckian Machtpolitik.

Although Bismarck was an outstanding diplomat, the phrase "blood and iron" has become a popular description of his foreign policy partly because he did on occasion resort to war to further the unification of Germany and the expansion of its continental power. Thus he became known as "the iron chancellor."

Usage examples of "blood and iron".

Where fertility, money, blood and iron is, there is the fatherland.

Then it was an indecipherable melee, suffused with the stench of blood and iron and sweat and urine and crushed vegetation, the screams of animal and man, the sight of carnage and agony.