Moltke, Helmuth Johannes Ludwig von (1848โ€“1916), a German army officer. He served in the Franco-Prussian War (1870โ€“71), and was an adjutant to Count von Moltke, his uncle (1882โ€“91). Moltke became a general and chief of the army staff in 1906. Staff plans in case of war called for a massive blow at France through Belgium. Moltke modified these plans, and his changes were an important factor in the German failure to crush France in the opening weeks of World War I. He was relieved of his position in November, 1914.