Historians have generally stressed Prince Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck's desire to prevent a two-front war during the late 1880's. They have agreed that the German chancellor viewed France as Germany's inexorable enemy and that he feared a possible Franco-Russian coalition against Germany. Scholars have been less certain, however, about the chancellor's plans for German actions in the event of a widespread European war. In case of a Russian attack would he have aided his Austrian ally immediately? Would he have attacked France first? Did he intend to avoid a two-front war by abandoning Austria-Hungary? In other words, how would Bismarck have met a crisis somewhat similar to the one which led Europe into a far-ranging war in 1914? A previously unpublished dispatch, the complete text of which is included at the end of this paper, provides clues to Bismarck's ideas about future European-wide wars.