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The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871

Overview

In 1870 Bismarck ordered the Prussian Army to invade France, inciting one of the most dramatic conflicts in European history. It transformed not only the states-system of the Continent but the whole climate of European moral and political thought. The overwhelming triumph of German military might, evoking general admiration and imitation, introduced an era of power politics, which was to reach its disastrous climax in 1914.

First published in 1961 and now with a new ...

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Paperback (2ND, REVISED)
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Overview

In 1870 Bismarck ordered the Prussian Army to invade France, inciting one of the most dramatic conflicts in European history. It transformed not only the states-system of the Continent but the whole climate of European moral and political thought. The overwhelming triumph of German military might, evoking general admiration and imitation, introduced an era of power politics, which was to reach its disastrous climax in 1914.

First published in 1961 and now with a new introduction, The Franco-Prussian War is acknowledged as the definitive history of one of the most dramatic and decisive conflicts in the history of Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'No outline can suggest the richness of detail and significance, or the superb command of language with which he invests his chronicle. His book is a masterpiece.' - Sunday Times

'Brilliantly written.' - Julian Critchley, The Week

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415266710
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 11/9/2001
  • Edition description: 2ND, REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 536
  • Sales rank: 641,038
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Sir Michael Howard was the Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford from 1980-1989. He was Professor of History at Yale University from 1989-1993.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Preface Chapter 1: The Antagonists 1. The Technical Background 2. The Unreformed Armies 3. The Reform of the Prussian Army 4. The Reform of the French Army Chapter 2: The Outbreak 1. The War Plans 2. The Hohenzollen Candidature 3. The German Moblisation 4. The French Mobilisation Chapter 3: The First Disasters 1. The Concentration of Armies 2. Spicheren 3. Froeschwiller Chapter 4: The Army of the Rhine 1. The Invasion 2. Vionville-Mars-la-Tour 3. Gravelotte-St. Privat Chapter 5: The Army of Chalons 1. Beaumont 2. Sedan Chapter 6: The Government of National Defence 1. Ferrieres 2. The Nation in Arms 3. The Francs-Tireurs Chapter 7: Metz and Strasbourg Chapter 8: The Battles for Orleans 1. Coulmiers 2. Beaunc-la-Rolande 3. Loigny Chapter 9: The Siege of Paris 1. The Investment 2. Le Plan Troucu 3. Versailles 4. The Bombardement Chapter 10: Guerre a Outrance 1. the Deepening Conflict 2. Chanzy 3. Faidherbe 4. The End in the West 5. Bourbaki Chapter 11: The Peace Notes on Sources Select Bibliography Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2003

    The Rise of Germany, the Decline of France

    Michael Howard produced a first rate account of the Franco-Prussian War. The importance of this war and its consequences cannot be overstated. The triumph of German arms and the failure of the French method of war portends the tragedies that befall France in the two World Wars. To truly understand World War I and its causes, a serious scholar needs to start with this book. Many professionals and military history students casually disregard German feats of arms based on the shallow analysis that they lost both World Wars. The author clearly illustrates the success of the German method and the French failure to adapt. Unfortunately, this war is overshadowed by the events of the 20th Century, though it rivals the Napoleonic Wars in importance in the 19th Century. The Germans defined military professionalism in the industrial age by their success in this war, leading them on the path to militarism. France was never able to fully recover from their humiliating defeat after their pre-war bellicosity. This is a must read book in European military history. As is common in older editions, the maps in this book leave a lot to be desired. Hopefully, this shortfall has been corrected in the recent revised edition.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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