The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France 1870–1871, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Franco-Prussian War

The German Invasion of France 1870–1871, 2nd Edition

By Michael Howard


532 pages

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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.


'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

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

About 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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Eastern
HISTORY / Europe / Germany
HISTORY / Military / General