550 Pages
    by Routledge

    550 Pages
    by Routledge

    In 1870 the German Chancellor Otto von 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 European 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.

    Michael Howard's The Franco-Prussian War is widely acclaimed as a classic and the definitive history of one of the most dramatic and decisive conflicts in the history of Europe. Evoking a palpable sense of the struggle and the high stakes of the war, Howard analyses the tactics, political dynamics, morale and actions that determined the course of the conflict. He also describes the crucial role played by key figures in the war, including Bismarck, the Prussian military commander Helmuth Von Moltke, and the French generals MacMahon, Chanzy and Trochu. He also sheds fascinating light on how difficult it was to bring the war to an end, with extremists in both France and Prussia pushing to prolong the conflict.

    A tour de force of both European and military history, The Franco-Prussian War is a superb account of this dramatic and hugely important conflict, ideal for the student, historian and general reader alike.

    This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by Bertrand Taithe.

    Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition Bertrand Taithe


    1. The Antagonists

    2. The Outbreak

    3. The First Disasters

    4. The Army of the Rhine

    5. The Army of Châlons

    6. The Government of National Defence

    7. Metz and Strasbourg

    8. The Battle for Orléans

    9. The Siege of Paris

    10. Guerre à Outrance

    11. The Peace.

    Notes on Sources

    Select Bibliography



    Michael Howard (1922-2019) was a British military historian and formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War, Honorary Fellow of All Souls College, and Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University. He was also Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University, and the founder of the Department of War Studies at King's College, London. He co-founded the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 1958. The author of many highly regarded books Howard was described in the Financial Times as "Britain's greatest living historian", and by The Guardian as "Britain's foremost expert on conflict".

    '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

    'The most influential British military historian of his generation.' - The Guardian

    '...an eminent military historian and decorated combat veteran who helped redefine the chronicling of conflict between states.' - The New York Times

    'Teachers who have sought a history of the war of 1870-71 to recommend to their students will share my satisfaction on reading Michael Howard’s. The general reader interested in one of the epoch-making events of modern history will find it of equal value.' - Lawrence D. Steefel, The Journal of Modern History

    'Michael Howard has analysed the origins and the events of this great war with thoroughness, clarity, and high narrative skill.' - The Times