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.