Franco-Prussian War: The Campaign of Sedan, Volume 1 and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 5.88 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Franco-Prussian War on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71: v. 1: The Campaign of Sedan. Helmuth Von Moltke and the Overthrow of the Second Empire [Paperback]

Quintin Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 35.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Sunday, 24 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 12.35  
Paperback 35.00  
Trade In this Item for up to 5.88
Trade in The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71: v. 1: The Campaign of Sedan. Helmuth Von Moltke and the Overthrow of the Second Empire for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 5.88, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

15 Sep 2009
In the first part of this comprehensive all-new two-volume military history of the Franco-Prussian War, Quintin Barry presents a detailed account of the war against the French Imperial Army waged by the armies of the German Confederation, directed by that supreme military mind, Helmuth von Moltke. The author places Moltke and his strategic planning in the context of the European balance of power following the ending of the Austria Prussian War of 1866, before exploring the initial mobilisation and deployment of the armies in 1870. All of the battles of this opening round of the war are described in detail, including Weissenburg, Worth, Spicheren, Borny-Colombey, Mars la Tour, Gravelotte, Beaumont and, of course, Sedan. The book ends as the Second Empire of Napoleon III lies defeated, crushed by the German armies directed by von Moltke. The author has made full use of an extensive number of German and French language sources. His detailed text is accompanied by a number of black and white illustrations and battle maps. Orders of battle are also provided.

Frequently Bought Together

The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71: v. 1: The Campaign of Sedan. Helmuth Von Moltke and the Overthrow of the Second Empire + The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71: v. 2: After Sedan. Helmuth Von Moltke and the Defeat of the Government of National Defence + Bismarck's First War: The Campaign of Schleswig and Jutland 1864
Price For All Three: 114.90

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Helion & Company; Reprint edition (15 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906033455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906033453
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 405,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Barry's work stands alongside those of Howard and Wawro for anyone with a serious interest in the Franco-Prussian War..." (NY Military Affairs Symposium Review)

About the Author

Quintin Barry is married and lives in Sussex. He is a solicitor, specialising in employment law. He has been chairman of a local radio station and for the past 10 years has served as chairman of an NHS trust. Throughout his professional career he has maintained his lifelong interest in military and naval history. He has made a special study of the period from 1848 to 1871, with particular reference to the Wars of German Unification.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quintin Barry makes you live this war as if you were a war-reporter, so detailed are the maps that accompany the book (every single battle has its own map, and the position of every regiment is marked! ) and so well explained are the movements of the troops involved in this war between two of the most powerful european nations.
In this first book it is clarified how and why the war began detailing very well all the diplomatic efforts that both nations put in effect to defend their interests and then it is described the campaign of Sedan ended with the fall of the Second Empire and of Napoleon III.
The book explains the technological evolution of the weapons and the different organization of the two armies in the last years before this war, how the French Army seemed to emerge as the strongest army after the Second Italian Indepedence War on 1859 and how instead the Prussian Army through a very professional use of the artillery managed to defeat the Austrian Army on 1866 and the French Army on 1870 and on 1871.
You will not find another book about this war where the mix between the smell of powder and the cold analysis of the historian is better built than on this one.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling 4 Mar 2011
As gripping as a Dramatic Tragedy (for the French!) as the events move inexorably to the climax of Sedan. And there is Volume 2 to come!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helmuth von Details 28 Sep 2011
By Dr Y - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Military historians owe Quintin Barry a huge pint or two for giving us more than Michael Howard did in his Franco-Prussian War history. The details can be overwhelming; for the reader who seeks battles and vivid conflict, you have to pick and chose your chapters. Barry's two volumes can be as relentless as the Prussian invasion itself. Nonetheless I am gratified to find excellent analysis of most if not all of the major and minor battles of this neglected conflict. My other complaint is directed at the sloppy maps, which are very poor quality. The tiny scale and black-and-white icons make it almost impossible to discern between French and German units. Of course, Howard's maps were just as bad! If only we had maps in color with recognizable markings - - - I guess we'll have to wait for those. Nonetheless, thank you Mr. Barry!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Detailed 2-Volume Account of the War 2 Oct 2012
By M60 Tank Driver - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
(Note: This review is for both Volumes 1 and 2 of Quintin Barry's "The Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71").

For any serious student of the Franco-Prussian War, this two-volume account by Quintin Barry would have to be considered "must reading". Barry offers up the most complete and comprehensive study of the war currently in print, even more detailed than Douglas Fermer's two books on the subject, "Sedan 1870" and "France At Bay". These books are not for the casual reader, however, or someone not already familiar with the Franco-Prussian War. For more introductory accounts, either Warwo's or Howard's works would be more appropriate. But for those who really want to submerge themselves in the war, right down to the "nuts and bolts", then I would highly recommend Barry's two-volume history.

Barry has a very good writing style, which can usually overcome the sometimes very dry nature of the subject. As I mentioned, Barry's works are highly detailed, and give almost daily movements of French and especially German units, as well as clashes both large and small, for every campaign of the war. In fact, the level of such detail, especially in covering some of the lesser-known campaigns chronicled in Volume 2, can get a bit tedious. Thankfully Barry is skilled enough as a writer to enliven the subject wherever he can. Still, for all the detail, I wouldn't recommend Barry for those seeking alot of anecdotal information from the private soldier's point of view. Barry mostly confines himself to unit movement and action, and the thoughts and motivations of the commanding generals.

It helps to have good maps handy to follow the movements that are so heavily detailed in these books. Sadly, the maps given are definitely the weakest point of these volumes -- they are small and smudgy, black & white only, and appear to be very old reprints. The units are statically indicated on them, and poorly marked out. And while some maps do indicate unit locations at different times/dates, it's really hard-sledding to follow the battles and make sense of them. Also, indicators of movement (such as arrows) are not used. The maps also tend to give too much information -- as far as irrelevant topographical features, such as marking out every stream, road, and tiny village, all of which tends to interfere with the necessary information they're trying to convey... these maps are simply too "busy". After getting used to full-color, topographical maps of, say, the Osprey Series (including excellent three-quarter views of battlefields), these maps hugely disappoint. I actually ended up following the text along on such superior maps as I could find in other books or off the internet, which helped me get the feel of the action being described. I would recommend any reader to do the same, instead of relying on the maps given! Barry does provide a wealth of drawings of the actions and portraits/photographs of the various participants.

Both volumes are written definitely more from the German point of view than the French, but this fact is highlighted in the books' subtitle: "Helmuth von Moltke and the Overthrow of the Second Empire" and "Helmuth von Molkte and the Defeat of the Government of National Defense". Barry gives top priority to chronicling Moltke's plans, orders, and thoughts, which is actually very wise, because the war was so largely fought on Moltke's terms, not those of any other Germans, nor of their French adversaries. One might wish to have a bit more detailed information on French plans and movements, but due to the relative dearth of French manuscripts to draw on, compared to the vast storehouse of German works available, this is understandable. As the winners of the war, Germans were anxious to publish their accounts, including some very valuable and detailed journals of such participants as Generals Blumenthal, Verdy du Vernois, Waldersee, Stosch, the Crown Prince, Prince Frederick Wilhelm, Colonel Wartensleben, and of course, Helmuth Von Moltke himself.

During the second volume, which chronicles the various thrusts and counter-thrusts of numerous armies around France, as well as the situation in besieged Paris, Barry does a good job of presenting a balanced account, shifting focus as necessary to the various theaters of the war. My only complaint about how the material is presented is in the first volume, where the critically important battles of Mars-la-Tour and Gravelotte-St Privat are each only given one thin chapter apiece, while the anti-climatic Battle of Sedan occupies five whole chapters! Sorry, but I've always regarded the lopsided German victory and French surrender at Sedan as the final and inevitable outcome of a horrible political policy forced upon Marshal MacMahon and his Army of Chalons. Once MacMahon accepted the suicidal course of action being demanded from Paris, it was a foregone conclusion that his army would be penned and defeated, as they were on September 1st.

Yet the smaller scale Battle of Mars-la-Tour on August 16th offered Marshal Bazaine and his beleaguered Army of the Rhine it's best chance of defeating segments of the German army in detail and opening up the road west to Verdun, and hence to Chalons, where Bazaine could unite with MacMahon. The bigger Battle of Gravelotte-St Privat, fought two days later, still offered Bazaine some opportunities for victory and break-out towards his base to the west. It was also the biggest battle of the war by any measure, and had the largest strategic implications. Had the French gained a strategic victory at Gravelotte, then the whole course of the war would have been effected. As it was, the Germans' strategic victory insured that Bazaine and his army would be shut-up in the Metz fortifications until surrendered in late October.

Tactically, the Battle of Gravelotte is, I believe, the most interesting of the war, and offers up so many possibilities and interpretations. While it showed Marshal Bazaine once again to be a timid and weak general, and certainly not up to field-army command, it's also one of the few battles that shows the vaulted German commanders, including Moltke, and the usually reliable staff-work of the army, in a relatively poor light. Gravelotte was hardly a "feather in the cap" for the Germans, and only the muddled and defensive-based thinking of Bazaine saved them from possible disaster, as they flung 4 complete corps haphazardly and with little coordination against immensely strong French defensive positions. Based on the results of the battle, which included the heaviest losses suffered by either side in any battle of the war -- 20,160 dead & wounded Germans (against only 7,855 French killed & wounded) it's difficult to award the tactical victory to the Germans. Their final assault at 8pm against the French extreme right-flank, while very successful, was far too late in the day to allow any follow-up, and the French were given the chance to staunch the rout of their 6th Corps, stabilize their lines for the night, then pull back into Metz the next morning. Sadly, I found Barry's account of this crucial battle to be very weak and cursory, especially when considering the space he devotes to the Battle of Sedan.

Still, that having been said, I can strongly recommend both volumes of Barry's "The Franco-Prussian War" to any student of that war, or of 19th century warfare in general.
3.0 out of 5 stars Detail but at times hard to follow. 8 Jun 2014
By Beth W. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very detailed and well researched book. Unfortunately at times it became hard to follow because of the difficulty I had keeping track of who was on the French side and who was on the Prussian. I also found it difficult to track the military units for the same reason. Also being a visual person the movements of the various armies geographically was at times confusing as I'm not familiar with the areas where the battles we fought. Also reading it on the Kindle made the few maps difficult if not impossible read. On the positive side it gave a very detailed accounting of the events, the personalities and the politics.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category