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The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France 1870-1871 Paperback – 27 Sep 2001
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'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
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
History is a continuum but I do feel that the F-P war was the starting point of events in Europe that culminated in the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. So, essential to have a good grasp of it.
This book gives a detailed but not tedious description of the political, historical, military, technological and social background to the state of France and Prussia in the mid 19th C. It then describes the almost ludicrous French taking of Bismarck's bait, followed by the engagements, from division level and upwards and finally the collapse of the French body politic into near anarchy and revolution in defeat.
The writing is concise, free of academic waffle and the treatment is comprehensive. It's said that this is the definitive single volume on the subject still, after over 40 years. I think it would be very difficult to beat it, unless by the inclusion of much new information and rediscovered archive material, which has not happened to date.
I deducted one star because, as so often with books on military history that have been republished in p/back, the maps and diagrams have been reduced to near illegibility. I read this book with a large scale French road atlas to hand. Without this, much description of troop movement becomes incomprehensible.
But a very highly recommended book, nevertheless.
To understand the reason for the second World War which in turn flowed from the First World War, you must understand the Franco Prussian war. The effect it had on both parties, and why with their respective temperaments and views of the outcome, the re-match, which was the Great War, was inevitable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this as background info on how Germany came into being and why the antaganism to the FrenchPublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
I always avoided the f-p war as not involving the UK. well written and wide ranging. used condition exactly as statedPublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by Paul Steed