TimeLine of the Franco-Prussian War






July 2 the Spanish informed the French ambassador They accept Prince Leopold for the Spanish throne

July 12 Gramont demands Prussia must renounce the offer

July 13  Bismark sends out edited Ems dispatch

July 15 German crown Prince read the mobilization order

July 19 France Declares War

July 20 Austria declares neutrality

July 28 Napoleon III leaves Paris for Metz and assumed command of the newly titled Army of the Rhine





August 2 August 3, some 320,000 German soldiers were now massed near the French border

August 2 General Frossard's II Corps and Marshal Bazaine's III Corps crossed the German border

August 4 Battle of Wissembourg

August 5 Battle of Spicheren

German victory, French to withdraw to the defenses of Metz


August 6 Battle of Wœrth French army broke off the battle and retreated in a western direction, first major battle


August 16 Battle of Mars-la-Tour


August 18 Battle of Gravelotte




September 1 Battle of Sedan

September  2 Napoleon III surrenders self and 104,000  soldiers of the Army of Châlons

September 3 – October 23 Siege of Metz

September 4 coup d'état against Napoleon III, Third Republic proclaimed

September 6 Jules Favre declares France would not "yield an inch of its territory nor a stone of its fortresses" The republic then renewed the declaration of war, called for recruits in all parts of the country, and pledges to drive the enemy troops out of France.

Sept 19 - Jan 1871 Siege of Paris begins




Oct 7 Léon Gambetta escapes Paris in a hot air balloon

five new French armies totaling more than 500,000 troops are recruited

Oct 23 End of the Siege of Metz




Nov 9 French victory at Coulmiers




Dec 4 French defeat at Le Mans





Jan 6 bombardment of Paris begins

Jan 18 German Empire declared

Jan 19 Battle of Buzenval

Jan 24 Jules Favre goes to Versailles to discuss peace terms with Bismarck

Jan 25 President Jules Trochu resigns

Jan 28 New president Jules Favre signs armistice with the Prussians



Feb 6 Gambetta stepped down and surrendered control of the provincial armies to the Government of National Defence, which promptly ordered a ceasefire across France

Feb 17 German victory parade in Paris




March 18- May 28 Paris Commune





Books and videos on the war