Causes of the Franco Prussian War

 July, 19 1870 – May, 10 1871

 A brief history of the Franco Prussian War

  Comparisons of the Armies



Saarbrücken, Prussia, Rhine Province

August 2, 1870

Battle of Wissembourg , France

August 4, 1870

  Battle of Spicheren, France

 August 5, 1870

 Battle of Wörth France

  August 6, 1870

  Battle of Mars-La-Tour France

  August 16, 1870

Battle of Gravelotte France

  August 18, 1870

 Siege of Metz  France

  August 19 - October, 27 1870

 Battle of Sedan France

 September 1 , 1870

 Siege of Strasbourg France

 August 15 – September 28, 1870

  Siege of Paris   France

 September 19, 1870 - January 28, 1871

Loire campaign    Northern campaign   Eastern campaign  



  January 28,  1871




 Books and videos on the war




 Sites of major actions in the Franco-Prussian War

 For a larger image click here .


Detailed map of the movements in the Franco Prussian War

For a larger image click here .



The Franco-Prussian War ( French: Guerre Franco-Allemande de 1870, German: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg ) was waged between France and Prussia and the German states from July 15, 1870 to Feb. 1, 1871 . Napoleon I had smashed through the German states with ease during the Napoleonic wars . Now a generation later, the roles would be reversed . Even though the war was a short duration, it dramatically changed European history . The rapid and overwhelming victory of the German states under the leadership of Prussia in this conflict made possible the creation of a unified German Empire and brought the fall of the French empire of Napoleon III which was replaced by the Third Republic. Prussian would first fight and destroy the armies of the emperor Napoleon, then the newly raised armies of the Third Republic . The war also marked the final step in Germany's rise to the position of a major continental power . As part of the settlement, the territory of Alsace-Lorraine was taken by Germany, which would retain it until after World War I. The war cost the leader of France, Napoleon III everything and he would die in exile in London in 1873 .




 Franco-Prussian War Documentary . The Franco-Prussian War or  Franco-German War , often referred to in France as the War of 1870 ( July, 19 1870 – May,10 1871), was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification. Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck planned to provoke a French attack in order to draw the southern German states—Baden, Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia.



The Franco-Prussian war Day by Day



 The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 was the first modern war in Europe. It was the longest military conflict fought on European soil since the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The end of the war marked the ascendancy of Imperial Germany as the preeminent military power on the continent.



Recommended books on the

Franco-Prussian War



The Franco-Prussian War: The German 

Conquest of France in 1870-1871

by Geoffrey Wawro

Military historian Wawro gives a comprehensive and lucid account 

of the political and diplomatic dimensions of the war



The Franco-Prussian 

War 1870-1871

by Michael Howard


In 1870 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 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. First published in 1961 and now with a new introduction, The Franco-Prussian War is acknowledged as the definitive history of one of the most dramatic and decisive conflicts in the history of Europe. 




Causes of the Franco Prussian War &

 A brief history of the Franco Prussian War

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© Thomas Zimmerman 2008

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