The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 violently changed the course of European History. Alarmed by Bismarck's territorial ambitions and the Prussian army's crushing defeats of Denmark in 1864 and Austria in 1866, French Emperor Napoleon III vowed to bring Prussia to heel. Digging into many European and American archives for the first time, Geoffrey Wawro's The Franco-Prussian War describes the war that followed in thrilling detail. While the armies mobilized in July 1870, the conflict appeared 'too close to call'. Prussia and its German allies overwhelmingly outnumbered the French. But Marshal Achille Bazaine's grognards ('old grumblers') were the stuff of legend, the most resourceful, battle-hardened, sharp-shooting troops in Europe. From the political intrigues that began and ended the war to the bloody battles at Gravelotte and Sedan and the last murderous fights on the Loire and in Paris, this is a stunning, authoritative history of the Franco-Prussian War.
Geoffrey Wawro is Professor of Strategic Studies at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His previously published books include The Austro-Prussian War (Cambridge, 1996) and Warfare and Society in Europe, 1792-1914 (2000). He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Austrian Cultural Institute Prize and the Society for Military History Moncado Prize for Excellence in the Writing of Military History. In 2002, he shared a New Orleans Press Club Award for the live NBC/History Channel coverage of the parade and opening of the D-Day Museum Pacific Wing. He is also the host and anchor of the History Channel's Hardcover History, a weekly interview show with leading historians, statesmen, and journalists.