A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the by David Wetzel

By David Wetzel

On July 19, 1870, Emperor Napoleon III of France declared struggle opposed to the Prussia of King William I and top Minister Otto von Bismarck. A Duel of countries dramatically depicts the area within which that battle happened. during this, the 1st publication in English to check in totality the diplomatic heritage of the Franco-Prussian conflict, David Wetzel attracts largely on deepest and legit documents, journalistic money owed, cupboard mins, and public statements by way of key gamers to supply a e-book that's unequalled within the diversity and readability of its research, its forceful characterizations, and its bright language.

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Sample text

Of all the senior officials in Prussia, Moltke seems to have taken from the start the firmest and most uncompromising anti-French attitude. Of course, as leader of the army charged with defeating the enemy, this was understandable. But his hatred of France continued long after it was clear that Prussia would win the war, and, as we shall have repeated occasion to note, this hatred was at bottom the fundamental expression of his belief that the fighting should not cease until France had been pulled down from the ranks of the Great Powers and driven back into the inferiority from which it ought never to have escaped.

38 This he accomplished with great skill and competence, skillfully guiding his ship, often behind the scenes, toward the port to which he would bring it, seldom inviting attention to his own person. But he did not accomplish it overnight. In the years immediately after his appointment, Moltke’s plans seem to have taken a back seat to those of Count Roon, the minister of war, to whom he was still responsible but with whom he hardly ever corresponded. It was during the last phase of the Danish war of 1863–64 that Moltke’s skill as a commander began to catch the eye of the king.

The Second Empire was passing through difficulties at home, and clericalist support was the necessary condition of its survival; certainly this support was rated by Napoleon more highly than any diplomatic arrangement. In such circumstances, the emperor found himself against a wall. ”14 But Francis Joseph was not so easily 30 the position of the powers caught. He would not, he replied, make an alliance without first informing Napoleon but was silent on what Beust later referred to “as the voluntary engagement”15 undertaken by France.

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