Moltke                              von Roon

Battle of Konnigsgratz - Austro-Prussian War
Painting by Carl Rochling

Storming of the Geissberg Chateau at Wissembourg
Painting by Carl Rochling

Zouaves of the French 1st Corps charging at Worth
Painting by Richard Knotel

77th Prussian line at the Golden Bremme - Spicheren
Painting by Carl Rochling

French infantry at Vionville - Mars la Tour
Painting by ???

The Cemetery at St Privat
Painting by Alphonse De Neuville

Prussians repulsing the Chasseurs d'Afrique at Sedan
Painting by ???

Franco-German War Timeline

1857 Helmuth von Moltke becomes Chief of the Prussian General Staff
1862 Albert von Roon begins reform of the Prussian army
1864 The First Schleswig-Holstein War in which a coalition of Austria and Prussia defeats Denmark to gain possession of the Schleswig-Holstein provinces
1866 The Seven Weeks War between Austria and Prussia sees the defeat of Austria in a campaign that vaults Prussia into prominence among the German states


Escalation and War
15 July French government issues war credits and orders troops toward French/German frontier. Order for mobilisation given by King William of Prussia
16 July Southern German states Bavaria and Baden begin mobilisation
17 July German state of Wurttemburg begins mobilisation
19 July France declares war on Prussia
2 Aug Troops of the French 2nd Corps defeat a small garrison in the German border village of Saarbrucken

Opening Battles on the Frontier
4 Aug Battle of Wissembourg
The 2nd division (Abel Douay's) of the French 1st Corps is defeated by the German Third army under Crown Prince William Frederick

6 Aug Battle of Froeschwiller (Woerth)
The French 1st Corps along with 1 division of 7th Corps under Marshall MacMahon is defeated by the German Third army under Crown Prince William Frederick in a hotly contested battle

6 Aug Battle of Spicheren
The French 2nd Corps under Frossard is forced to retire after a day-long battle with the Prussian First and Second armies

The Metz Campaign
14 Aug Battle of Colombey (Borny)
French rearguard action before Metz turns into a battle with the advancing Prussians. The action ends as a draw, but holds up the French withdrawal from the fortress of Metz

16 Aug Battle of Vionville-Mars la Tour
Attempting to cutoff the French retreat from Metz, elements of the German Second Army unwittingly attack numerically superior French forces west of Metz

Battle ends in a draw after the French fail to recognize their advantage and advance too slowly. Results in Prussians cutting off the French retreat route

18 Aug Battle of Gravelotte - St. Privat
The French Army of the Rhine under Marshall Bazaine arranged in a strong defensive position is attacked by the First (Steinmetz) and Second (Prince Fredrick Charles) German armies along a front from the town of Gravelotte to the village of St. Privat

After bloodily repulsing the Germans along the entire front during much of the day the French right flank at St. Privat is finally turned from the north causing the French army to retreat back into Metz during the night. It would remain there until its surrender in October

The Sedan Campaign
29 Aug Engagement at Nouart is indecisive between the French 5th Corps and Saxon (XII) Corps
30 Aug Battle of Beaumont
The French 5th Corps is suprised by the Prussian IV Corps and other elements barely making good its escape
1 Sept Battle of Sedan
The French Army of Chalons commanded by Marshall MacMahon is surrounded and cut off by the two German armies (Third Army and Army of the Meuse). After a desparate, but unequal struggle the French are defeated
2 Sept The French Army of Chalons capitulates to the Germans at Sedan

End of the Empire

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