Ascoli, David.


1st ed., 1987. 384 pp., profusely illustrated with photo-ills., ills., maps & plans. D.j., 24 x 16cm. Small sig., Nr.FINE. Between dawn and dusk on Tuesday, 16 August 1870, a largely forgotten but profoundly important battle was fought on the rolling plateau a few miles to the west of Metz in Lorraine. There the French Army of the Rhine, falling back incautiously towards Verdun, was intercepted by advance elements of the German Second Army. As night fell both sides rested on their blood-stained laurels and both claimed victory but neither had immediate cause to celebrate. The battle of Mars-la-Tour was to change the face of Europe. Two weeks later at Sedan, Emperor Louis Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered his Army of Chalons to King William of Prussia, and on 28 October Marshal Bazaine capitulated the Army of the Rhine to Prince Frederick Charles in Metz. On 18 January, 1871, King William was elected the first Emperor of a united Germany. And who shall say what sombre results were to flow for future generations from that watershed of history? Illustrated with plates, maps and plans.

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