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By David Wetzel

On July 19, 1870, Emperor Napoleon III of France declared conflict opposed to the Prussia of King William I and top Minister Otto von Bismarck. A Duel of countries dramatically depicts the realm within which that battle came about. during this, the 1st ebook in English to check in totality the diplomatic historical past of the Franco-Prussian conflict, David Wetzel attracts largely on deepest and reputable files, journalistic debts, cupboard mins, and public statements by way of key gamers to supply a booklet that's unrivaled within the variety and readability of its research, its forceful characterizations, and its brilliant language.

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Extra info for A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871

Sample text

His father, Friedrich, joined the Danish army, in which his relatives also had commissions and, hardly able to support his fourteen children, enrolled his son as a cadet at Frankfurt / Oder near the Polish border at the age of eleven. The young Moltke was then for three years drawn into military service, first in Silesia, then in Posen. Down and out, starved for cash, Moltke was forced to find employment in a variety of jobs—including translating Gibbon—to augment his income. In 1832, he joined the General Staff at Berlin and was soon promoted to second lieutenant, largely as the result of the influence of Prince William, at the time a lieutenant general but destined to become King William I of Prussia.

23 politics and personalities During that war, Moltke’s position with William I was enormously strengthened. On 2 June 1866, an order from William released the head of the General Staff from communicating with the king through the War Ministry and directed that henceforth the former would issue orders directly to the troops in the field. It was shortly after this time that there began a conflict of epochal dimensions between Moltke and Bismarck, the progression of which will be recounted at length in the course of this book.

There were numerous attempts to dispose of it, the most famous being an agreement known as the September Convention of 1864. This provided that the French would withdraw from Rome after a period of two years; the Italians, on their side, promised not to attack the city. And the government remained true to its word. But the Italian radicals, led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, could never be reconciled to the surrender of Rome, and nationalist feeling drove them on. In the spring of 1867, Garibaldi attacked the papal army at Mentana.

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