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Gravelotte-St-Privat 1870: End of the Second Empire (Campaign) [Kindle Edition]

Philipp Elliot-Wright
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Gravelotte-St-Privat was probably the hardest fought of all the battles of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871). Attacked by superior Prussian forces from both the First and Second armies, Marshal Bazaine's French Army of the Rhine inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing Prussian's before finally being forced to retreat into the fortress city of Metz. Unable to break out and with no hope of relief Bazaine's army grimly held on to the end of the war. French failure at Gravelotte-St-Privat led directly to their final defeat at Sedan, the collapse of Napoleon III's regime and the proclamation of the German Empire.

Editorial Reviews


?Gravelotte-St.-Privat was one of the hardest fought battles of the Franco-Prussian War and the one that led to the French Army's final defeat at Sedan, the collapse of Napoleon III's regime, and the proclamation of the German Empire. This military history describes every aspect of the battle, including its commanders, soldiers, strategies and defeats and victories. The text includes a chronology, a list of further reading, maps and illustrations.?-Reference & Research Book News

From the Publisher

Highly visual guides to history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics, and experiences of the opposing forces throughout each campaign, and concluding with a guide to the battlefields today.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8066 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (June 18, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bazaine's Missed Opportunity, and His Army's Last Chance September 13, 2012
I found this volume in the Osprey Military Campaign Series to be both informative and well written, by author Philipp Elliot-Wright. As with all Osprey books, it is a fast, light read on the subject at hand, though since it deals primarily with a single battle, it does give some measure of detail. Unfortunately, this appears to be the only book currently in print detailing the Gravelotte-St Privat battle exclusively, so those interested in the subject have little opportunity to read further. Still, I found this work to be more comprehensive on Gravelotte than any general Franco-Prussian War book, which usually details a mere chapter to Gravelotte. While it is true, as one poster has commented, that it gives little anecdotal information from the standpoint of the common soldier, one must bear in mind that any book of only 96 pages can hardly be detailed enough to give any more than a general synthesis of the action and large-unit movement.

Oddly enough, Gravelotte-St Privat has always taken a back seat in history to the Battle of Sedan, fought 13 days later, despite the fact that Gravelotte was the biggest battle of the Franco-Prussian War, and ultimately had the greater strategic significance. Gravelotte represented both a missed opportunity by Marshal Bazaine to possibly inflict a tactical defeat on the German armies, and the last strategic opportunity for his Army of the Rhine to escape the cordon that was being drawn around it. By contrast, the Battle of Sedan represented the final gasp of an politically-conceived, but militarily suicidal, strategic movement forced on Marshal MacMahon and his Army of Chalons by the government in Paris. Once MacMahon reached Sedan, the issue of his Army's ultimate defeat and surrender were not in doubt.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breech-loading rifles at war November 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This battle showed the power of breech-loading weapons. However, this would not be consumated for forty years. A most useful introduction to this key battle.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Osprey Can Do Much Better than This! August 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hesitate to be too critical, since there are no other books in English that cover the same topic. In comparison with other Osprey Campaign series books, however, this one falls short. I found the campaign/battle narrative to be acceptable as an overview of the strategic and tactical elements. There is precious little in the book from the standpoint of the common soldier in the ranks, though. I am always disappointed when any battle narrative leaves out the sights, sounds, and personal experiences of those who endured its tragedies and triumphs. One other problem with the narrative is that it abruptly stops at the conclusion of this battle, offering the reader nothing on the rest of this short war. The quality of the color plates is far below the usual standard, and there are no battle scenes. The artist offers just 3 plates for soldiers on either side, and these are limited to infantry and artillery only. The Order of Battle does not list individual units, unit strengths, nor other needed details about types of artillery, rifles, etc. that would be useful for wargamers like myself.
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