The Siege that Changed the World
by Brig N S Nash CBE
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 30 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 28 Jul 2021
Pen & Sword, Pen & Sword Military
The Siege of Paris from September 1870 to the city’s capitulation in January 1871 was the result of Louis Napoleon III, Emperor of France’s disastrous decision to declare war on Prussia. The Prussian Army of King William I proved vastly superior to their adversaries.
After victories at Metz and Sedan, the Prussians marched on Paris virtually unopposed. By 19 September the city was encircled with the population discontented, disillusioned and rebellious. Civil disorder was rife as starvation took a grip. On the inevitable surrender in late January and the declaration of the German Empire, France’s humiliation was complete. This in turn led to the temporary establishment of the Paris Commune an embryonic communist government, and civil war.
As well as providing a vivid description of the siege and fighting, the author of this well researched account analyses the long-term effects be they social, military and political both on France and wider Europe. He argues that while the siege was not particularly costly in terms of human life, its legacy was the reduction of French global influence, the growth of German militarism, the evolution of international communism and changes in the world order.