Previously I have read Fermer's two volume history of the Franco-Prussian War which I am planning to reread over the summer as I have volunteered to give a talk on the war to York U3A Military History Group.
This new book is a very good overview of the three campaigns and through this narrative account he demonstrates how they are linked, how the concluding campaign affected strategic planning and so the next campaign. The author's account of the "campaigns and the preparations for them treats them as part of a cycle of fear, suspicion, animosity ans conflicting ambitions extending across several generations." (Quote from the book sleeve)
I will be travelling by train, East Coast York to London, Eurostar to Brussels, then to Luxembourg and on to Metz, four trains.
My plan is to see three sites.
First : the Vauban fortress of Longwy, or rather the half that is left, this to tick off one more on the UNESCO list.
Second : one of the German forts built during around 1900 during the occupation of Alsace - Lorraine, Feste Wagner/Fort Verny, to the south of Metz. Part of the fortifications that gave Patton's army such trouble in late 1944.
Third : the new Franco-Prussian War museum at Gravelotte, together with a bit of walking around the battlefield.
There should be time to look at what is left of the Vauban works in Metz.
|Longwy - Porte de France|
|Barracks at Feste Wagner|