This work covers the Franco-Prussian War, which broke out in 1870 when Bismarck engineered a war with the French Second Empire of Napoleon III. This was part of his wider political strategy of uniting Prussia with the Southern German Confederation and excluding Austria. The war was an overwhelming Prussian victory, and the king was proclaimed Emperor of the new united Germany. The Second Empire collapsed and Napoleon III fled in exile to Britain. In the clearing up operation against the French Third Republic, Germany gained the eastern French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, areas that were to provide a bone of contention for years to come.
Stephen Badsey is a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst who is highly respected in his field. He has written about subjects as diverse as Hitler, war correspondents in the Crimea and modern fighter aircraft.