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Sedan

de Wimpffen

Published by Librairie Internationale, and A. LKacroix, Verboeckhoven et Ce, Paris, France and Brussels, 1871
Condition: Fair Soft cover
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viii, 382 pages. Large folding map after page viii. Spine repaired with tape. Some discoloration. Wraps covers worn, soiled, torn, creased and chipped. Text is in French. Entering the army from the military school of Saint-Cyr, he saw considerable active service. He first earned distinction in the Crimean War as colonel, and his conduct at the storm of the Mamelon won him the grade of general of brigade. In the campaign of 1859 he was at the battle of Magenta at the head of a brigade of Guard Infantry, and again won promotion on the battlefield. De Wimpffen was given a commission appointing him to command the Army of Chalons in case of Marshal MacMahon's disablement. He only arrived at the front in time to rally the fugitives of the 5th Corps, beaten at Beaumont, and to march them to Sedan. In the disastrous Battle of Sedan on the first of September, MacMahon was soon wounded, and the senior officer, General Ducrot, assumed the command. Ducrot was beginning to withdraw the troops when Wimpffen produced his commission and countermanded the orders. In consequence it fell to him to negotiate the surrender of the whole French army. After his release from captivity, he lived in retirement and died at Paris in 1884. His later years were occupied with polemical discussions on the surrender of Sedan, the responsibility for which was laid upon him. He wrote, amongst other works, Sedan (1871), La Situation de la France, et les reformes necessaires (1873) and La Nation armée (1875). The Battle of Sedan was fought during the Franco-Prussian War on 1 September 1870. It resulted in the capture of Emperpor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new Frenchy government. The 120,000 strong French Army of Chalons, commanded by Marshal Patrice de MacMahon and accompanied by Napoleon III, was attempting to lift the Siege of Metz, only to be caught by the Prussian Meuse Army and defeated at the Battle of Beaumont. The Meuse Army and the Prussian Third Army, commanded by Field-Marshal Helmuth von Moltke and accompanied by Prussian King Wilhelm I and Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, cornered MacMahon's army at Sedan in a massive encirclement battle. Marshal MacMahon was wounded during the attacks and command passed to General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot, until it was taken over by General Emmanuel Felix de Wimpffen. The battle opened with the Army of Châlons, with 202 infantry battalions, 80 cavalry squadrons and 564 guns, attacking the surrounding Prussian Third and Meuse Armies, which totaled 222 infantry battalions, 186 cavalry squadrons and 774 guns. Napoleon had ordered MacMahon to break out of the encirclement, and the only point where that seemed possible was La Moncelle, whose flank was protected by a fortified town. The Prussians also picked La Moncelle as one point where they would mount a breakthrough. Prince George of Saxony and the Prussian XI Corps was assigned to the task, and General Baron von der Tann were ordered to attack Bazeilles. Fighting began in earnest at 0600, and the wounded MacMahon had appointed General Auguste Ducrot to command, who received the news at 0700. Ducrot ordered the retreat that Moltke had expected, but was overruled almost immediately by General de Wimpffen, who had been given a commission by the government to succeed MacMahon. Wimpffen threw his forces against the Saxons at La Moncelle. This led to a brief rally for the French. However, with the arrival of fresh waves of Prussian troops, the counter-attack began to collapse. By the end of the day, with no hope of breaking out, Napoleon III called off the attacks. The French lost over 17,000 men killed and wounded with 21,000 captured. The Prussians reported their losses at 2,320 killed, 5,980 wounded and 700 captured or missing. On 2 September, Napoleon III ordered the white flag to be run up and surrendered himself and the entire. Bookseller Inventory # 72211

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Sedan

Publisher: Librairie Internationale, and A. LKacroix, Verboeckhoven et Ce, Paris, France and Brussels

Publication Date: 1871

Binding: Original wraps

Book Condition: Fair

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