Frenco-Prussian War

Who was Otto von Bismarck?

The chancellor of Prussia and the mastermind behind most of the European conflicts during the latter half of the 19 century.

Why was he important?

He has been one of the most important rules diplomats of history, being cold and calculator, doing what was necessary in order to achieve his objective, creating a German Empire under the rule of Prussia.

What did he want?

The unification of all the German states under the flag of Prussia. For achieving that he had to make a war with France, this is because at that time most Germans seen France as an agitator country in Europe and the few German states that hadn’t united to the German confederation had proclaimed that they would united it in case of foreign attack. So with this condition, France was the one that had to start the war.

How did he trick France?

He altered a telegram send by his King in a way that it would seem as the King of Prussia had insult the French ambassador

What was the outcome (result) of the Franco-Prussian War for France and Germany?

France lost the war in a few months, this was done thanks to the superior preparation of the German military, which had been preparing for this war for two years already, and so had thought of all the possible scenarios in order to defeated France, another important factor was the superior use of technology of the German side, although the French had better guns the Chassepot had a better rate of fire than the Dreyse needle gun, and a secret weapon, the mitrailleuse, they didn’t know how to get advantage of it very well.

This was due to that the mitrailleuse was so secret that ever the French soldiers didn’t knew how to use it very well, also they put the mitrailleuse as an artillery piece, while it was better at the middle of the army or at defensive positions. Although this lack of good use of the mitrailleuse the Chassepot was a good problem for the German, in the first offensive the German outnumber the French in a rate of two to one, yet they have twice casualties due to the big rate of fire of the chassepot. Due to this battle (it was a victory) the German start to develop sneaky tactics to deal with the chassepot, this will eventually evolved in to the trench warfare. The German also got good use of his superior artillery, which was one of the breaking point of the war, cause German artillery was superior to the French artillery in range and rate of fire.

Due to this the French army was quickly defeated in a few months, this cause the final unification of all the German states (except Austria) under Prussia flag and also establishing of the Paris Commune.

Chassepot rifle

What was the role of the various guns used – the Dreyse needle gun, the Chassepot rifle, and the mitrailleuse?

They were key in the outcomming of the war, although the French had better technology with the Chassepot rifle and the mitrailleuse they didn’t know how to get advantage of it, and this will led them to their ultimately defeated.

Why are breech-loading weapons superior to muzzle-loading weapons?

Because this characteristic of breech-loading allows the user to recharge in less time and also decreases casualties, cause is safer to put the bullet from the back of the gun that from the front, and in case of artillery also let them to not expose themselves to enemy fire.
What was the Paris Commune?

A proletarian dictatorship, which was led by the municipal council. It was a based in many ways in the French revolution of 1799, and so it had a heavy revolutionary spirit

Why was the period of the Commune a time of great suffering?

Because they were cited by the regular French army (they were in a civil war) and so the habitants of Paris hadn’t anything to eat, this lead to that they searched for proteins in all places, eating the animals of the zoo and also rats, which eventually became a delicious food there.

What are some examples of the suffering?

The people hadn’t anything to eat, except rats, and during the “Bloody Week”  all Communal civilians were killed, regardless of them age, social status or sex.

What finally happened with the Commune?

It ends tragically during the “Bloody Week” with the regular army breaking through Paris, killing merciless any Communard people, this include women and kids.

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