Three German Invasions of France: The Summer Campaigns of 1870, 1914 and 1940 (BOK)
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France was invaded by German armies three times in seventy years, in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71 as well as in the First and Second World Wars. On each occasion the country's fate was decided in the first six weeks of hostilities. In 1870 the imperial armies of Napoleon III under Bazaine and MacMahon were defeated at Rezonville and Gravelotte outside Metz, and most spectacularly at the Battle of Sedan, leading to the downfall of the regime and the rise of the German Empire. The Third Republic which succeeded to power in France survived the disastrous Battle of the Frontiers in 1914 and Joffre turned back the German tide at the Battle of the Marne. But the Third Republic was toppled in its turn by the German Blitzkrieg of May 1940 after another decisive assault at Sedan. In describing these three crucial campaigns of the Franco-German Wars, this book considers them as a series of connected events in which French foreign policy, strategy and tactics were shaped by past victories and defeats. Quote from Sir Michael Howard 'Douglas Fermer has written not only a brilliant account of these three campaigns, but a coherent narrative that explains why the wars were fought, why the French Army fought them as it did, and what the consequences were, not just for the army, but for French society as a whole. It is a distinguished contribution to the history of war, of France and indeed of Europe in the twentieth century.'