Download A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the by David Wetzel PDF

By David Wetzel

On July 19, 1870, Emperor Napoleon III of France declared conflict opposed to the Prussia of King William I and top Minister Otto von Bismarck. A Duel of countries dramatically depicts the area within which that conflict happened. during this, the 1st publication in English to check in totality the diplomatic historical past of the Franco-Prussian struggle, David Wetzel attracts generally on inner most and legitimate files, journalistic debts, cupboard mins, and public statements through key avid gamers to supply a booklet that's unrivaled within the variety and readability of its research, its forceful characterizations, and its brilliant language.

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Extra info for A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871

Example text

The noteworthy feature is rather the thoroughness and the speed with which Bismarck mastered the mechanics of his craft and the skill so vital to success in his profession: the ability to discern the essence of a situation and to draw attention to those aspects that are salient and worthy of deeper study. ”17 This ability to pinpoint the special characteristic Bismarck never lost from the onset and, despite his efforts to deprecate himself, he also possessed the skill of depicting what it disclosed to him in a way that fully vindicated the authority he later exercised of rebuking the stylistic imperfections of those who worked under him.

An incident in his early life had contrived to symbolize in a curiously prophetic way the basis of his attitude. In 1805, the forces of Napoleon Bonaparte had burned down the house in Lübeck in which he was living with his family. Either by way of reaction to this or as a consequence of some ensuing complication unknown to the historian, there was aroused (or perhaps there matured) at this time in the steady and quiet disposition of Moltke an aversion and resentment toward France for which there seems to have been no parallel in the entire history of that general’s attitude toward foreign powers.

But, the reader should 24 politics and personalities not fail to note, Moltke’s character contained some unfortunate and defective elements, as well. Of all the senior officials in Prussia, Moltke seems to have taken from the start the firmest and most uncompromising anti-French attitude. Of course, as leader of the army charged with defeating the enemy, this was understandable. But his hatred of France continued long after it was clear that Prussia would win the war, and, as we shall have repeated occasion to note, this hatred was at bottom the fundamental expression of his belief that the fighting should not cease until France had been pulled down from the ranks of the Great Powers and driven back into the inferiority from which it ought never to have escaped.

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