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Overview: A good article and a positive review but "a few recent studies are missing from the bibliography" Please examine the findings.
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- 1 completely unreadable
- 2 older comments
- 3 Huge deletion by anon
- 4 Populations of France and Prussia
- 5 Beaufort?
- 6 Bismarck and the unification of Germany
- 7 Recent edits
- 8 Minor edit
- 9 Reference to mobilization by train
- 10 Civilian casualties?
- 11 Proposed Revert
- 12 Holidays in the sunshine at the beach ...
- 13 Original wording
- 14 Luxembourg crisis
- 15 Consricpts vs. Irregulars
- 16 mistrous fucking a dog?
- 17 NPOV ?
- 18 This article was reviewed by a leading academic in the field
- 19 Current revision
- 20 Additions to the article
- 21 Spelling
- 22 Veterans
- 23 Army Age
- 24 Wiretapping?
- 25 References
- 26 Ems depesh
- 27 Neutral powers
- 28 Hesse
- 29 Illustration
- 30 Were the reparations demanded in gold
- 31 Location?
- 32 Names of the War
- 33 German Casualties - Correct Infobox?
- 34 Move?
- 35 Paris Commune
Chaotic, presumptious, full of unnecessary details while omitting the salient points.
No start, no finish and no worthwhile content. I feel stupider for reading this entry.
- See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Number names. Gdr 21:36, 2004 Oct 13 (UTC)
We find it odd that the photo references the Battle of Mars-La-Tour, but there is no mention of it in the text. Here's a list of the Battles in the Franco Prussian War, do we need authorization to add them or can anyone modify the article?
|Mars-La-Tour||1870-08-16||Minor Prussian victory|
|Gravelotte||1870-08-18||Inconclusive, French army withdraws|
|Paris||1870-09-19||French surrender (Prussians do not break into city)|
|Amiens||1870-11-27||Minor French victory|
|Hallue||1870-12-23||Minor French victory|
|Bapaume||1871-01-03||Minor French victory|
|Le Mans||1871-01-10||German victory|
Huge deletion by anon
I came by to read the article and found it ended rather abruptly. Checking the history, I saw that several sections were deleted by an anon a week ago.  I think it's OK now, but somebody more familiar with the subject should double-check to make sure that things are back where they should be. JamesMLane 09:52, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
In checking it myself I found that the categories and intrawiki links were also affected. I think the intrawiki links are OK now. The categories are confusing as between "German" and "Prussian". For example, the Austro-Prussian War is in Category:German wars. I've left this article in both Category:German wars and Category:Wars of Prussia so that it won't be overlooked whenever those categories are straightened out. JamesMLane 10:09, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Populations of France and Prussia
What were the populations of France and Prussia at the time of this war?
- Not sure, the population of France was probably the same as Britain, maybe around 20 million. Prussia's population was a little lower, but then Prussia could rely on the joint populations of the entire North and South German Confederations, which vastly outnumbered France. One of the main reasons for the war was that Prussia used this population to create huge armies of conscripts, and the French wanted to cripple the Prussian military before France was swamped by millions of German troops. Rusty2005 12:01, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
- In fact, before the war, France was still the most populated country among all western european powers ; the French population was estimated at 36 715 000 in 1856, which is quite huge for the time (only Russia exceeded that number in Europe). For references, see the article in French : http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9mographie_de_la_France#.C3.89volution_de_la_population_fran.C3.A7aise ; Thus, the impact of a larger german population as a whole was largely under-estimated by the French Headquaters ; France declared war only to Prussia, but ended up with a conflict with a nearly-unified Germany, which makes quite a difference. ;)
Grisold 12:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Following the Austro-Prussian War, Prussia's gains (not including the southern German states) gave it direct control over a population equal to that of France, although the number specified in this source. (Wawro's Franco Prussian War, page 19.)
I am unable to confirm this with total accuracy, but I believe the name of the place where the last engagement before Sedan occurred was BeauMONT, not BeauFORT. In fact, the battle was outside Beaumont itself, in a place called Varniforêt.
Could someone verify this and modify the article accordingly?
Howard says Beaumont, so I suppose you are right. I've changed the article. //CrackWilding Feb. 2, 2006
Bismarck and the unification of Germany
There are a lot of passages in the text that refer to Bismarck "reluctantly" accepting German wartime unification and (implying?) that he wished for Prussia to remain separate. Thats certainly not the version given in most English-language textbooks and references, if anything Bismarck wanted a united Germany (sans Austria) but with Prussian ideals. Many references speak of the Prussian king's ambivalence towards a united Germany, but Bismarck is always portrayed as "unification-or-bust".
Can anyone shed some light on Bismarck's motivations in light of the Franco-Prussian War, especially the famous "blood and iron" quote? --126.96.36.199 04:54, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
The section "New balance of power in Europe" (and probably others) needs an assessment from some knowledgeable on the claims made that are unsourced. - Ted Wilkes 15:48, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
Just wondering - does anyone know what book Bismarck mentioned "I knew that a Franco-Prussian War must take place before a united Germany was formed" in? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 03:06, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
...seem to have absolutely butchered this article. The war at sea section has disappeared, along with the section on post-war developments. This article is in need of some serious revision and/or reverting. --184.108.40.206 01:17, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
matthead while your quote about inches may be well sourced it is incorrect mistranslated what have you. I am at this very moment in London at the Public Records Office of the Foreign Office looking at the original documents.
Removed the following line from the last paragraph for obvious reasons: "I love Daney Glenn very much but she don't know it."
Reference to mobilization by train
The article indicated that the Prussian mobilization was the "first ever" by train. Any American Civil War buff can dispute that. See .
I have added a qualifier to call it "one of the first ever" such mobilizations.
- Not true in either circumstance. The Prussians mobilised their army by train in the 1866 war against Austria, the 1864 war against Denmark, and in 1854 against a possible revolution in Prussia. Removing the reference, as 1870 is not one of the first train-mobilisations in warfare. The first mobilisation by train is generally held to have occured in 1815, when the British moved two regiments along the Manchester-Liverpool railway line. Rusty2005 15:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
- The first mobilisation by train is generally held to have occured in 1815, when the British moved two regiments along the Manchester-Liverpool railway line. How on earth did they achieve that then? The Liverpool & Manchester Railway did not open until 15 September 1830! Mjroots (talk) 14:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I rewrote the article. One remaining issue are the six-digit numbers of civilian casualties, which outnumber the military by a factor of 2. Even though this is supposedly a symptom of modern warfare, they are doubtful, especially for the German side (even if Alsace-Lorraine are counted for Germany). Reliable sources are needed here. --Matthead 21:17, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
- yeah I really don't see how the German civilian casualties could be that high, considering how france barely set foot in Germany.
I agree. As the civilian casualties here are so high there needs to be an explanation, perhaps a section, explaining how this happened. Also, those figures don't specify killed, wounded, prisoner. Otherwise the figures could just be wrong. --Voloshinov 08:36, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
this numbers got to be wrong. the war never even hit german territory, so how should german civilians have been killed?? in case of france they sure had some, but these numbers are laughable--Tresckow 13:21, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I propose reverting to the version of 01:46, 23 May 2006 as the article has been simply destroyed in the meantime. Anyone with objections please speak up now. Dduff442 18:35, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree, the article is a bit POV, but a full-fledged revert might be a bit too much. While slanted, a number of those edits do present new information. I think that what the article needs, more than a revert, is a patient editor who is willing to go through and replace terms with more neutral words. I've noticed edits that are a little biased toward either the French or German sides, so neither camp is perfect here. At any rate, I think we should try that instead. I myself would do it, but my hands are full with the projects I'm working on right now. Maximilli 19:44, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Matthead seems to expect others to correct his spelling and grammar. What's the point of making edits if it destroys the professionalism of the article? This user has sparked a large number of POV debates, incl on the Schleswig-Holstein question and the status of Memel. Now he's moving on to the Franco-Prussian war...Dduff442 19:56, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that's how it seems. Matthead certainly doesn't seem to have tried too hard on his spelling and grammar. Still, I think that a bit of hard work can bring out all the good points - the more neutral standpoint of the 23rd May version, and the added information of the subsequent edits. It's going to be some hard work, though, and I'll grant that. I still think that it's the best course of action. By the way, bravo Dduff442 for taking this on. Maximilli 20:18, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
- First of all, Dduff442, respect the chronological history of this (and my) talk and add your stuff to the bottom, like others do, even if you consider it top priority. And second, you are digging yourself a hole with your ad hominem accusations. And third, a total revert won't happen. Edit the phrases you consider POV, mispelledted or of which it's grammar no good is, and see if your edits will stand. --Matthead 20:51, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Matthead, while I agree in that Dduff442 is making some rather broad criticisms, I wouldn't go so far as to say that any edits he, or I, since I too think it's not pure NPOV, won't last. You too are being a bit broad there: you're automatically saying that any edits which Dduff442 makes are going to be discarded immediately. At least, that's what I'm hearing - please correct me if I'm wrong.
- Well, I wrote what I wrote above. As for the total revert, I consider it inacceptible, and will rv. Eight editors improved on it since May 27, no need to bin that too. As Dduff442's yet-to-be-seen edits and their longevity are concerned, did I imply anything, possibly threat to revert? I don't think so, but then my "standard of English is inadequate", so I could have declared war on Mr. Dduff442 with these words, who knows? Every editor gets warned "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it." This applies also to those who might consider themselves superior regarding NPOV or language.--Matthead 23:30, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
At any rate, come on, gentlemen (or women). Let's try and discuss things a bit more neutrally. It'd be quite a shame if a discussion intended to improve an article turned out as little more than an under-developed flame war. :) - Maximilli 22:54, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Holidays in the sunshine at the beach ...
In the wake of these remarks, I wonder how the recent edits will be received? Apparently, being on holiday in the nice and warm weather of a far away country is a remedy for supply difficulties and low morale, especially compared to the poor fellows that stayed at home , or compared to the ugly beaches of the Wadden Sea and the sharp cliffs of the Baltic Sea coast  back home that kept the Swedes from taking part in the Thirty Years' War? --Matthead 12:14, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
- What? Rusty2005 15:42, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
I changed the "one inch" quote as France had been using the Metric system for for about a hundred years by that point. The quote is from foreign minister Jules Favre to Bismark "We are the government of national defence. You know what our program is: not a clod of our earth or a stone of our fortresses." Wawro The Franco-Prussian War page 253. —Preceding unsigned comment added by L0b0t (talk • contribs)
- Yes, the Imperial System had been long abandoned in France by this time, but the accepted English translation (according to Prof. R. Tombs, the leading living authority on the war), the phrase is universally translated into the English language as "Not one inch of our territory nor a stone of our fortresses". By the way, Wawro's work is no longer considered an up-to-date account of the war in academic circles. Best to check "Murailles Politiques Françaises". Rusty2005 01:16, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
As it stands now this section says at the start: 'for details, see also de:Luxemburgkrise (in German) Thus in 1867, France began by negotiating the purchase of Luxembourg from the Dutch government, as Luxembourg was then in personal union with ' I really think the founding of a nation warrants more being said on it then this little section, we need something comparable to what the German wikipedia has. Oh and err- no I'm not the man to do it, my German is virtually non-existant and its not a area of history I know of--Josquius 14:40, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Consricpts vs. Irregulars
The article describes the French having an army of Regulars, while the Germans had an army of conscripts, but the German's were required to preform compulsory service, so the German army, while not a full time professional one, was not made of conscripts. The term consripts should therefore be replaced with the term Irregular.
- No, the German's had compulsory service in which they were conscripted into the army, therefore they were an army of conscripts. The French Army on the other hand started the war as an all volunteer, professional, or "regular" force. L0b0t 23:24, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
- Not true. The French relied on a core of full-time regulars who were drawn by a national lottery. If they drew a "bad number", they had to serve between five and seven years in the army. If they drew a "good number", they only had to doa few month's training, then stay on the lists as Reserves. There were very few volunteers in the French army. During wartime, the long-term regulars were backed up by the short-service reserves, who would return to civilian life after the war. The Prussians, on the other hand, relied on a vast force of reserves and a much smaller core of long-term soldiers. In 1870, the French had to send their core of long-term soldiers into Germany before the Prussians could mobilise, while the Prussians had to mobilise enough men to outnumber the French and force them back into France. In the end neither plan worked properly. "Irregular" refers to troops who aren't part of the professional army, like the franc-tireurs. Both the long- and short-service soldiers, whether they are professionals, conscripts, or reserves, are classed as "Regulars". Rusty2005 11:56, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
- Sorry. What I meant was that the Prussians had universal conscription for 20 year old men, 3 years in the army, 4 years in the reserve, and 5 years in the Landwehr. This made the Prussian army more of a training school for the reserves with officers and NCOs being the only career soldiers. Whereas half of the French army in 1870 had served 7 to 21 years of active duty. The French preferring to recruit fewer men but keep them longer, and pay bonuses for reenlistment. Volunteer was a poor choice of words on my part.L0b0t 17:28, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
mistrous fucking a dog?
I'd like to bring attention to this:
"The French people and their parliament was destroyed because the mistrous was found fucking a dog reacted with outrage, Napoleon III mobilized and declared war, on Prussia only, but effectively also on the states of southern Germany."
Even given the fact that this sentence just doesn't make sense, I will let it be, and give others the oppertunity to correct what must be corrected. I'm new here and have no knowlegde about the subject matter, so I won't take any chances, how slim they might be.
(Fixed by revert to earlier form of nonvandalized sentence by Bugsi, 9/28/06)
By reading this document, there is a general impression of lack of NPOV. While this theme is known to be the mother of all European flames (or "developped", as someone mentioned above), it does seem to be written mostly by German or English germanophile editors. It presents roughly the German standpond on the conflict, even with some displaced, anedoctical comments on support of Prussians by the Italians, which is almost irrelevant. It would be better policy to present both sides abolutely equal in eagerness for war, and thatś the case, we rather have the impression of reading a German histoty manual translated in English. 220.127.116.11 23:03, 20 January 2007
This article was reviewed by a leading academic in the field
In PCPro on 12th July 2007 Dr Chris Clark Historian, St Catharine's College, Cambridge evaluates this article:-
- Dr Clark describes the Wikipedia entry and compares it to Britannica's and Encarta's:-
- Clark calls the writing "clearer" and "more elegant" and suggests that, while a few recent studies are missing from the bibliography, the authors are good at linking in the broader European setting without confusing the reader. Military and technical details are also well handled. Lumos3 21:42, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
I would hope that in the coming months Dr. Clark finds his way back here and does another review of the article. Numerous up-to-date references and revisions have been done over the course of the past month. I'm always eager to receive constructive criticism, especially by academics in the field of History. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 14:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm about to whip this article up into FA status and enter it into The Core Contest. I have several strong current references at my disposal. Any issues with POV will be settled by the time I'm done with it- and inline references will be the order of the day! Monsieurdl (talk) 04:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I put a break in between my references and the current ones. As I go along, I can verify the information present, build on it, and properly reference it all. The ones in the first part are the references I have on hand- the Bismarck one by Taylor has a great deal of information on the machinations of Bismarck. Monsieurdl (talk) 18:29, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
- I decided that two weeks was not enough time to improve this article enough, but I'll still be working with it to improve it. The behind-the-scenes manipuation of Napoleon III is now addressed. Monsieurdl (talk) 15:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Additions to the article
Please, if you are going to add material to the article, source everything as I have below- it is very difficult to sift through each paragraph and finding material which sources each statement. Thanks! Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs 13:20, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
I made some spelling corrections earlier today and was reverted with the comment "everything is spelled correctly". My problem isn't that the spelling is incorrect (it isn't in the view of a large amount of English speakers), it is that it is inconsistent within the article. The article is written using both Commonwealth and American English spellings. "The Government of National Defence" appears alongside "The Government of National Defense". I'd suggest that a variant be agreed upon and applied throughout. Leithp 15:17, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
- I'll accept your changes- sorry about that, but I was ticked off earlier over some nonsense about title changes. It seems like more people lately have come to make innocuous changes rather than help get the information right and properly sourced, which is what is really needed in these historical articles. If I spot any American English spellings, I'll change them and make them all uniform as I go along. Monsieurdl mon talk-mon contribs
15:25, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Is there any availabe information about the veterans other than who the last survivors were? I confess that I'm doing this for my own family tree project, but I will gladly publish any notable information that I may find (such as famous veterans). Emperor001 (talk) 18:38, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
What was the oldest that a person could serve in the Prussian Army? According to this, the army was made of mostly drafts, but one of my ancestors was 68 when he served in the army. Any explanation as to why some servicemen were so old? Emperor001 (talk) 18:38, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
- The invention of the telegraph cable had changed the dynamics of warfare and the Prussians did not neglect this important aspect. They went to work in a severely scientific and business-like way. In Paris they discovered subterranean lines of wires which they cut. They also found some in the cellars of Meudon. Doubtless before they were destroyed they were made to furnish a wealth of intelligence to benefit the besieging army.<:ref> Harper's Weekly (1870) Dec 3, p. 782. </ref>
This is conjecture from a magazine published during the war, in a neutral country on the far side of the Atlantic; it itself admits that the gathering of intelligence is speculation. This is an unreliable primary source; if true, it should be supported by secondary sources who have seen the Prussian military records. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 22:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
In the article the issue of the Ems-depesh comes in wrong cronological order - the War was declared on Preussia by "the Sfinx by the Seine", Napoleon III. But not because of this shortened telegram - bus as It is stated just before the (by Bismarck well-edited telegram) was not the reason for the french declaration of war, but the fact that a german-speaking (but non-preussian) prince seemed to became king of Spain. This would perhaps make France surrounded by enemies, (like the german states and free-cities, the UK and now also Spain) and had to be stopped. A thought is also that Napoleon III finally found a chance to stand up for his christian and emperor name - I have no references to this idea, but it is far from unlikly and could be mentioned as "a possibility" in combination with the spanish question. If it only had been for the Ems-depech the war would hardly occoured for this reason only. /Pontus Eriksson (danish in southern sweden, sorry for bad english) Good article anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 01:32, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
What were the sympathies of the neutral powers? I suspect that all the rest of Europe feared German expansion. What about the USA?I've read that German-Americans were strongly for the German cause, but what did the US government think? Dynzmoar (talk) 17:58, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
The Bethmann Archive has a beautifully dramatic illustration, in the Google Images collection, of Bismarck presenting terms for the surrender of Paris to Adolphe Thiers. It would make an impressive addition to this well-crafted article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 02:01, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Were the reparations demanded in gold
Why "France and Prussia" under "Location"? When in fact the war was fought out solely on French territory and no French soldier set foot on Prussian soil? Of course, parts of Prussia were affected by the war in terms of mobilization, transport etc., but so were the territories of the Prussian allies in other parts of Germany. So, if "location" is meant to encompass that rather more indirect territorial involvement in the war, other German territories would have to be added.126.96.36.199 (talk) 16:26, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
- At least one battle occured on Prussian soil, see : Battle of Spicheren. DITWIN GRIM (talk) 10:53, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Names of the War
If it is noted that in France this war is often referred to by a name that is completely different from "Franco-Prussian War" and the like, shouldn't that French name be quoted in French? And why not add that in German history books and encyclopaedias the war is always called "Deutsch-Französischer Krieg" (=German-French War), never "Preußisch-Französischer Krieg" or anything else. I do not know the British and American literature on German history well enough to judge whether the war is more often called "Franco-Prussian" than "Franco-German". I have an inkling that "Franco-Prussian War" has something to do with the fact that in the English-speaking world one likes (or has liked) to equate Prussia with Germany, especially in the anti-German propaganda around WW I and afterwards. It wouldn't surprise me if contemporary younger historians preferred "Franco-German" war, which is much closer to what the war is called in Germany. The mere fact that at the outset the war was declared "by France" (i. e. Napoleon III) against Prussia alone should not, in my opinion, lead to ignoring the most remarkable feature of this war: that is that, for the first time since ages, in 1870 practically all German states (except Austria) united in a war against a non-German country (just four years earlier a number of German states, the ones under the leadership of Prussia, the others under that of Austria, had been fighting against each other). It was almost logical that the war led to the unification of the Germany in the shape of the German Empire. This, apart from defining the roles of Germany and France in Europe for a couple of decades obviously accounts for the outstanding importance of this war in German and European history. It seems to me that "Franco-Prussian War" more or less ignores this aspect. Arguing with the fact that "originally" there was only a state of war between France and Prussia seems to me almost as absurd as calling WW II "German-Polish War" just because it started with the invasion of Poland by the German armies.188.8.131.52 (talk) 17:30, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
German Casualties - Correct Infobox?
The article's infobox states that the Germans lost 248,000 casualties (120,000 dead), which seems absolutely ridiculous when compared to the overall numbers involved in the war. Not to mention the fact that in the Nineteenth Century 1:1 death and injury was incredibly rare. Michael Howard's book (listed in the bibliography of the article) states on page 453 that the Germans lost 88,488 wounded and 28,208 dead, for a total of 116,696 casualties. Perhaps later scholarship had yielded different numbers but even so, that is a huge discrepancy. Which is correct? 184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:49, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
- Given that the Communards only really fought the French regulars, wouldn't it make more sense to put them on the German side?
- In all seriousness, while the Commune took place during the last few months of the war, and the rise of the Commune was a direct result of the war, they don't really belong in the infobox. For a variety of reasons, including that it would be highly misleading to list them as an ally or co-belligerent of the Second Empire, since readers might very well assume this means that Communards fought alongside regulars against the Germans. Also, from the perspective of the war, the Commune was little more than a side show. Sure, if this was an article about France in the 1870s, then the Commune would be a big deal. But it had little to no impact on the outcome of the war, and as such, should not be included in the infobox, which should be limited to the main points of the subject. Parsecboy (talk) 12:02, 11 September 2013 (UTC)