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Author Topic: Military machismo and the defeat of the French Imperial Army in 1870  (Read 386 times)

Offline vtsaogames

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 793
    • Corlears Hook Fencibles
And the glorious general led the advance
With a glorious swish of his sword and his lance
And a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants. - Dr. Seuss


My blog: http://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

Offline OB

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 566
Re: Military machismo and the defeat of the French Imperial Army in 1870
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 07:58:54 PM »
Thanks for an informative read Vincent.

Offline Ray Rivers

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5172
Re: Military machismo and the defeat of the French Imperial Army in 1870
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 11:36:53 PM »
Indeed, an excellent read. The logistical aspect of the war almost certainly was the key aspect of Napoleon III's downfall.

I'm a long away from being sufficiently knowledgeable about this war, but I understand that the Napoleon III also realized he needed long ranged breech loading rifled artillery. The problem as I understand it, was money, though he tried to get around this by buying surplus artillery from the US after their Civil War.

The lack of modern artillery, again as I understand it, forced them to adopt defensive tactics where they could take advantage of their longer ranged rifles and the Mitrailleuse but left them vulnerable to flanking, which the Prussians pursued with great zeal. The Prussians Krupp artillery also allowed them to pound the hell out of any French defensive position with impunity before assaulting it.

Perhaps you could comment on the tactical side of things and give us your view on how it played out.

Offline vtsaogames

  • Mad Scientist
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    • Corlears Hook Fencibles
Re: Military machismo and the defeat of the French Imperial Army in 1870
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 01:36:32 AM »
The French decided on defensive tactics to exploit their superior Chassepot rifles, preferably in a "position magnifique". Their rifled guns weren't that inferior to Krupp guns. They did have fuse problems that were fixed by the Republican phase. Prussian divisions fielded more guns per division, and they had more divisions. Prussian artillery had analyzed their failings in 1866 and were much better handled in 1870. Prussian infantry did suffer from their outmoded Needle guns.

Mitrailleuses were designed as close defense for artillery batteries when we know, with 20/20 hindsight, that they should have been used as infantry support weapons.

The French were outnumbered and badly out gunned. The Second Empire was riven with internal divisions which manifested on the field of battle. The Gardes Mobiles from large cities were not loyal to the Empire. 

Offline ChrisBBB

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 105
Re: Military machismo and the defeat of the French Imperial Army in 1870
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 12:26:53 PM »
Excellent, thanks, Vincent. Added some thoughts of my own in the blog comments section.

Chris

Bloody Big BATTLES!
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