Military History

Blogging about the Battlefield since 2005

Book Review of A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871

Posted by William Young on October 16, 2012

International History

David Wetzel. A Duel of Nations: Germany, France, and the Diplomacy of the War of 1870-1871. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-299-29134-1. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliographical Essay. Index. Pp. xvi, 310. $26.95.

The German Wars of Unification (1864-1871) have received attention by military historians in the last decade or so.  Moreover, the origins of the conflicts are well served by diplomatic historians.  However, the actual diplomacy that took place during the last of the three conflicts, the Franco-Prussian War (or War of 1870-1871), has been ignored, until now.  In A Duel of Nations, Dr David Wetzel, Visiting Lecturer in History at the University of California at Berkeley, explores the personalities and diplomacy involved in the making of the armistice, preliminary peace treaty, and finally the Treaty of Frankfurt (May 1871). Wetzel is known for his previous diplomatic studies The Crimean War: A Diplomatic History (1985) and A…

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