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in two columns, the 6th division on Mars-la-Tour, the 5th towards the Rezonville-Vionville plateau. And shortly after 9.15 A.M. he suddenly discovered the truth. The entire French Batu, or army lay on his right flank, and his nearest supports Vionville- were almost a day's march distant. In this crisis he Mars-la- made up his mind at once to attack with every Tour. available man, and to continue to attack, in the conviction that his audacity would serve to conceal his weakness. All day long, therefore, the Brandenburgers of the III. corps, supported ultimately by the X. corps and part of the IX., attacked again and again. The enemy was thrice their strength, but very differently led, and made no adequate use of his superiority (battle of Vionville-Mars-la Tour). Meanwhile Prince Frederick Charles, at Pont-à-Mousson, was still confident in the French retreat to the Meuse, and had even issued orders for the 17th on that assumption. Firing had been heard since 9.15 A.M., and about noon Alvensleben's first report had reached him, but it was not till after 2 that he realized the situation. Then, mounting his horse, he covered the 15 m. to Flavigny over crowded and difficult roads within the hour, and on his arrival abundantly atoned for his strategic errors by his unconquerable determination and tactical skill. When darkness put a stop to the fighting, he considered the position. Cancelling all previous orders, he called all troops within reach to the battle-field and resigned himself to wait for them. The situation was indeed critical. The whole French army of five corps, only half of which had been engaged, lay in front of him. His own army lay scattered over an area of 30 m. by 20, and only some 20,000 fresh troops-of the IX. corpscould reach the field during the forenoon of the 17th. He did not then know that Moltke had already intervened and had ordered the VII.,VIII. and II. corps' to his assistance.’ Daylight revealed the extreme exhaustion of both men and horses. The men lay around in hopeless confusion amongst the killed and wounded, each where sleep had overtaken him, and thus the extent of the actual losses, heavy enough, could not be estimated. Across the valley, bugle sounds revealed the French already alert, and presently a long line of skirmishers approached the Prussian position. But they halted just beyond rifle range, and it was soon evident that they were only intended to cover a further withdrawal. Presently came the welcome intelligence that the reinforcements were well on their way. About noon the king and Moltke drove up to the ground, and there was an animated discussion as to what the French would do next. Aware of their withdrawal from his immediate front, Prince Frederick Charles reverted to his previous idea and insisted that they were in full retreat towards the north, and that their entrenchments near Point du Jour and St Hubert (see map in article METz) were at most a rearguard position. Moltke was inclined to the same view, but considered the alternative possibility of a withdrawal towards Metz, and about 2 P.M. orders were issued to meet these divergent opinions. The whole army was to be drawn up at 6 A.M. on the 18th in an échelon facing north, so as to be ready for action in either direction. The king and Moltke then drove to Pont-à-Mousson, and the troops bivouacked in a state of readiness. The rest of the 17th was spent in restoring order in the shattered III. and X. corps, and by nightfall both corps were reported fit for action. Strangely enough, there were no organized cavalry reconnaissances, and no intelligence of importance was collected during the night of the 17th-18th. Early on the 18th the troops began to move into position in the following order from left to right: XII. (Saxons), Guards, IX., VIII. and VII. The X. and III. were retained in reserve. The idea of the French retreat was still uppermost in the prince's mind, and the whole army therefore moved north. But between 10 and 11 A.M. part of the truth-viz. that the French had their backs to Metz and stood in battle order * Of the I. army the I. corps was retained on the east side of Metz.
# II. corps belonged to the II. army, but had not yet reached the ront.
the 17th of August.
from St Hubert northwards—became evident, and the II. army, pivoting on the I., wheeled to the right and moved eastward. Suddenly the IX, corps fell right on the Battle of centre of the French line (Amanvillers), and a most arevelotte. desperate encounter began, superior control, as before, Saint ceasing after the guns had opened fire. Prince Frederick * Charles, however, a little farther north, again asserted his tactical ability, and about 7 P.M. he brought into position no less than five army corps for the final attack. The sudden collapse of French resistance, due to the frontal attack of the Guards (St. Privat) and the turning movement of the Saxons (Roncourt), rendered the use of this mass unnecessary, but the resolution to use it was there. On the German right (I. army), about Gravelotte, all superior leading ceased quite early in the afternoon, and at night the French still showed an unbroken front. Until midnight, when the prince's victory was reported, the suspense at headquarters was terrible. The I. army was exhausted, no steps had been taken to ensure support from the III. army, and the IV. corps (II. army) lay inactive 30 m. away. This seems a fitting place to discuss the much-disputed point of Bazaine's conduct in allowing himself to be driven back into Metz when fortune had thrown into his hands the great opportunity of the 16th and 17th of August. He had been appointed to command on the 10th, but the presence of the emperor, who only left the front early on the 16th, and their dislike of Bazaine, exercised a disturbing influence on the headquarters staff officers. During the retreat to Metz the marshal had satisfied himself as to the inability of his corps commanders to handle their troops, and also as to the ill-will of the staff. In the circumstances he felt that a battle in the open field could only end in disaster; and, since it was proved that the Germans could outmarch him, his army was sure to be overtaken and annihilated if he ventured beyond the shelter of the fortress. But near Metz he could at least inflict very severe punishment on his assailants, and in any case his presence in Metz would neutralize a far superior force of the enemy for weeks or months. What use the French government might choose to make of the breathing space thus secured was their business, not his; and subsequent events showed that, had they not forced MacMahon's hand, the existence of the latter's nucleus army of trained troops might have prevented the investment of Paris. Bazaine was condemned by court-martial after the war, but if the case were reheard to-day it is certain that no charge of treachery could be sustained. On the German side the victory at St Privat was at once followed up by the headquarters. Early on the 19th the investment of Bazaine's army in Metz was commenced. A new.army, the Army of the Meuse (often called the IV.), was as soon as possible formed of all troops not required for the maintenance of the investment, and marched off under the command of the crown prince of Saxony to discover and destroy the remainder of the French field army, which at this moment was known to be at Châlons. The operations which led to the capture of MacMahon's army in Sedan call for little explanation. Given seven corps, each capable of averaging 15 m. a day for a week in succession, opposed to four corps only, shaken by defeat and unable as a whole to cover more than 5 m. a day, the result could hardly be doubtful. But Moltke's method of conducting operations left his opponent many openings which could only be closed by excessive demands on the marching power of the men. Trusting only to his cavalry screen to secure information, he was always without any definite fixed point about which to manoeuvre, for whilst the reports of the screen and orders based thereon were being transmitted, the enemy was free to move, and generally their movements were dictated by political expediency, not by calculable military motives. Thus whilst the German army, on a front of nearly 50 m., was marching due west on Paris, MacMahon, under political pressure, was moving parallel to them, but on a northerly route, to attempt the relief of Metz.
Campaign of Sedan.
So unexpected was this move and souncertain the information which called attention to it, that Moltke did not venture to change at once the direction of march of the whole army, but he directed the Army of the Meuse northward on Damvillers and ordered Prince Frederick Charles to detach two corps from the forces investing Metz to reinforce it. For the moment, therefore, MacMahon's move had succeeded, and the opportunity existed for Bazaine to break out. But at the critical moment the hopeless want of real efficiency in MacMahon's army compelled the latter so to delay his advance that it became evident to the Germans that there was no longer any necessity for the III. army to maintain the direction towards Paris, and that the probable point of contact between the Meuse army and the French lay nearer to the right wing of the III. army than to Prince Frederick Charles's investing force before Metz. The detachment from the II. army was therefore countermanded, and the whole III. army changed front to the north, while the Meuse army headed the French off from the east. The latter came into contact with the head of the French columns, during the 29th, about Nouart, and on the 30th at Buzancy (battle of Beaumont); and the French, yielding to the force of numbers combined with superior moral, were driven northwestward upon Sedan (q.v.), right across the front of the III. army, which was now rapidly coming up from the south. During the 31st the retreat practically became a rout, and the morning of the 1st of September found the French crowded around the little fortress of Sedan, with only one line of retreat to the north-west still open. By 11 A.M. the XI. corps (III. army) had already closed that line, and about noon the Saxons (Army of the Meuse) moving round between the town and the Belgian frontier joined hands with the XI., and the circle of investment was complete. The battle of Sedan was closed about 4.15 P.M. by the hoisting of the white flag. Terms were agreed upon during the night, and the whole French army, with the emperor, passed into captivity. (F. N.M.) Thus in five weeks one of the French field armies was imprisoned in Metz, the other destroyed, and the Germans were free to march upon Paris. This seemed easy. There could
: be no organized opposition to their progress, and Paris, tions. if not so defenceless as in 1814, was more populous.
Starvation was the best method of attacking an overcrowded fortress, and the Parisians were not thought to be proof against the deprivation of their accustomed luxuries. Even Moltke hoped that by the end of October he would be “shooting hares at Creisau,” and with this confidence the German III. and IV. armies left the vicinity of Sedan on the 4th of September. The march called for no more than good staff arrangements, and the two armies arrived before Paris a fortnight later and gradually encircled the place-the III. army on the south, the IV. on the north side—in the last days of September. Headquarters were established at Versailles. Meanwhile the Third Empire had fallen, giving place on the 4th of September to a republican Government of National Defence, which made its appeal to, and evoked, the spirit of 1792. Henceforward the French nation, which had left the conduct of the war to the regular army and had been little more than an excited spectator, took the burden upon itself. The regular army, indeed, still contained more than 500,000 men (chiefly recruits and reservists), and 50,000 sailors, marines, douaniers, &c., were also available. But the Garde Mobile, framed by Marshal Niel in 1868, doubled this figure, and the addition of the Garde Nationale, called into existence on the 15th of September, and including all able-bodied men of from 31 to 6o years of age, more than trebled it. The German staff had of course to reckon on the Garde Mobile, and did so beforehand, but they wholly underestimated both its effective members and its willingness, while, possessing themselves a system in which all the military elements of the German nation stood close behind
1 The 13th corps (Vinoy), which had followed MacMahon's army at some distance, was not involved in the catastrophe of Sedan, and by good luck as well as good management evaded the German 9ursuit and returned safely to Paris.
the troops of the active army, they ignored the potentialities of the Garde Nationale. Meanwhile, both as a contrast to the events that centred on Paris and because in point of time they were decided for the most part in the weeks immediately following Sedan, we must briefly allude to the sieges conducted by the Germans-Paris (q.v.), Metz (q.v.) and Belfort (q.v.) excepted. Old and ruined as many of them were, the French fortresses possessed considerable importance in the eyes of the Germans. Strassburg, in particular, the key of Alsace, the standing menace to South Germany and the most conspicuous of the spoils of Louis XIV.'s Raubkriege, was an obvious target. Operations were begun on the 9th of August, three days after Wörth, General v. Werder's corps (Baden troops and Prussian Landwehr) making the siege. The French commandant, General Uhrich, surrendered after a stubborn resistance on the 28th of September. Of the smaller fortresses many, being practically unarmed and without garrisons, capitulated at once. Toul, defended by Major Huck with 20oo mobiles, resisted for forty days, and drew upon itself the efforts of 13,000 men and 100 guns. Verdun, commanded by General Guérin de Waldersbach, held out till after the fall of Metz. Some of the fortresses lying to the north of the Prussian line of advance on Paris, e.g. Mézières, resisted up to January 1871, though of course this was very largely due to the diminution of pressure caused by the appearance of new French field armies in October. On the 9th of September a strange incident took place at the surrender of Laon. A powder magazine was blown up by the soldiers in charge and 300 French and a few German soldiers were killed by the explosion. But as the Germans advanced, their lines of communication were thoroughly organized, and the belt of country between Paris and the Prussian frontier subdued and garrisoned. Most of these fortresses were small town enceintes, dating from Vauban's time, and open, under the new conditions of warfare, to concentric bombardment from positions formerly out of range, upon which the besieger could place as many guns as he chose to employ. In addition they were usually deficient in armament and stores and garrisoned by newly-raised troops. Belfort, where the defenders strained every nerve to keep the besiegers out of bombarding range, and Paris formed the only exceptions to this general rule. The policy of the new French government was defined by Jules Favre on the 6th of September. “It is for the king of Prussia, who has declared that he is making war on The the Empire and not on France, to stay his hand; we “Defense shall not cede an inch of our territory or a stone of our Nationfortresses.” These proud words, so often ridiculed " as empty bombast, were the prelude of a national effort which re-established France in the eyes of Europe as a great power, even though provinces and fortresses were ceded in the peace that that effort proved unable to avert. They were translated into action by Léon Gambetta, who escaped from Paris in a balloon on the 7th of October, and established the headquarters of the defence at Tours, where already the “Delegation ” of the central government—which had decided to remain in Paris—had concentrated the machinery of government. Thenceforward Gambetta and his principal assistant de Freycinet directed the whole war in the open country, co-ordinating it, as best they could with thc precarious means of communication at their disposal, with Trochu's military operations in and round the capital. His critics–Gambetta's personality was such as to ensure him numerous enemies among the higher civil and military officials, over whom, in the interests of La Patrie, he rode rough-shodhave acknowledged the fact, which is patent enough in any case, that nothing but Gambetta's driving energy enabled France in a few weeks to create and to equip twelve army corps, representing thirty-six divisions (600,000 rifles and 14oo guns), after all her organized regular field troops had been destroyed or neutralized. But it is claimed that by undue interference with the generals at the front, by presuming to dictate their plans of campaign, and by forcing them to act when the troops were unready, Gambetta and de Freycinet nullified the efforts of themselves and the rest of the nation and subjected France to a humiliating treaty of peace. We cannot here discuss the justice or injustice of such a general condemnation, or even whether in individual instances Gambetta trespassed too far into the special domain of the soldier. But even the brief narrative given below must at least suggest to the reader the existence amongst the generals and higher officials of a dead weight of passive resistance to the Delegation's orders, of unnecessary distrust of thc qualities of the improvised troops, and above all of the utter fear of responsibility that twenty years of literal obedience had bred. The closest study of the war cannot lead to any other conclusion than this, that whether or not Gambetta as a strategist took the right course in general or in particular cases, no one else would have taken any course whatever. On the approach of the enemy Paris hastened its preparations for defence to the utmost, while in the provinces, out of reach of the German cavalry, new army corps were rapidly organized out of the few constituted regular units not involved in the previous catastrophes, the depot troops and the mobile national guard. The first-fruits of these efforts were seen in Beauce, where early in October important masses of French troops prepared not only to bar the further progress of the invader but actually to relieve Paris. The so-called “fog of war”the armed inhabitants, francs-tireurs, sedentary national guard and volunteers—prevented the German cavalry from venturing far out from the infantry camps around Paris, and behind this screen the new 15th army corps assembled on the Loire. But an untimely demonstration of force alarmed the Germans, all of whom, from Moltke downwards, had hitherto disbelieved in the existence of the French new formations, and the still unready 15th corps found itself the target of an expedition of the I. Bavarian corps, which drove the defenders out of Orleans after a sharp struggle, while at the same time another expedition swept the western part of Beauce, sacked Châteaudun as a punishment for its brave defence, and returned via Chartres, which was occupied. After these events the French forces disappeared from German eyes for some weeks. D'Aurelle de Paladines, the commander of the “Army of the Loire” (15th and 16th corps), improvised a camp of instruction at Salbris in Sologne, several marches out of reach, and subjected his raw troops to a stern régime of drill and discipline. At the same time an “Army of the West” began to gather on the side of Le Mans. This army was almost imaginary, yet rumours of its existence and numbers led the German commanders into the gravest errors, for they soon came to suspect that the main army lay on that side and not on the Loire, and this mistaken impression governed the German dispositions up to the very eve of the decisive events around Orleans in December. Thus when at last D'Aurelle took the offensive from Tours (whither he had transported his forces, now 100,000 strong) against the position of the I. Bavarian corps near Orleans, he found his task easy. The Bavarians, outnumbered and unsupported, were defeated with heavy losses in the battle of Coulmiers (November 9), and, had it not been for the inexperience, want of combination, and other technical weaknesses of the French, they would have been annihilated. What the results of such a victory as Coulmiers might have been, had it been won by a fully organized, smoothly working army of the same strength, it is difficult to overestimate. As it was, the retirement of the Bavarians rang the alarm bell all along the line of the German positions, and that was all. Then once again, instead of following up its success, the French army disappeared from view. The victory had emboldened the “fog of war” to make renewed efforts, and resistance to the pressure of the German cavalry grew day" by day. The Bavarians were reinforced by two Prussian divisions and by all available cavalry commands, and constituted as an “army detachment” under the grand-duke Friedrich Franz of Mecklenburg-Schwerin to deal with the Army of the Loire, the strength of which was far from being accurately known. Meantime the capitulation of Metz on the 28th of October had set free the veterans of Prince Frederick Charles, the best troops in the
German army, for field operations. The latter were at first misdirected to the upper Seine, and yet another opportunity arose for the French to raise the siege of Paris. But D'Aurelle utilized the time he had gained in strengthening the army and in imparting drill and discipline to the new units which gathered round the original nucleus of the 15th and 16th corps. All this was, however, unknown and even unsuspected at the German headquarters, and the invaders, feeling the approaching crisis, became more than uneasy as to their prospects of maintaining the siege of Paris. At this moment, in the middle of November, the general situation was as follows: the German III. and Meuse armies, investing Paris, had had to throw off important detachments to protect the enterprise, which they had #". undertaken on the assumption that no further field campaign. armies of the enemy were to be encountered. The maintenance of their communications with Germany, relatively unimportant when the struggle took place in the circumstances of field warfare, had become supremely necessary, now that the army had come to a standstill and undertaken a great siege, which required heavy guns and constant replenishment of ammunition and stores. The rapidity of the German invasion had left no time for the proper organization and full garrisoning of these communications, which were now threatened, not merely by the Army of the Loire, but by other forces assembling on the area protected by Langres and Belfort. The latter, under General Cambriels, were held in check and no more by the Baden troops and reserve units (XIV. German corps) under General Werder, and eventually without arousing attention they were able to send 40,000 men to the Army of the Loire. This army, still around Orleans, thus came to number perhaps 150,000 men, and opposed to it, about the 14th of November, the Germans had only the Army Detachment of about 40,000, the II. army being still distant. It was under these conditions that the famous Orleans campaign took place. After many vicissitudes of fortune, and with many misunderstandings between Prince Frederick Charles, Moltke and the grand-duke, the Germans were ultimately victorious, thanks principally to the brilliant fighting of the X. corps at Beaune-la-Rolande(28th of November), which was followed by the battle of Loigny-Poupry on the 2nd of December and the second capture of Orleans after heavy fighting on the 4th of December. The result of the capture of Orleans was the severance of the two wings of the French army, henceforward commanded respectively by Chanzy and Bourbaki. The latter fell back at once and hastily, though not closely pursued, to Bourges. But Chanzy, opposing the Detachment between Beaugency and the Forest of Marchenoir, was of sterner metal, and in the five days’ general engagement around Beaugency (December 7-11) the Germans gained little or no real advantage.' Indeed their solitary material success, the capture of Beaugency, was due chiefly to the fact that the French there were subjected to conflicting orders from the military and the governmental authorities. Chanzy then abandoned little but the field of battle, and on the grand-duke's representations Prince Frederick Charles, leaving a mere screen to impose upon Bourbaki (who allowed himself to be deceived and remained inactive), hurried thither with the II. army. After that Chanzy was rapidly driven north-westward, though always presenting a stubborn front. The Delegation left Tours and betook itself to Bordeaux, whence it directed the government for the rest of the war. But all this continuous marching and fighting, and the growing severity of the weather, compelled Prince Frederick Charles to call a halt for a few days. About the 19th of December, therefore, the Germans (II. army and Detachment) were closed up in the region of Chartres, Orleans, Auxerre and Fontainebleau,Chanzy along the riverSarthe about Le Mans and Bourbaki still passive towards Bourges. During this, as during other halts, the French government and its generals occupied themselves with fresh plans of campaign, the former with an eager desire for results, the latter (Chanzy excepted) with many misgivings. Ultimately, and fatally, it was decided that Bourbaki, whom nothing could move towards Orleans, should depart for the south-east, with a view to relieving Belfort and striking perpendicularly against the long line of the Germans' communications. This movement, bold to the point of extreme rashness judged by any theoretical rules of strategy, seems to have been suggested by de Freycinet. As the execution of it fell actually into incapable hands, it is difficult to judge what would have been the result had a Chanzy or a Faidherbe been in command of the French. At any rate it was vicious in so far as immediate advantages were sacrificed to hopes of ultimate success which Gambetta and de Freycinet did wrong to base on Bourbaki's powers of generalship Late in December, for good or evil, Bourbaki marched off into FrancheComté and ceased to be a factor in the Loire campaign. A mere calculation of time and space sufficed to show the German headquarters that the moment had arrived to demolish the stubborn Chanzy Prince Frederick Charles resumed the interrupted offensive, pushing westward with four corps and four cavalry divisions Le Maas. which converged on Le Mans. There on the 10th, 11th and 12th of January 1871 a stubbornly contested battle ended with the retreat of the French, who owed their defeat solely to the misbehaviour of the Breton mobiles. These, after deserting their post on the battlefield at a mere threat of the enemy's infantry, fled in disorder and infected with their terrors the men in the reserve camps of instruction, which broke up in turn. But Chanzy, resolute as ever, drew off his field army intaot towards Laval, where a freshly raised corps joined him The prince's army was far too exhausted to deliver another effective blow, and the main body of it gradually drew back into better quarters, while the grand duke departed for the north to aid in opposing Faidherbe Some idea of the strain to which the invaders had been subjected may be gathered from the fact that army corps, originally 30,000 strong, were in some cases reduced to 10,000 and even fewer bayonets. And at this moment Bourbaki was at the head of 120,000 men! Indeed, so threatening seemed the situation on the Loire, though the French south of that river between Gien and Blois were mere isolated brigades, that the prince hurried back from Le Mans to Orleans to take personal command. A fresh French corps, bearing the number 25, and being the twenty-first actually raised during the war, appeared in the field towards Blois. Chanzy was again at the head of 156,ooo men. He was about to take the offensive against the 40,000 Germans left near Le Mans when to his bitter disappointment he received the news of the armistice “We have still France,” he had said to his staff, undeterred by the news of the capitulation of Paris, but now he had to submit, for even if his improvised army was still cheerful, there were many significant tokens that the people at large had sunk into apathy and hoped to avoid worse terms of peace by discontinuing the contest at once. So ended the critical period of the “Défense nationale ” It may be taken to have lasted from the day of Coulmiers to the last day of Le Mans, and its central point was the battle of Beaune-la-Rolande Its characteristics were, on the German side, inadequacy of the system of strategy practised, which became palpable as soon as the organs of reconnaissance met with serious resistance, misjudgment of and indeed contempt for the fighting powers of “new formations,” and the rise of a spirit of ferocity in the man in the ranks, born of his resentment at the continuance of the war and the ceaseless sniping of the franc-tireur's rifle and the peasant's shot-gun. On the French side the continual efforts of the statesmen to stimulate the generals to decisive efforts, coupled with actual suggestions as to the plans of the campaign to be followed (in default, be it said, of the generals themselves producing such plans), and the professional soldiers' distrust of half-trained troops, acted and reacted upon one another in such a way as to neutralize the powerful, if disconnected and erratic, forces that the war and the Republic had unchained As for the soldiers themselves, their most conspicuous qualities were their uncomplaining endurance of fatigues and wet bivouacs, and in action their
capacity for a single great effort and no more. But they were unreliable in the hands of the veteran regular general, because they were heterogeneous in recruiting, and unequal in experience and military qualities, and the French staff in those days was wholly incapable of moving-masses of troops with the rapidity demanded by the enemy's methods of war, so that on the whole it is difficult to know whether to wonder more at their missing success or at their so nearly achieving it. The decision, as we have said, was fought out on the Loire and the Sarthe. Nevertheless theglorious story of the “Défense nationale” includes two other /important campaigns-that of Faidherbe in the north and that of Bourbaki in the east. In the north the organization of the new formations was begun by Dr Testelin and General Farre. Bourbaki held the command for a short time in November before pro- "aidceeding to Tours, but the active command in field £e's operations came into the hands of Faidherbe, a general campaign. whose natural powers, so far from being cramped by years of peace routine and court repression, had been developed by a career of pioneer warfare and colonial administration. General Farre was his capable chief of staff. Troops were raised from fugitives from Metz and Sedan, as well as from depot troops and the Garde Mobile, and several minor successes were won by the national troops in the Seine valley, for here, as on the side of the Loire, mere detachments of the investing army round Paris were almost powerless. But the capitulation of Metz came too soon for the full development of these sources of military strength, and the German I. army under Manteuffel, released from duty at Metz, marched north-eastward, capturing the minor fortresses on its way. Before Faidherbe assumed command, Farre had fought several severe actions near Amiens, but, greatly outnumbered, had been defeated and forced to retire behind the Somme. Another French general, Briand, had also engaged the enemy without success near Rouen. Faidherbe assumed the command on the 3rd of December, and promptly moved forward. A general engagement on the little river Hallue (December 23), east-north-east of Amiens, was fought with no decisive results, but Faidherbe, feeling that his troops were only capable of winning victories in the first rush, drew them off on the 24th. His next effort, at Bapatime (January 2-3, 1871), was more successful, but its effects were counterbalanced by the surrender of the fortress of Péronne (January 9) and the consequent establishment of the Germans on the line of the Somme. Meanwhile the Rouen troops had been contained by a strong German detachment, and there was no further chance of succouring Paris from the north. But Faidherbe, like Chanzy, was far from despair, and in spite of the deficiencies of his troops in equipment (50,000 pairs of shoes, supplied by English contractors, proved to have paper soles), he risked a third great battle at St Quentin (January 19). This time he was severely defeated, though his loss in killed and wounded was about equal to that of the Germans, who were commanded by Goeben. Still the attempt of the Germans to surround him failed and he drew off his forces with his artillery and trains unharmed. The Germans, who had been greatly impressed by the solidity of his army, did not pursue him far, and Faidherbe was preparing for a fresh effort when he received orders to suspend hostilities. The last episode is Bourbaki's campaign in the east, with its mournful close at Pontarlier Before the crisis of the last week of November, the French forces under General Crémer, Cambriels' successor, had been so far successful in minor enterprises that, as mentioned above, the right wing of the Loire army, severed from the left by the battle of Orleans and subsequently held inactive at Bourges and Nevers, was ordered to Franche Comté to take the offensive against the XIV corps and other German troops there, to relieve Belfort and to strike a blow across the invaders’ line of communications. But there were many delays in execution. The staff work, which was at no time satisfactory in the French armies of 1870, was complicated by the snow, the bad state of the roads, and the mountainous nature of the
country, and Bourbaki, a brave general of division in action, but irresolute and pretentious as a commander in chief, was not the man to cope with the situation. Only the furious courage and patient endurance of hardships of the rank and file, and the good qualities of some of the generals, such as Clinchant, Crémer and Billot, andjunior stafioflicers such as Major Brugére (afterwards generalissimo of the French army), secured what success was attained.
Werder, the German commander, warned of the imposing concentration of the French, evacuated Dijon and Dole just in n, time to avoid the blow and rapidly drew together his campaign forces behind the Ognon above Vesoul. A furious 11’ ‘5' attack on one of his divisions at Villersexel (January 0) B‘m' cost him 2000 prisoners as well as his killed and wounded, and Bourbaki, heading for Belfort, was actually nearer to the fortress than the Germans. But at the crisis more time was wasted, Werder (who had almost lost hope of maintaining himself and had received both encouragement and stringent instructions to do so) slipped in front of the F rench,ancl took up a long weak line of defence on the river Lisaine, almost within cannon shot of Belfort. The cumbrous French army moved up and attacked him there with 150,000 against 60,000 (January i 5~ i7, r871). It wasat last repulsed, thanks chiefly to Bourbaki's inability to handle his forces, and, to the bitter disappointment of officers and men alike, he ordered a retreat, leaving Bellort to its fate.
Ere this, so urgent was the necasity of assisting Werder, Manteul'fcl had been placed at the head of a new Army of the South. Bringing two corps from the I. army opposing F aidhcrbe and calling up a third from the armies around Paris, and a fourth from the II. army, Manteuffcl hurried southward by Langres to the SaOne. Then, hearing of Wcrde'r's victory on the Lisaine, be deflected the march so as to cut off Bourbaki‘s retreat, drawing off the left flank guard of the latter (commanded with much trial and little real effect by Garibaldi) by a sharp feint attack on Dijon. The pressure of Werder in front and Manteuffel in flank gradually forced the now thoroughly disheartened French forces towards the Swis frontier, and Bourbaki, realizing at once the ruin of his army and his own incapacity to re-establisli its efficiency, shot himself, though not fatally, on the 26th of January Clinchant, his successor, acted promptly enough to remove the immediate danger, but on the 29th he was informed of the armistice without at the same time being told that Belfort and the eastern theatre of war had been on Jules anre's demand expressly excepted from its operation.‘ Thus the French, the leaders distracted by doubts and the wom-out soldiers fully aware that the war was practime over, stood still, while Manteuffel completed his preparations for hemming them in. On the ist of February General Clinchant led his troops into Switzerland, where they were disarmed, interned and well cared for by the authorities of the neutral state The rearguard fought a last action with the advancing Germans before passing the frontier On the 16th, by order of the French government, Belfort capitulated. but it was not until the nth of March that the Germans took possession of Bitche, the little fortrem on the Vosges, where in the early days of the war de Faillyhad illustrated so signally the want of concerted action and the neglect of opportunities which had throughout proved the bane of the French armies.
The losses of the Germans during the whole war were 28.000 dead and roi,ooo wounded and disabled, those of the French, i56,000 dead (17,000 of whom died, of sickness and wounds, as prisoners in German hands) and r43,ooo wounded and disabled. 120,000 men surrendered to the Germans or to the authorities of neutral states, and at the close of the war there were still 250,000 troops on foot, with further resources not immediately available to the number of 280,000 more. In this connexion, and as evidence of the respective numerical yields of the German system working normally and of the French improvised for "‘6 cmsl'gcncy. We quote from Berndt (Zalil int Kriege) the following comparative figures;_
FRANCOIS on NEUPCHM'BAU, NICOLAS mots. Corm(1750—1828), French statesman and poet, was born at Safl'ais near Roziércs in Lorraine on the r7th of April 1750, the son of a school-teacher. He studied at the Jesuit college of NeufchAteau in the Vosges, and at the age of fourteen published a volume of poetry which obtained the approbation of Rousseau and of Voltaire. Neufchfitcau conferred on him its name, and he was elected member of some of the principal academies of France, In 1783 he was named procureur-gtnéral to the council of Santo Domingo. He had previously been engaged on a translation of Ariosto, which he finished before his return to France five years afterwards, but it perished during the shipwreck which occurred during his voyage home. After the Revolution he was elected deputy suppléonl to the National Ambly, was charged with the organization of the Department of the Vosges, and was elected later to the Legislative Assembly, of which he first became secretary and then president [n 1703 he was imprisoned on account of the political sentiments, in reality very innocent, of his drama Pamela ou la nerlu rkarriflemfr. (ThéAtre dela Nadon, rst August 1793), but was set free a few days afterwards at the revolution of the 9th Thermidor In 1797 he bemme minister of the interior, in which office he distinguished himself by the thoroughness of his administration in all departments. It is to him that France owes its system of inland navigation. He inaugurated the museum of the Louvre.