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was practically reduced to 180 days. In the equip the entire German army. Such large stores course of these there were considerably more than of cloth were captured at Metz and Le Mans as 100 engagements, besides twenty-one great battles, sufficed to renew the whole of the uniforms rethe chronological order of the latter being—Wis- quired; and notwithstanding the great number of sembourg, Woerth, Spicheren, Courcelles, Vion- horses which perished, the end of the war found ville, Gravelotte, Beaumont, Sedan, Noisseville Germany richer than before in this description of (before Metz), Beaune-la-Rollande, the three battles live stock—Sedan and other battlefields having round Orleans, Amiens, Champigny and Brie yielded far more than the number lost. (before Paris), Beaugency, Bapaume, Vendôme, The losses of both combatants were in proporLe Mans, Belfort, St. Quentin, and the great sortie tion to the magnitude and fierceness of the operaagainst St. Cloud. Twenty-six fortresses were tions of the campaign. Considering the hasty and taken, namely, Lutzelstein, Lichtenberg, Marsal, confused manner in which the French forces were Vitry, Sedan, Laon, Toul, Strassburg, Soissons, collected after Sedan, it is doubtful if accurate Schlestadt, Metz, Verdun, Montbeliard, Neu- returns of their loss can ever be forthcoming. Breisach, Ham, Thionville, La Fére, the citadel of Some months after the campaign closed the numAmiens, Phalsbourg, Montmédy, Mézières, Rocroi, bers were returned as 89,000 “killed ;” and if Péronne, Longwy, Paris, and Belfort. Reckoning this is to be taken as including wounded and only those actually transported to German fort- missing, the German loss far exceeded it, for resses and towns, 11,650 officers and 363,000 the entire loss of Germany has been ascertained rank and file were made prisoners. The prisoners to have been about 180,000—rather more than at the capitulation of Paris amounted to nearly half of whom are invalided. 500,000, that being the number actually engaged The most costly fight to the Germans was that in the defence of the city. Had not the war of Vionville, on August 16, 1870, when, in order closed with the fall of the capital, these also would to prevent the escape of Marshal Bazaine's army, most likely have been transferred to Germany. more than 17,000 men were sacrificed. There Of the ill-fated army under Bourbaki 84,900 were was a great disparity of numbers in the battle, as driven across the frontier and compelled to lay 45,000 Prussians fought from 8 a.m. till 4 p.m., at down their arms in Switzerland, and fully 20,000 first against 160,000 and by noon against nearly fled into Belgium after the battles of Metz and 200,000 French. Another instance of similar Sedan. The total number of prisoners and of disparity was at Belfort, where about 36,000 Prusfugitives interned in neighbouring states thus sians and Badeners maintained a three days' battle amounts to the extraordinary total of nearly one against Bourbaki's army of nearly 130,000. There million. The quantity of arms and other warlike were instances, on the other hand, in which the material captured was equally remarkable, and disparity was reversed—notably at Wissembourg altogether unprecedented in any former war. and Woerth, where, although the fortune of the Thus at the Alma the Allies took two colours and day was in the end against them, the French two guns, at Inkermann they lost three guns, and undoubtedly made a most gallant and heroic stand. at the storming of the Malakoff one standard and Gravelotte, also, was a most costly and hardly-won thirty-one guns were captured. The number of victory, although full 270,000 Germans confronted prisoners in the campaign did not exceed 6000. less than 210,000 French—including, however, The entire spoils of the French in 1859 consisted the élite of the army. of three colours, twenty-six guns, and 16,000 Losses in men and warlike material to a certain prisoners. The Prussians, on the other hand, took extent were what France must have laid her acat Düppel nineteen colours, 119 guns, and 3400 count with in entering upon the campaign. That prisoners ; at Alsen, thirteen colours, ninety-nine the loss should have been far beyond all precedent guns, and 2494 prisoners; at Königgratz, seven was what she might in time have become reconcolours, 161 guns, and 19,800 prisoners ; altogether ciled to, had even a small measure of success in 1866, thirteen colours, 208 guns, and 49,000 attended her arms. Unfortunately, the terms of prisoners. The more formidable total of 1870-71 peace which she was eventually obliged to accept consisted of 6700 guns (including mitrailleuses), involved sacrifices inflicting a rankling wound, 120 eagles and colours, and sufficient chassepots to which it is to be feared time alone will never
heal. Alison observes that, “ The policy of the people after another, almost every statesman, and Allies, when dictating terms to France in 1814, every political chief, had been hungering for the was founded on a noble spirit—it rested on the Rhenish provinces and threatening Germany with principle of eradicating hostility by generosity, war. Government after government had arisen and avenging injury by forgiveness. The result in the country, some of them upholding social proved that, in doing so, they proceeded on too order, some singing the pæans of humanity and exalted an estimate of human nature.” The Ger- rushing into the arms of universal brotherhood; mans of 1871 comfort themselves by reflecting, but all alike, royalist, imperial, or republican, that they profited by the teachings of history and good or bad, liberal or illiberal, thirsting for the avoided the errors of their forefathers. Without left bank of the Rhine. In a moment of profound seeking to eradicate hostility by generosity, they peace war had been made upon Germany, on a calculated on France nursing the spirit of ven- pretext so frivolous that the warmest partizans of geance and retaliation; and their one aim in dic- France were scandalized. There was now a chance tating the terms of peace was to make her enter of making the French see that war with Germany on any future war with Germany with the odds would henceforth be a very serious thing, and the heavily against her. The population of Alsace and opportunity was used to the full. The Germans Lorraine had so conclusively shown their wish to were told that to cripple and humiliate France be united to France, as to satisfy their conquerors unduly could not be for the good of Europe. that, in spite of their common language, they would They replied that they had first to think of themhave to treat them as vanquished aliens. There selves; and that in July, 1870, a strong military was therefore no pretence of moderation, nor any frontier would have been of much more use to further talk of uniting to Germany the lands torn them than any preservation of the balance of from her in past ages.
By a turn of events as power. They were taunted with forcing men into surprising to the conquerors as to the rest of the citizenship with them by tearing them from France, world, France had in a few months been so utterly and with thus violating the unwritten laws of adcrushed that Germany could ask of her what she vancing civilization. But they closed their ears, liked. That which she asked was safety, as abso- like deaf adders, to all this, and listened only to lute and complete as possible. She might perhaps the voice that bade them think of their own safety. have had more, but she obtained all she wanted; Of course there were many who thought that the and the maximum of military defence with the policy of Germany was duc simply to a greedy and minimum of disaffected population, sufficiently relentless extortion, which had always been one explains why the demand was made for only a of her principal characteristics—a view on which fifth of Lorraine with Metz, and the other four- we here pronounce no judgment. We have merely fifths were allowed to remain French.
endeavoured to give as faithfully as possible the Had no loss of territory been involved, peace reasons in support of the territorial claim advanced might doubtless have been arranged after the col- by the government and by the principal organs of lapse of the empire and army at Sedan; and many public opinion throughout Germany. deeply sympathized with France in the agony of Were the terms of peace to be judged apart from dismemberment she had struggled so heroically any political or national aspect, and solely in the but vainly to resist. The Germans, however, lis- highest interests of mankind, it could perhaps be tened neither to the counsels of neutrals in the wished that Germany had displayed a magnanimity matter, nor to pleadings urged in the name of unparalleled in history, by declining to take any the civilization of the nineteenth century. One French territory, and resolving to abide the conidea filled their minds, that France would seize sequences. She might have suffered for her the earliest opportunity of making war upon them magnanimity, but a magnanimity that counts the again. The Allies, they said, in 1814 were very risk it runs is the highest and most ennobling of moderate towards France, and Prussia especially virtues. The world would have been a better failed in her desire to obtain a good military world had Germany, relying on her own strength, frontier on the French side, because, it was said, refused additional guarantees for her security. The the way to keep France quiet was to treat her Germans, however, in their intense horror of the generously. Since then one generation of her miseries of war, and under the irritation caused by the constant restlessness and aggressiveness of configuration, the ground on the German side does France, could not bring themselves to set before not furnish any nearer positions of sufficient stramankind so elevating a spectacle. They were tegical importance to make it worth while turning bent upon security; and so far as that is possible, them into large fortresses, and thus the whole of the to all human views they attained their object. German left bank of the Rhine, and a large portion
The territory conceded is 5580 square miles of Southern Germany, including all Baden and in area, or about equal in extent to that of the Würtembury, were always open to French invasion. three departments of the Haut Rhin, Bas Rhin, There was only one way to meet this danger—the and Moselle. It is inhabited by 1,597,219 way made use of in this war—that the Germans, people, 200,000 of whom are French, the rest ready before the French, should concentrate the German, or mixed, in race and language, but whole of their force on the border line between all strongly French in feeling. The new fron- the Moselle and the Rhine, and invade France in tier line begins at Cattenom, near Longwy, on their turn. In that case, however, a lost battle the borders of the duchy of Luxemburg, and would have driven them back to Mayence and takes a southern course, having Thionville, Metz, across the Rhine, and laid open all Baden and Château-Salins, on the east (all of which there- Würtemburg. fore now belong to Germany); and Verdun, Thus the German Rhine fortresses, Germersheim, Toul, Nancy, and Luneville, on the west. Mayence, Coblenz, and Cologne, though forming After cutting a corner off the department of the a strong line in themselves, were a protection only Vosges, the line then coincides with the western to the country behind them—that is to say, to the boundary of the department of the Haut Rhin as country east of the Rhine and north of the Main. far as the canton of Belfort, which it leaves to The fortresses situated in advance of the Rhine, France by striking off to the canton of Delle, Landau, Saarlouis, and even Luxemburg, were between which town and Joncherey it terminates of no great importance; at most, they closed lines on the Swiss frontier. Germany is thus advanced of railway, but none of them could arrest the march about 100 miles nearer Paris, and comes into possession of a long line of forts invaluable for In his speech on the government of the newly
The principal are Metz la acquired territory in the German Parliament in Pucelle, Thionville, Strassburg, Schlestadt, Bitsche, May, 1872, Prince Bismarck said that Germany Marsal, Neu Breisach, Phalsbourg, and Hagenau ; could not permit the state of things we have while amongst the towns are Colmar, Mulhausen, described to continue, and it would have been Guebwiller, Molsheim, Saverne, Château-Salins, suicidal on her part not to have availed herself of Sarreguemines, and Forbach. Thus the whole the opportunity offered by the war to amend it. department of the Bas Rhin, the greater portion of He regretted to say that some other powers had the Moselle, the Meurthe, and the Haut Rhin, and not been of that opinion. These powers had not a small corner of the Vosges, are comprised in the been particularly gratified by the determination concession, which may be more briefly described of Germany to recover her lost provinces ; and as the whole of Alsace (minus Belfort) and about when they found her firm had proposed that the a fifth of Lorraine.
affair should be compromised either by a disThe annexation of this strip of land, narrow as mantling of the Alsace and Lorraine fortresses, or it looks upon the map, entirely reverses the relative by the formation of Alsace and Lorraine into an military positions of France and Germany. Up to independent and neutralized state, protected by a July, 1870, France had the aggressive position. European guarantee. For Germany it had been Metz, with its recently built forts, was her sally quite impossible to entertain either of these sugport towards the German left bank of the Rhine, gestions. A joint guarantee might be valuable as Strassburg was towards South Germany. Either enough, had not some states been latterly in the of these places was important enough to serve as a habit of explaining it away the moment after base of operations for a large field army ; while on acceding to it. Besides, even if honestly enforced, the German side the nearest base opposed to Metz no guarantee could have prevented France from was Mayence, opposed to Strassburg, Ulm—both attacking the German shores, while Germany, places a long way to the rear. By its geographical with a small fleet and cut off from France by an
of an army.
intermediate barrier of neutralized states, would gical positions capable of being turned to account have been powerless to reciprocate. As to the in keeping the enemy at a distance from Paris. idea of razing the fortresses, this would have in. With the Germans in Metz, the road to Paris is flicted upon France a more severe humiliation open to them, as soon as the French army in the than the mere loss of territory. It would have field shall have lost one great battle. Verdun and deprived France of the right to exercise her sove- Toul, with Frouard or Nancy, might hereafter be reignty in a portion of her own territory—a formed into a system of fortifications, but they penalty which no great state is likely to submit could never counterbalance or replace Metz; and to long. Add to this that the Alsatians would between the Meuse and Paris there appears to be not have been very good neutrals, and it was clear no position, were it ever so much fortified, where that there remained nothing but to solve the a defeated
could arrest the conquerors.
army difficulty by downright annexation.
On the other hand, were the German army to The treaty of peace completely reversed the be beaten before Metz, the garrison of that fortress military position of the two countries. By the (unless the whole army blundered into it, as was possession of Strassburg and all Alsace, the whole done in August, 1870) would hold in check more line of the Rhine, up to Basel, became German than twice its numbers, and the whole territory property; and Strassburg, flanked to the south between the Moselle and the Rhine would remain by Schlestadt and Neu Breisach, from a sally- disputed ground until Metz were again reduced by port against South Germany, becomes its chief the French. No army will like to undertake the and central bulwark, the Vosges range forming reduction of two such places as Metz and Mayence the first line of defence. North of Strassburg, at one and the same time, unless the enemy repeat even the western slopes of these hills belong to the Bonapartist campaign of 1870, which is not to Germany, and with them the small places of Phals- be expected. Thus the possession of Metz enables bourg, Petite Pierre, Lichtenberg, and Bitsche, the Germans, in case of defeat, to carry on the which more or less effectively command the passes. campaign for at least a couple of months on the Thus South Germany received not only a powerful left bank of the Rhine, and to weaken a successful barrier against French aggression, but also a strong enemy to a serious extent before he arrives on that basis of operation, with the roads prepared and river, their main line of defence. secured, for attack against France.
In the same spirit in which the Germans claimed But this is only the least important point. The Metz and the line of the Vosges, they further intransfer of Metz gave the Germans a power of at- sisted on making France pay the largest indemnity tacking France such as she would obtain against it could afford. The terms as to money, no less Germany by the possession of the whole left bank than as to territory, appeared merciless. Eminent of the Rhine, with all its fortresses and their financiers were solemnly summoned to consider bridge-heads on the right bank. If the French how much could be squeezed out of France; and had Coblenz with Ehrenbreitstein and Mayence the sum of two hundred millions was by them with Castel, then Germany would be in the same scientifically ascertained to be the extremest burweak strategical position relatively to France that den the camel could bear without breaking its she is now in with regard to Germany. The pos- back. The Germans, of course, liked the money session of Metz advanced the German base of attack for its own sake, and no nation on earth was more against France by fully 120 miles. It gave them likely to prize a windfall of £200,000,000 sterling. a stronghold superior in natural position, engineer- But perhaps their main idea was not the mere ing strength, and extent, to any one they had pocketing of this magnificent prize, but to obtain before, situated exactly where they must wish such a guarantee of safety. A very heavily taxed nation a powerful outpost of their Rhenish system of shrinks from war, and France for the next quarter fortification to be—flanked, moreover, to the north of a century will be most severely taxed in proporby Thionville and by Luxemburg. And, just as tion to her resources and population. Altogether beyond the Rhine, in the interior of Germany, she will be fortunate if, in 1874, when the indemnity there are scarcely any points naturally adapted for is paid, she has a debt of less than £1,200,000,000 large fortresses to bar the road to Berlin, so there sterling, and a mortgage of less than £40,000,000 is, west of the Moselle, the same dearth of strate- a year upon her industry. For many years she
OFFICIAL PUBLICATIONS ISSUED AFTER THE WAR.
will thus be exposed to all the disorders which with M. Rouher, and as his correspondence was heavy taxes, constant deficits, and revolutionary not official, he could not refer his readers to any finance experiments bring in their train. It is official record of it; but so extremely scrupulous true that in course of time peace and industry was he, that he would not write a line the accuracy may make the augmented debt felt as little as of which could not be verified. Thus all that passed that of 1870. This, however, must be a slow pro- between him and the French government, while cess, and meanwhile France, under the penalty of the negotiations were in progress, was necessarily risking national bankruptcy, will be bound over buried in darkness. Still he could give his readers to keep the peace towards Germany; while the the general tenor of this buried correspondence, latter, with £200,000,000 to make good its losses, and he particularly requested them to treasure in and enriched by the industry and commerce of their minds two great truths—that the proposal Alsace, may count on keeping ahead in the race, for the annexation of Belgium to France was, in and entering on a future war with a sounder fin- his words, a purely Prussian conception, as he ancial system and a more solid credit than France merely embodied in the famous draught treaty the can hope for.
suggestions of Count von Bismarck ; and secondly, that the emperor would have nothing to do with the
annexation of Belgium, and would only take LuxemAfter the conclusion of the war most of the burg, whereas Count von Bismarck offered, in return leading actors on the French side published de- for Prussia being allowed to consolidate its power fences or explanations of the various parts they from the Baltic to the Alps, that France should had taken in it. In fact, so great was the flood of first get Luxemburg and then Belgium. publications on the subject, that such a profusion The luckless diplomatist was not aware that the of information, instead of enlightening the reader, French government, to aggravate the humiliation only bewildered him. It seems necessary, however, they had brought upon themselves, had left the in dealing with the consequences and results of most important state papers to be seized by the the war, to notice a few of the works which bear invader at St. Cloud.
invader at St. Cloud. The fact, however, was very specially on some of the chief events narrated, that while, in honour of himself and the imperial and which, in one or two instances, throw a little government, M. Benedetti was printing the above additional light upon them, without, however, on version of what had happened, his enemies were in any material point affecting the truth of our ori- possession of the documents which he supposed ginal statements with regard to them.
were for ever safe in the custody of M. Rouher, Perhaps the most historically important and and of which they availed themselves as soon as remarkable work of all was that of Count Bene- M. Benedetti's work appeared. According to these detti, explaining the relations between France and documents, what really happened in the latter half Prussia from 1864 to 1871, and especially with of August, 1866, with regard to Belgium, seems regard to the celebrated secret treaty, as to the to have been as follows:- On the 12th the annexation of Belgium by France, which caused emperor wrote to M. Benedetti to say that he so much consternation in England, and which finally abandoned all claim to Mayence and to the is fully described in Chapter III. Soon after left bank of the Rhine. It is acknowledged by the secret treaty was divulged, Count Benedetti both parties, that the emperor's reasons for doing took occasion to publish a letter to the effect that, so were, that Count von Bismarck had plainly although the treaty was in his handwriting, it told M. Benedetti a week before that to persist in was written by him purely at the suggestion and such a demand meant instant war. On August 16 dictation of Prince Bismarck. This statement a diplomatic messenger was sent from Paris with might possibly have been allowed to stand un- a letter of instructions to M. Benedetti to make challenged, had not Count Benedetti, at the close new demands; and these instructions Count von of the war, become infected with the prevailing Bismarck used as the weapon to annihilate the mania of rushing into print in further justification pretensions of M. Benedetti after the publication of his conduct. In his work, “Ma Mission en of his volume. After a caution as to the strictly Prusse,” he stated that when the negotiation as to confidential character of the negotiations, the letter Belgium was going on, he communicated solely proceeded, “In proportion to the chance of