Touring the Sedan Campaign
...a Battleground Guide from Pen & Sword
Title: Touring the Sedan Campaign
Author: Maarten Otte
Publisher: Pen & Sword
A first for the Battleground Series of guides, looking further back, to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Sedan has been the focus of a number of important battles in the history of France and Germany, and this was an early one, in their war of 1970-71.
The book opens with some background to the conflict, and a reminder that this was still just before the various states of Germany combined to create the unified state of Germany itself. It was also a conflict where the machine gun, in an early form, along with breech loading artillery were being used in action. The war was studied by military students for lessons in the period prior to WW1. So the book sets the scene and explains the importance of the battle for Sedan to the outcome of the war itself. Illustrated with photos of various commanders plus a number of helpful maps, it makes for some interesting reading. The second half of the book is devoted to the heart of the subject, with 5 detailed tours described for you. Two are car tours, taking time and covering a good distance in each one, while these are accompanied by 3 shorter walking routes. The first car tour is around the area of Sedan, to introduce you to the area. Then the 3 walks covering Beaumont, Bazeilles and Floing before a final car tour of Sedan and its' surroundings. Final appendices give useful details such as the opposing Orders of Battle. Plenty of detail and images of memorials, cemeteries and other reminders you can still see in the area.
I am a real fan of these Battleground guides and it is nice to see them venture this bit further back into European military history.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for this review copy.