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Warfare Through the Ages Roman, Greek, Japanese, etc. Topics cover all manner of pre-modern warfare and empire-building and crushing.

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  #1  
Old 24 Jan 12, 21:35
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Franco-Prussian War paintings and illustrations

Le rêve by Edouard Detaille



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Bivouac après le combat du Bourget, 21 décembre 1870 by Alphonse de Neuville



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Le cimetière de Saint-Privat, le 18 août 1870 by Alphonse de Neuville

I found two "versions" of this painting...



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  #2  
Old 24 Jan 12, 21:37
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Outstanding thread Zouave! Just found a new computer background

Keep up the great work.
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Old 24 Jan 12, 22:57
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Outstanding thread Zouave! Just found a new computer background

Keep up the great work.
Sir, yes sir!

Les dernières cartouches (the last cartridges) by Alphonse de Neuville



Battle of Bazeilles (and the "house of the last cartridges")

Created during the Franco-Prussian War, the Blue Division is the name given to the division d'Infanterie de Marine (Division of Marine infantry). The troupes de marine are, despite the name, a branch of the French Army. The arm is dedicated to service overseas. Commanded by General de Vassoigne, it was made up of two brigades: 1st Brigade (formed by the 1st and 4th Marine Infantry regiments) and the 2nd Brigade (formed by the 2nd and 3rd Marine Infantry regiments, along with 3 batteries of the 1st Marine Artillery regiment).
Due to the dark blue uniforms, this new division was called "La Division Bleue" ("Blue Division"). Troupes de marine soldiers are known in French as Marsouins ("Harbour Porpoise").

The Blue Division fought at Bazeilles on 31 August and 1st September, 1870. Bazeilles was part of the larger battle of Sedan.

On the 31st of August, the 1st Bavarian Corps has conquered Bazeilles. Now the 2nd Brigade of the French Marine infantry
is ordered to retake the village.
In the afternoon, they chase away the Bavarians, but due to the latter’s superior forces, they have to retreat. In this encounter, both sides suffer heavy casualties. The village is on fire. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the French army is reinforced by the 1st Brigade. Before dusk, suffering many casualties, they are once again able to recapture the village.

Early in the morning, the Bavarians stormed again, but a fierce counter attack by the Marsouins surprises the Bavarians and throw them out of the village.

General Ducrot gives the order to leave Bazeilles. The Marsouins comply displeased and leave the village, for which they fought so fiercely and for which so many comrades sacrificed their lives.

But it seems that the new commander of the 5th French corps, General Wimpffen possesses a letter which states that he should have followed up Marshal MacMahon (he was wounded early in the battle). Wimpffen, who is older than Ducrot, seizes command of the Blue Division and orders the troops to proceed to Metz. Therefore, the Blue Division has to recapture Bazeilles from the Bavarians once again. After a harsh battle, the Marsouins conquer the village for the fourth time.

But the reinforced 1st Bavarian Corps launches a new attack against the village. In a battle of one against ten and under heavy artillery fire, the Marsouins are forced to retreat once again (a small group under commander Lambert remaining in the last house on the road to Sedan, the Auberge Bougerie, fought to the last bullet to cover the retreat of the Blue Division).

During midday, the situation of the Blue Division looks grim. The Marsouins fight their way back towards Sedan.

Around 4.00p.m., General Wimpffen wants to attack one more time. He commands the Blue Division to charge Bazeilles once again. The remaining Marsouins advance towards east and are able to recapture almost all of Balan, the region between Bazeilles and Sedan.

Napoleon III however decides to break off the action. On 4.30 p.m., the cease fire is a fact. The war was over for the Marsouins.

Almost one quarter of the Blue Division soldiers were wounded or killed during the battle (they lost 2,655 soldiers). The Bavarians suffered at least 5.200 casualties (perhaps 6,000).

Later, a great mausoleum was built on the graveyard of Bazeilles containing the remains of approximately 3,000 French and German soldiers.

The house of "la dernière cartouche" (the last cartridge).

In the northern part of Bazeilles, near the road to Balan and Sedan, one could find a large tavern with the following sign-board: ‘Bourgerie, vin, bière, eau-de-vie’. Nowadays, it is still there: a big house on the corner of the road, with three doors on the front and one floor with eight windows with a view to the village. It has become a museum called "la maison de la dernière cartouche".

During the many movements in and out the village, the Marsouins got familiar with the abandoned
house. In the morning of the 1st of September, Captain Bourgey of the 2nd regiment is ordered to turn it into a strong defensive position that has to withstand the Bavarian attacks. In the house, he finds the wounded commander Lambert, underchief of staff of the Blue Division. He assembles some officers, NCO's and Marsouins, all together about 60 men from different units of the Marine infantry. They begin covering the windows with furniture, sacks and mattresses. In the roof, they remove some roofing tiles in order to shoot at the enemy. The Marsouins take all the remaining bullets and give them to their best shooters.

When the onslaught begins, the precise fire of the famous French Chassepot rifle stop cold the 15th Bavarian infantry regiment. Both sides suffer heavy casualties. The Bavarians besiege the entire house and point their canons against the damaged house. As a result, parts of the roof get blown away and a fire starts. The defenders regroup in the chambers below and hope to turn the situation in their favor. They manage to assemble 30 last cartridges: les dernières cartouches (the last cartridges).

But the Bavarians attack once again, and the Maurosins fire their last bullets. Captain Aubert of the 2nd regiment, who was a shoot instructor and the best shooter of them all, has the honor to fire the last bullet at the enemy ("la dernière cartouche").

Captain Lambert summons a council of war while the Bavarians set up their artillery. The defenders decide to hang a white handkerchief on a rifle and to hang it outside a window while leaving the house at the front door. Lambert and Bourgey leave the house together with some 20 survivors (most of them wounded). A Bavarian officer, Captain Lissignolo, prevents the "diables bleus" ("blue devils") from being slaughtered by the infuriated attackers. The Marsouins are taken prisoners of war, but preserved their honor. On the way out, they saw the result of their work: 600 Bavarian soldiers laying on the ground.

For France, the brave action of the Marine infantry at Bazeilles was a highlight during this terrible year, especially the defense of the house of Bourgerie, until "la dernière cartouche".

--------------------------------------------------------------

Le siège de Paris en 1870 (The siege of Paris in 1870) by Ernest Meissonier

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Old 25 Jan 12, 02:05
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Napoleon III. and Fürst Bismarck
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Old 25 Jan 12, 02:51
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"Anton von Werner - Im Etappenquartier vor Paris" (Quarters near Paris)

Good old days
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Old 25 Jan 12, 02:57
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"Anton von Werner - Moltke and his staff near Paris"

This is one for my parlour
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Old 25 Jan 12, 03:09
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I think it is interesting to compare the style of the French and of the German paintings:

The French seem to be marked by impressionistic ideas - trying to catch the moment, the movement, the drama of battle. A glimpse at a moment where everything seems to be moving, shooting etc.

By comparison, the German artists seem to focus on a photo-realistic approach, trying to reconstruct every single detail...

What do you think?
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Old 25 Jan 12, 03:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogg View Post
I think it is interesting to compare the style of the French and of the German paintings:

The French seem to be marked by impressionistic ideas - trying to catch the moment, the movement, the drama of battle. A glimpse at a moment where everything seems to be moving, shooting etc.

By comparison, the German artists seem to focus on a photo-realistic approach, trying to reconstruct every single detail...

What do you think?
Astute observation Rogg and I agree it may correspond with contemporaneous currents in art history like French impressionism and German school realism.
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Old 25 Jan 12, 04:24
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Bataille de Gravelotte (St-Privat) - Jules Descartes Ferat

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Old 25 Jan 12, 09:10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogg View Post
I think it is interesting to compare the style of the French and of the German paintings:

The French seem to be marked by impressionistic ideas - trying to catch the moment, the movement, the drama of battle. A glimpse at a moment where everything seems to be moving, shooting etc.

By comparison, the German artists seem to focus on a photo-realistic approach, trying to reconstruct every single detail...

What do you think?
Exactly right, rogg. Edouard Detaille was one of the exceptions among French painters after 1880 (he did very few impressionist paintings).

Thanks for sharing those great pics, rogg.
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Old 25 Jan 12, 16:20
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"Emil Hünten - Französischer Meldereiter" (French messenger)
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"Anton von Werner - Moltke bei Sedan"
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Old 25 Jan 12, 18:14
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"Alphonse de Neuville - Defense de la porte de Longboyau"
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Old 27 Jan 12, 16:01
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"Anton von Werner: Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm an der Leiche des Generals Abel Douay"

(Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm pays his respect to the dead General Abel Douay)
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Old 27 Jan 12, 16:09
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"Carl Röchling: Schlacht bei Spichern"

A good opportunity to refer to my magnificent Carl Röchling Thread :

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=118332
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