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A Day of Battle: Mars-la-Tour, 16 August 1870 by David Ascoli (£21.00)Publisher: London: Harrap — 1987
Binding: Hardback in a Dust Wrapper. First Edition. [ISBN: 0245542507]
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Price Clipped. Text complete, clean and tight.
Description: Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Maps;
From the cover: “Between dawn and dusk on Tuesday, 16 August 1870, a largely forgotten but profoundly important battle was fought on the rolling plateau a few miles to the west of Metz in Lorraine. There the French Army of the Rhine, falling back incautiously towards Verdun, was intercepted by advance elements of the German Second Army.
What followed, throughout that sunburnt summer’s day, was an extraordinary encounter in which was distilled, as in few other battles, the whole essence of war: desperate courage and dreadful error; brilliant bluff and moral cowardice; human frailty and superhuman endurance. As night fell both sides rested on their blood-stained laurels. Both claimed victory. Neither had immediate cause to celebrate.
But the battle of Mars-la-Tour was to change the face of Europe. Two weeks later at Sedan, Emperor Louis Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered his Army of Chalons to King William of Prussia, and on 28 October Marshal Bazaine capitulated the Army of the Rhine to Prince Frederick Charles in Metz. On 18 January, 1871, King William was elected the first Emperor of a united Germany. And who shall say what sombre results were to flow for future generations from that watershed of history?
To this dramatic ‘day of battle’, and to its aftermath, David Ascoli has brought his remarkable narrative skills and his sharp sense of irony and compassion so widely praised in his classic account of the Old Contemptibles, The Mons Star. He has researched deeply in both French and German sources and has spent many days on the battlefield of Mars-la-Tour. His book is illustrated with a wealth of maps and plans and with his own photographs of the critical areas of the fighting.
A Day of Battle is an important, unusual, and immensely readable contribution to the history of our times.”
Notes: Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 384 pages.
P&P: UK 1st £6.00. UK 2nd £5.95. EU Surface £9.06. EU Air £9.10. ROW Surface £9.06. ROW Air £16.72