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History October 18, 1870

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by Martin Rohmann, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    Bloody Slaughter For Châteaudun


    In the late afternoon of October 18, 1870, during the Franco-German War, the soldiers of the (Prussian) 22nd Infantry Division under Lieutenant General Franz von Wittich ...

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    ... accompanied by cavalry patrols of the 4th (also Prussian) cavalry division, the town of Châteaudun, about 50 kilometers north-west of Orléans, where they actually want to camp for the night.

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    The troops are actually the 1st Bavarian Army Corps of Field Marshal Ludwig von der Tann ...

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    ... assigned - and had stormed and captured the city of Orléans together with them eight days earlier.

    Marshal von der Tann had détached Wittich with his troops in order to clear the area between Loire and Châteaudun of remaining French troops - and then to march to Paris to reinforce the occupation troops around the French capital.

    So far the Wittichs Prussians have not had any contact with the enemy on their foray, but when they are preparing to move into Châteaudun, they come across a wasp's nest!

    The town is crammed with French troops of all branches and irregular franc tireurs who gathered there after the defeat at Orléans.

    The French, that of Colonel Fabien (there is no picture of him and his first name is also unknown!) and the Franc Tireurs under the Strasbourg general Comte Joseph Ernest de Lipowski (here his grave on the Paris Pére Lachaise cemetery) ...


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    ... bloody reject the Prussians!

    The Prussians withdraw, reorganize and carefully prepare their second attack on Châteaudun:

    Von Wittich waits until evening and then attacks the city from the west, so that the French are blinded by the setting sun.

    The city must be conquered street by street, house by house through bloody hand-to-hand combat; In the chaotic fighting - as the Prussians later report - allegedly also many residents of the city take part ...:

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    It lasts well into the night before the French, who are roughly the same number, are down and lay down their arms.

    There is nothing left of the city center after the heavy fighting ...:

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    That night, General von Wittich ordered the shooting of several residents of Châteaudun who - allegedly - murdered wounded soldiers or who are said to have shot them from behind.

    As a further "expiatory measure", the Prussians set fire to several still intact districts of Châteaudun in which this is said to have occurred.
    The next day the Prussians leave the destrooyed city and march to Paris...
    After the war, a monument was erected in Chateaudun that honors the brave Franc Tireurs ...:


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    It still stands today and is decorated every year on October 18th ...:

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    In front of the Castle of Chateaudun there is also a memorial for the fighting of October 18, 1870 ...:

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    A station of the Paris Métro was named after Colonel Fabien, which reminds of him to this day ...:

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    akaryu, Airkid, Nap and 1 other person like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Very good to read Martin as always

    The 1870 war is a a very interesting period to look at

    Nap
    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  3. Airkid Active Member

    Country:
    England
    Excellent stuff Martin. I have a keen interest in the FPW and have explored some of the battle sites near to Paris. I didn't manage to get to Chateaudun. The follow-up to the fall of the Commune de Paris was a massacre on a much greater scale than the one you brought to us yesterday. Thank you:)

    Phil
  4. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany

    I also wrote an article about the Commune de Paris - at May 21. Here is it...:

    The Bloody Week of Paris


    Under the eyes of the German besiegers, who did not lift a finger, troops loyal to the government of Adolphe Thiers (based in Versailles) penetrated on May 21, 1871 ...

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    ... to downtown Paris to put down the so-called "uprising" of the Paris Commune!

    The so-called "Commune de Paris" was the spontaneously formed revolutionary Paris city council during the Franco-German War (after the authorities previously loyal to Napoleon had left) ...

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    ... who tried from March 18, 1871 to May 28, 1871 against the will of the conservative central government to administer Paris according to socialist ideas - and found great support in large circles of the common population ...:

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    The Paris Commune is considered an example of the leadership of the proletariat and a model for council democracy. She does not exercise any violence against those who are against her - in a symbolic act only the Vendome column is erected in place of the hated Emperor Napoleon III. overturned and destroyed ...:

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    But what now follows is the so-called "Paris Blood Week". Troops of the Thiers regime - 170,000 men under the command of Marshal Marie Edme Patrice Maurice, Count of Mac-Mahon ...

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    ... need a week to liquidate the municipality! The center of Paris must be conquered in a bitter struggle street by street, house by house ...

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    ... which causes severe damage in the city, as artillery is also used on both sides!

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    Among other things, the Paris City Hall burns out completely in the final battles!

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    Around 30,000 people were killed in the fighting and the mass executions that followed, including just under 900 Thiers soldiers, and around 40,000 Parisians were imprisoned.

    Whoever is recognized or denounced as a communard, regardless of whether man, woman or child ...


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    ... kill the Thiers soldiers instantly!

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    When the last nest of resistance of the Communards, who have holed up in the town hall, finally had to give up due to the spreading fire, 147 of them fell alive into the hands of the Thiers troops - all more or less seriously wounded.

    They drag this 147 - for the sake of simplicity, so that you don't have to carry it later! - to the Pére Lachaise cemetery and put it on the wall by the cemetery wall ...:

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    At this place of execution, today called "Mur des Fédérés" ("Wall of the Connected"), a plaque commemorates the one-sided slaughter ...:

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    I left during my visit the fresh red carnation that can be seen in the picture above there ...

    Marshal MacMahon will then be rewarded with the office of President of the Republic and Adolphe Thiers with that of Prime Minister ...
    Airkid and grasshopper like this.
  5. grasshopper Well-Known Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Thankyou Martin...
  6. Airkid Active Member

    Country:
    England
    Thank you Martin- I missed this excellent treatise as I wasn't a member when you posted it. Much of it is familiar to me but there are several pictures I have not seen before. Good work my friend!

    Phil
    Martin Rohmann likes this.

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