Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Reality of War: A Memoir of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71)

It's been a while since I had an update but rest assured that I have not put down my brush. While simultaneously painting my Wurttemburg infantry and Prussian Hussars for the Franco-Prussian War, I have also been re-reading an excellent first hand account of the war by Leonce Patry called "The Reality of War: A Memoir of the Franco-Prussian War." It has been almost 8 years since I last read this book and I can say I did so back then with much more skimming for details on Metz rather than for enjoyment as it was for my military history class.

This memoir is an almost painful look into how inept the French officers were as it follows Leonce's adventures at part of the 6th Line Infantry Regiment. Leonce is a tricky Lieutenant recounting how he was just about to be placed into a rear echelon job but, through his wit, he ends up marching to the front to fight. While much of the start of the war is spent in tedium and dodging his pesky colonel, he provides rich detail of what the French encountered in their fighting. You might almost think the French would have had a shot had it not been for their terrible chain of command. Though I disagree with Leonce on this, I can certainly empathize with him and his youthful fervor.

The book is rich in historical significance as Leonce is an eyewitness to historical events such as Bazaine's surrender at Metz, the formation of Faidherbe's Army of the North, and even the retaking of Paris from the Communards. If you are as enthusiastic about the Franco-Prussian War as I am, this is a must for your bookshelf!

In other news, I have decided to take the Zedcember Pledge over at The Quick and the Zed Blog to paint 1 zombie or survivor figure per week for the month of December. I have nearly 1,000 unpainted zombies and survivors in 15mm so finding four that I want to paint is no problem. Stay tuned for Wurttemburgers, Hussars and ZOMBIES!

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