Battle of Wissembourg (1870)

Battle Of Wissembourg (1870)

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Battle of Wissembourg (1870)

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The Battle of Wissembourg or Battle of Weissenburg,Note: Wissembourg is from the French spelling and Weissenburg from the German: Weißenburg the first of the Franco-Prussian War, was joined when three German army corps surprised the small French garrison at Wissembourg on August 4, 1870. The defenders, greatly outnumbered, fought stubbornlyHooper, The Campaign of Sedan, p. 84. Hooper notes, "especially considering they were surprised and greatly outnumbered, that the French sustained their old renown as fighting men and that the first defeat, although severe, reflected no discredit on the soldiers of the 1st Corps." before being overwhelmed; nevertheless, the fall of Wissembourg allowed the Prussian army to move into France and compelled Marshal Mac-Mahon to give battle, and suffer defeat, at the Battle of Wörth August 6.

Background

In June, 1870 Napoleon III had moved the French army into Lorraine and occupied Saarbrücken. Napoleon wished to win a significant battle on German soil and ordered Marshal Patrice Mac-Mahon to bring up the French I and V Corps. Mac-Mahon's objective was to reach Wissembourg where he already had one division stationed under General Abel Douay. Once there he would concentrate his forces for a strike into Germany. The German III Army under Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, was already moving towards Wissembourg. Neither side was fully aware of the other's movements.

At the outbreak of war,......
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