Battle of Sedan

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Battle of Sedan
Map of the Battle of Sedan
Map of the Battle of Sedan
date September 1st to 2nd, 1870
place Sedan ( Ardennes )
output Decisive German victory
Parties to the conflict

North German ConfederationNorth German Confederation North German Confederation Bavaria Baden Wuerttemberg
Kingdom of BavariaKingdom of Bavaria 
to batheGrand Duchy of Baden 
WurttembergKingdom of Württemberg 

Second empireSecond empire France


North German ConfederationNorth German Confederation Helmuth von Moltke

Second empireSecond empire Patrice de Mac-Mahon

Troop strength

774 cannons


564 cannons


8,459 men (4089 Bavaria): 3,022 dead, including 190 officers (106 Bavaria), 5,909 wounded, including 282 officers (107 Bavaria)

3,000 dead, 14,000 wounded and 21,000 prisoners in battle, 86,000 prisoners as a result of the surrender, 3,000 internees in Belgium

The Battle of Sedan took place on September 1 and 2, 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War in Sedan , a town in the Ardennes department of the Grand Est region. The city is located near the Belgian border on the banks of the Meuse . The German victory was decisive for the outcome of the war. On the French side, the surrender of the French troops and the capture of Emperor Napoléon III. the proclamation of the Third Republic .

Strategic location in August 1870

In the first weeks of the Franco-Prussian War, the three German armies succeeded in individually defeating the French troops in the battles near Weissenburg (August 4, 1870), Wörth (August 6) and Spichern (August 6) and penetrate far into France. The Third Army of the Crown Prince was here succeeded in the amplified I Corps under Marshal MacMahon from the Alsace to drive and broad retreat from Worth over Nancy to Chalons-sur-Marne to force. From mid-August, the focus was on the fight against the main group of the Rhine Army and the enclosure of Metz , which was achieved with the battles of Mars-la-Tour (August 16) and Gravelotte (August 18). Without the immediate threat from this 180,000-strong army, the German war command under Moltke the Elder could defend itself. Ä. then focus on the battle with the Châlons army. This consisted of the rest of the I. Corps, the V. Corps, parts of the VII. Corps and the units concentrated in the camp of Châlons (XII. Corps).

Châlon's army

The Châlons army consisted to a large extent of reserve troops , volunteers and other very hastily formed units. The veterans of the I. Corps themselves had suffered heavy losses in the fighting in early August and lost a large part of their material. They were exhausted and demotivated from the long withdrawal. The Mobile Guards were notorious even in the French army for their lack of discipline. The naval troops planned for the landing operation on the German coast were relocated from Cherbourg to Châlons-sur-Marne from mid-August to unite with the rest of the units. In Châlons an army with a total of 130,000 soldiers and 420 cannons was created, whereby the personnel and material equipment could not hide the lack of experience and thus combat strength. There was a serious shortage of officers and NCOs.

The aim of the Châlons army was originally to reinforce Paris. Mac-Mahon was aware that Paris could only be successfully defended if enough powerful troops were available. Instead of a retreat, however, the order was given to him by the Empress and Eugène Rouher that he had to relieve the siege of Metz . On August 21, Mac-Mahon arrived in Reims and began the march towards Sedan . At that time, however, there was no precise information about the situation in front of Metz or the position of the Third Army in Paris or the Châlons Army. There was only a rumor from Metz that Bazaine was planning an escape towards Sedan, and the German army was suspected to be marching on Châlons.

German armies

Count von Moltke
Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia, 3rd Army
Crown Prince Albert of Saxony, Maas Army

The original plan of the German Chief of Staff von Moltke had provided for defeating the French Army on the Rhine in a kind of cauldron battle in the Metz area or in Alsace. Accordingly, the German armies were set up in such a way that one of the two large armies binds the enemy head-on, while the other should fall into his flank. The smaller First Army was supposed to complete the enclosure or cut off the route of retreat.

Two of the three German armies were bound by the siege of Metz at this time . The German Third Army consisted of units from Prussia and the allied southern German states, including the two Bavarian corps . At that time, this army was the largest unit in France with around 180,000 men.

In the second half of August 1870 there was a fundamental reorganization of the German armies off Metz. The commander of the 1st Army , General von Steinmetz , was transferred to Posen as governor general . Two new armies were formed from his army and parts of Prince Friedrich Karl's 2nd Army . The new First Army was under the command of the previous commander of the 1st Corps, General Edwin von Manteuffel , who secured the eastern side of the siege of Metz. The new Maas Army was an association consisting of the Guards and IV Army Corps as well as the 5th and 6th Cavalry Divisions of the Prussian Army and the Saxon Army Corps with a total of 70,028 men, 16,247 horses and 288 artillery pieces Command of Prince Albert of Saxony removed from the siege army in front of Metz.


From around August 20, 1870, extensive diplomatic activities to end the war began parallel to the military events. In Austria, England, and even Russia, voices were raised calling for an early peace agreement and expressing concerns about changing the balance of power in Central Europe. In spite of military successes, German politics was threatened with some problems.

At the same time, a rumor arose that the French were planning a landing on one of the German coasts or that they would even advance to the ports of Hamburg or Bremen. After all, the marines described as elite had not yet been deployed, and the French navy was ten to one superior to the German. Even a brief blockade of the German ports would have had serious consequences for the German economy, which was already heavily dependent on exports. The French fleet was operating at this time, although in the North Sea and Skagerrak , however, had serious supply problems, especially with coal and saw no way to be challenging actor. Smaller targets on the coast would not have justified an attack, Wilhelmshaven was still under construction, but was already well fortified and protected with heavy artillery, and there were no detailed maps or pilots for attacks on the inland ports. All these points led to the fact that two French naval formations were operating in the German Bight in August , but could not take action.

Deployment of the armies

Mac-Mahon's march towards Reims and Sedan

Marshal Mac-Mahon

In addition to the military aim of lifting the siege of Metz, there were also political reasons for the march towards Reims. The invasion of Paris by an army defeated in the field and with a long retreat behind it would have further destabilized the difficult domestic political situation. Precisely because the Châlons army consisted of so many reserve troops that the emperor neither wanted nor could rely on, these troops should not be returned to Paris. For the protection of Paris only the XIII. Corps withdrew and formed the core of the garrison of Paris, which soon grew to around 100,000 men.

The change in direction to the north posed a major logistical problem for the French army. On the way from Reims via Mézières to Sedan there were only a few and bad roads and a single railway line that was soon completely overloaded. The necessary supply of the army with food, equipment and ammunition proved difficult or even impossible.

German armies march towards Paris

On August 19, the 3rd Army received the order to make a temporary stop on the Meuse in order to allow the Maas Army units to catch up. The Meuse was reached on August 20th. The merger was completed on August 22nd. Since it was known that strong French forces were gathering near Châlons, the order was given to the 3rd Army to advance to Châlons; the Maas Army was to advance further north towards Paris at the same time. On August 24th the 3rd Army was already on the Marne .

The fortress of Verdun was on the route of the Meuse Army and was reached on August 23. After an attack on August 24th was unsuccessful, the city had to be bypassed. At the same time, the siege began. This could only be successfully completed on November 8th, when the siege guns that had become free at Metz were available. During the siege, Verdun was an important starting point for actions in the rear of the German front. Another obstacle was the fortress of Toul . This fortress also had to be besieged, as a direct assault attack was unsuccessful (see main article Siege of Toul ). It was not until the last week of August that Prince Albert of Saxony therefore advanced via Sainte-Menehould and Vitry-le-François .

During this advance, the German associations experienced the first food shortages, but they managed to secure a minimum supply through requisitions and purchases of food in the villages along the march. At the same time, the German reserve units arrived at the armies. By August 24, 1870, the German army had received reinforcements of 150,000 men, units with a total of 300,000 additional soldiers were just being set up. This not only compensated for the losses of the first few weeks, it was also possible to deploy units for various smaller sieges and to protect the supply routes. In addition to the purely numerical reinforcement to compensate for losses suffered, there was also the VI. Corps under General von Tümpling to the 3rd Army. This corps had remained in Silesia until August 6 as a reserve for a possible conflict with Austria .

During the advance of the German troops, franc tireurs first appeared on a large scale in the area along the Meuse . At the same time, however, localities also declared themselves as open cities or villages. So the city of Bar-le-Duc opened up to the first Prussian horsemen, since they saw no possibility of defense. The German Crown Prince then took his headquarters in Bar-le-Duc for a few days .

On August 24, a Prussian cavalry reconnaissance mission had reached the now abandoned camp of Châlons. Other patrols pushed forward until just outside Reims, interrogated the local mayors and confiscated any mail they could find in the hopes of finding useful information.

As precise information on the movements of Mac-Mahon was not yet available on August 25, it was decided to advance towards Reims the following day. The direct route for Mac-Mahon to Metz had been relocated, and it was considered unlikely that it would take place in the direction of the Belgian border. Another day of rest was planned for August 27th. Had these plans been implemented, Mac-Mahon would have had a good chance of advancing past the German troops to Metz.

Right swing of the Germans

During the course of August 25th, information came in about the actual movements of Mac-Mahon. In order to intercept his army, the German units had to turn to the right. The problem, however, was that an advance was facing west, not north. The decision was made at the headquarters in Bar-le-Duc . At 11 p.m. the order was issued with the changed directions of march. If the right turn could be implemented successfully, then the chances were very good to push the army of Mac-Mahon against the Belgian border and to eliminate it there. At the same time, however, the right turn also meant a great risk. The two German armies were now advancing side by side over a width of almost 50 km and would hardly be able to give each other support. In addition to their own investigation, there were also reports in various newspapers that the French reported on their retreat to Paris. The advance could therefore have turned out to be a mistake and given the French a lead of a week on the march to Paris.

Implementation of the amended plans began on August 26th. The advance was hampered by bad weather and rough terrain. At Vouziers and Grandpré there was contact with French units, without major battles developing.

As a precaution, the III. and II. Corps pulled out to support the Maas Army if necessary. After it became clear that the two corps were not needed, they returned to Metz.

The advance on Damvillers and the securing of the Meuse crossings at Dun and Stenay were ordered for August 27 ; the advance took place largely without contact with the enemy. The French cavalry was lagging behind their own army at this point; normally it would have been their job to secure the army's right flank. This security would have resulted in many contacts between the cavalry, a clear sign that Mac-Mahon would advance as suspected. Only at Buzancy there was a small skirmish between cavalry units. During the day it became clear that the French units had not yet crossed the Meuse. Thereupon the advance on Vouziers and Beaumont was ordered for the next day. Since the units of the Third Army had not yet reached their intended positions, a decisive battle on August 28 was to be avoided.

On the French side there was hardly any information about the German units. After it became clear that Marshal Bazaines could no longer break through the siege lines at Metz, a retreat in the direction of Mézières was to take place. However, this withdrawal was stopped under pressure from Paris. An advance on Montmédy was planned for the 28th . The telegraph lines to Paris were often disrupted by the advances of German cavalry, so that the transmission of messages became increasingly difficult.

On the German side, the last doubts about the strategic situation were removed after a French officer with the complete plan of the march and the formation (Ordre de Bataille) was taken prisoner on August 28th.

August 29th was marked by mutual probing. Since not all units on both sides could take part in the fight, the decision was postponed to the next day. At Nouart there was a battle between the French V Corps (Failly) and the Saxon XII. Corps. Since it was only a matter of determining the strength of the enemy that day, the French withdrew in the afternoon in a southerly direction. The 5th Cavalry Division, now assigned to the Third Army, advanced towards Attigny and destroyed the railway line between Rethel and Mézières.

Political Risks

At the end of August it was clear at the German headquarters that Mac-Mahon had been outmaneuvered and would soon be successfully defeated. Whether this would take place through a displacement to Belgium, a battle with retreat and pursuit or through a cauldron battle was not decisive here. It would only have been problematic if Napoleon III. would have been captured or killed in the ensuing battle. As it became clear in the following days, the domestic political effects were assessed realistically. Bismarck needed Napoleon III. as rulers in order to be able to make a quick peace with him as long as the other European powers continued to be neutral. A protracted struggle with a post-revolutionary republic could extend the war to third countries, would cost unnecessary sacrifices and raise expectations in Germany that would make a peace agreement like that with Austria much more difficult.

Battle of Beaumont

On August 30, 1870, the two German armies were slowly closing the gap between them. They met near Beaumont, where the French V Corps (General de Failly) camped exhausted after the previous day's fighting and a night of marching through. At the same time and completely surprisingly, the French were attacked by two German corps ( IV. And I. Bay. ) Out of the movement. Without the opportunity to organize for the defense, the French were driven back and left 5,700 dead and wounded, 1,800 prisoners and the loss of most of their equipment. The German losses in the attack and in pursuit amounted to a total of 3,400 men, mainly when the fleeing French were able to gather for defense in front of the Meuse. After this battle Mac-Mahon had no choice but to retreat behind the Meuse to Sedan . There he hoped to feed his troops and provide them with supplies and ammunition.

Location on August 31st

Deployment sketch for the Battle of Sedan

The German 3rd Army advanced west of Sedan on Donchery in order to get hold of the last route of retreat of the French to Paris via Mézières. Because the strength and speed of the German troops were underestimated, Mac-Mahon believed that he could reorganize the French army at Sedan and replenish its supplies, even though it was already becoming apparent. On the French side, four corps were involved in the following battle, which were concentrated relatively bundled in the narrow terrain around the old fortress Sedan. The area occupied was hilly, in the middle of it was the forest of La Garenne, with the suburb of Torcy a fortified bridgehead was kept on the left bank of the Meuse. In the southern corner between Daigny, Bazeilles and Balan, the XII. Corps (Lebrun), the east side from Daigny as far as Illy, was taken by the I. Corps (Ducrot), which brought in a division via Douzy. The northern section between Illy and Floing was assigned to the VII Corps under General Felix Douay . The worn out V Corps (General de Failly ) was concentrated in the forest of La Garenne as a reserve , the cavalry concentrated in the Meuse valley. At the height of the battle, these forces faced seven German army corps, which were spread out over a large area around Sedan.

The German chief of staff Helmuth von Moltke ordered the V. and XI. Corps to push between Sedan and the Belgian border in order to cut off the escape route still open to the west for the French. In the south the Meuse Army (6 infantry and 1st cavalry division) with the XII. Corps advanced via Mouzon to Douzy, the IV. Army Corps under General von Alvensleben followed behind to Autrecourt. Coming to the east from the Carignan area, the Guard Corps under Prince August von Württemberg followed the French I. Corps, which was returning to Sedan, to Sally, and the advance guard reached Francheval.

The German 3rd Army (9 infantry and 3 cavalry divisions and detached VI Corps) followed in forced marches behind the battered French troops; their central associations reached the Belgian border on August 31st. On the left wing, the XI. Army corps under General von Gersdorff Donchery occupied and thereby controlled the right bank of the Meuse including the railway line to Mezieres. The Württemberg division stopped south of the Meuse at Flize, behind which the V Army Corps under General von Manstein closed up at Connage. To the west against Mezieres had to secure the 4th, 5th and 6th Cavalry Divisions, where a division of the newly established French XIII. Corps under General Vinoy had been assembled. The headquarters of the Crown Prince of Prussia was moved to Vendresse.

General von der Tann

On the southern section of Sedan, where the heaviest fighting was to develop, the 1st Bavarian Corps under General von der Tann marched , in the second meeting the IV Corps and the 2nd Bavarian Corps under General von Hartmann . On August 31, an advance detachment of the 4th Bavarian Jäger Battalion managed to occupy the railway bridge below Remilly before it could be blown up by French troops. To the north of the town they built a pontoon bridge to cross the Maas again , which arches there. The advancing parts of the battalion crossed the river Maas and reached the place Bazeilles , about 5 km southeast of Sedan with the help of the pontoon bridge . The place was the southernmost defensive position of the French army and occupied by strong troops. So the Bavarian advance detachments were pushed back to the bridge by an energetic counterattack, but it was held.

The nominal German commander-in-chief, King Wilhelm of Prussia, and the General Staff moved into their quarters on the western bank of the river opposite the suburb of Torcy on a hill behind Frénois. Emperor Napoléon III. was also in Sedan, but initially did not intervene in military matters.

Course of the battle

Fight for Bazeilles and the Givonne

General Emanuel Felix de Wimpffen

On September 1st at 4 a.m. the real battle began on the southern section. The 1st Brigade of the 1st Bavarian Division (Lieutenant General von Stephan ) crossed the Remilly Bridge and entered the town of Bazeilles. Strong resistance of the French XII. Corps under General Lebrun forced the Bavarians to send the entire 2nd Division (Major General von Schuhmacher ) into Bazeilles for reinforcement. A fierce house-to-house battle developed in the village for some of the buildings that were stubbornly defended by the French defenders. Prince Georg of Saxony sent all his artillery to the Bavarians' aid , although his 24th Division (General von Nehrhoff ) suffered heavy losses in the attack on La Moncelle. Soon twelve German batteries were available on both sides of the road to Lamecourt. French residents also took part in the fighting. Almost the entire village was destroyed by the fighting, including targeted arson by the Bavarians. Only around 11 o'clock did the Bavarians succeed in penetrating to the town of Balan after the intervention of the Tete of the 8th Division (IV Corps) and thus cutting off the defenders of Bazeilles from the French lines. Under these conditions, the Bavarian troops were able to storm the last base in the completely destroyed place after its defenders, among whom were marines of the " Blue Division ", ran out of ammunition. While the fighting raged in Bazeilles, the XII conquered . Corps after initial difficulties the places Daigny and Moncelle in the lower Givonne gorge. The losses of the Saxon and Prussian troops fighting here were also heavy, as the French repeatedly tried to recapture the place with strong relief attacks.

On September 1, the French troops were still under Marshal Mac-Mahon. When the latter was wounded at 5:45 am, he transferred command to General Ducrot as the most familiar of all commanders with the situation. Ducrot took command at 6:30 a.m. and ordered the French troops to be shifted north to face the danger of encirclement he recognized. At 8:30 a.m., General Wimpffen , who had only arrived in Sedan the day before, took over the command on the basis of an order given to him by the Prime Minister and Minister of War, Count Palikao from Paris, which no one on site had known until then, and withdrew Ducrot's orders because he was following Wanted to break through southeast, towards Carignan .

Western and northern sections

Slowly the Prussians and their allies realized the indecision of the French leadership. They realized that the French did not march to Mézières to avoid enclosure. The battered XI. and the V Corps now closed the pocket around Sedan from the north. The XI. Corps reached the place Floing , about 4 km north of Sedan, and settled there despite heavy counter-attacks by French infantry and cavalry (including three regiments of chasseurs ). The 5th Army Corps sealed off the road leading out of Illy and began the attack on the strategically important Calvary . When the mountain was conquered, Sedan was surrounded all around. General Ducrot commented on the situation by saying: «  Nous sommes dans un pot de chambre et nous y serons emmerdés.  »(German:" We are sitting in a chamber pot, and we will be shit in it. ")

General von Gersdorff

On the French side, the change in leadership and the associated change in strategy now actively promoted its own destruction. Wimpffen withdrew parts of his troops from the VII Corps under General Douay fighting in the north for Floing and Illy in order to strengthen the eastern flank on the Givonne brook. Despite this weakening, Douay threw everything into battle on the northern section to retake Floing and the decisive Calvary. The remnants of his infantry and the entire cavalry reserve stormed against the lines of the German XI. Corps. They broke through as far as the positions of the German artillery between Floing and Illy before the attack was stopped by reserves of the V Corps. The preceding Margueritte cavalry division lost its commander as soon as their attack began, then General Gallifet led the cavalry to attack in three meetings. Three French generals fell with their horsemen, and an unknown number of soldiers were killed or wounded. Two fresh regiments of the German reserve now advanced as far as the village of Cazal and captured it, sometimes with heavy losses. In these battles General von Gersdorff was fatally wounded, General von Schkopp , commander of the 22nd Division , took over the leadership on his behalf. This reduced the base of the French defensive position to the fortifications around Sedan between Cazal and Balan.

On the eastern section, troops of the Prussian Guard Corps attacked the positions of the French I. Corps in the direction of Fond de Givonne. Parts of various French divisions that were in the process of disbanding had fled from the north and south into the Garenne wood north of the village and were almost completely smashed there by the crossfire of German artillery. Resistance was only offered there by company and group when parts of the Prussian 1st Guard Division took the forest and took several thousand prisoners. The storming of Fond de Givonne brought the French lines to collapse, and the troops withdrew into the old fortress of Sedan, under constant artillery fire.

Last French counterattack and armistice

General Reille brings Emperor Napoleon's letter to King Wilhelm I on the battlefield of Sedan . Mural by Carl Steffeck
Emperor Napoleon III. meets Bismarck after the Battle of Sedan, postcard based on a painting by Emil Hünten

It was now possible for Wimpffen to use the remnants of his troops still operational from the fortress to launch a final concentrated attack on Balan and to push back the German and Bavarian troops here. However, the combined fire of the German artillery stifled the French attack before it could be successful beyond Balan. With a counterattack by the Bavarians and the IV Corps it was possible to recapture Balan.

Since the French officers refused to follow him any further, Wimpffen reluctantly, but without options, ordered on the instructions of Napoleon III. retreat to the fortress. After a white flag was hoisted, the guns fell silent. Two German parliamentarians were sent to the fortress by King Wilhelm to demand the surrender. You became Emperor Napoléon III straight away. of whose presence the Germans had not yet known. Around 7 p.m., the imperial adjutant general, Count Reille, rode up to the heights of Frénois and handed over the offer of surrender to King Wilhelm of Prussia.

The Donchery surrender negotiations (September 1-2, 1870, midnight) . Oil on canvas, 3.20 × 4.20 m, diorama in the Sedan Panorama Berlin, Anton von Werner 1885 (lost)
Handover of the emperor Napoleon III. to King Wilhelm of Prussia in Sedan on September 2, 1870
Brandenburg Gate on Sedan Day 1898

The king's answer made Moltke the chief negotiator. Since Napoléon had no command in the army and could only surrender as a person, the French commander in chief had to capitulate with the army. Napoleon spent the night in Sedan. During the negotiations, a ceasefire limited to September 2, 4 a.m., was agreed.

At the negotiations that began at 10:00 p.m., Wimpffen asked Moltke and Bismarck to release his army on word of honor to home or to Algiers. Moltke refused. He and Bismarck demanded captivity for the opposing army. When Wimpffen refused, Moltke threatened to reopen fire after the end of the ceasefire. However, the joint efforts of Bismarck and Moltke succeeded until 01:00 a.m. to explain to Wimpffen the futility of the further fight, whereupon the ceasefire was extended to 09:00 a.m. so that a French council of war could decide on the decision - whether to be a prisoner of war or to continue fighting could be. This council of war took place on September 2nd from 7:00 a.m. and ended with the acceptance of the surrender, which, after Napoleon's attempt at intervention had also failed, was signed at 11:00 a.m. At Wimpffen's request, Napoleon went to Bismarck at 5:00 a.m. in order to obtain better conditions of surrender from him or from King Wilhelm. Wilhelm refused, however, to receive the Kaiser before the surrender, and Bismarck referred to Moltke's exclusive competence in this purely military question.

39 generals, 2,830 officers and 83,000 soldiers were taken prisoners of war. In addition, 21,000 men had been captured during the fighting. Because Bazaine with its 180,000 men was still locked in Metz, France had no more capable army in the field after the defeat of Sedan.

On the afternoon of September 3, news of the defeat and the capture came through a telegram from the Emperor to the Empress in Paris. On September 4th the Chamber of Deputies was stormed by the masses, shortly afterwards the emperor's deposition was announced and the republic was proclaimed. That same night the Empress left Paris and fled to England. A government of national defense was formed in Paris. a. Jules Favre and Léon Gambetta belonged to.

Sedan day

In the later German Empire , " Sedan Day" was celebrated on September 2nd as a patriotic holiday instead of a national holiday that did not yet exist . Sedan Day was abolished on August 27, 1919. Before that, it was mainly a holiday of the bourgeoisie loyal to the emperor, the nobility, the military, the Prussian civil servants and the rural population, not or hardly any of the workers.


In Germany, the names of squares and streets are reminiscent of the Battle of Sedan, e.g. B. in Freiburg , Hamburg , Hamm , Hanover (at the same time tram station), Kiel , Cologne and Lünen . In Wuppertal there is the Sedanstraße high school . The sedan oaks, which were planted in large numbers at the time, have been preserved in some German cities to this day, for example in Heilbronn , Soltau or Halle (Saale) , whereas the majority have been forgotten or no longer exist. In the smallest villages in Germany, such as Sprottischwaldau / Lower Silesia with 16 houses, the culture of remembrance was cultivated. In Munich, many streets around the Ostbahnhof, today's districts of Au-Haidhausen and Giesing, were named after this, which is why it is still popularly known today as the Franzosenviertel (e.g. Balanstrasse, Orleansstrasse, Pariser Platz).


  • Gerd Fesser : Sedan 1870. An ominous victory . Paderborn 2019, ISBN 978-3-506-79235-8 .
  • Theodor Fontane: The war against France 1870–1871. Complete edition in 3 volumes, Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza, Reprint 1873/1876/2004, ISBN 3-937135-25-1 (Volume 1); ISBN 3-937135-26-X (Volume 2) and ISBN 3-937135-27-8 (Volume 3).
  • Jan N. Lorenzen: 1870 - Sedan without a legend . In: ders: The great battles. Myths, people, fates . Campus Verlag, Frankfurt 2006, ISBN 3-593-38122-2 , pp. 141-184.
  • Schmidhuber (Ed.): The Franco-German War 1870/71 with special consideration of the participation of Bavaria. Extract from the General Staff Works. JF Rietsch, Landshut 1900, pp. 78–119.
  • Dennis E. Showalter : The Face of Modern War. Sedan, September 1 and 2, 1870. In: Stig Förster, Dierk Walter, Markus Pöhlmann (eds.): Battles of world history. From Salamis to Sinai. 2nd Edition. Munich 2004, ISBN 3-423-34083-5 .


Historical text sources
Friedrich Engels : About the war . , Transcription of a text from The Pall Mall Gazette , No. 1733, September 2, 1870 and following days
Official press of Prussia from September 7, 1870
Official press of Prussia from September 6, 1871 as an annual review
Secondary sources
Sedan . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 14, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 797.
New historian texts
Geoffrey Wawro: The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870–1871. Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-521-61743-X .

Film adaptations

Web links

Commons : Battle of Sedan  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Howard: The Franco-Prussion War . London 1981, p. 183.
  2. a b c d e f g Geoffrey Wawro: The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870–1871. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-61743-X .
  3. Geoffrey Wawro: The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-61743-X , pp. 92-93 and 193.
  4. ^ The French army was supplied by general offices; However, the intendants of the troops were only appointed after the outbreak of war and were supposed to build up or replenish their stocks and supplies through local purchases, which only succeeded in exceptional cases. It was therefore often left to the soldiers to provide themselves with food.
  5. the I. Corps had lost almost all of its equipment at Wörth.
  6. ^ Biography Wilhelm von Tümpling in the (ADB). Vol. 38, pp. 785f.
  7. Wilhelm I, Bismarck, War Minister Roon, Leopold von Bayern and Moltke were present. Diary of Leopold Prince of Bavaria
  8. ^ Wilhelm Oncken : The Age of Emperor Wilhelm. (Individual edition: ISBN 978-3-8460-3638-9 ) In: W. Oncken (Ed.): General history in individual representations , Fourth Main Department, Sixth Part, Volume 2, Berlin: Grote, 1890 and more often, p. 144 -147.
  9. ^ Wilhelm Oncken : The Age of Emperor Wilhelm. (Individual edition: ISBN 978-3-8460-3638-9 ) In: W. Oncken (Ed.): General history in individual representations , Fourth Main Department, Sixth Part, Volume 2, Berlin: Grote, 1890 and more, p. 162 .
  10. ^ Wilhelm Oncken : The Age of Emperor Wilhelm. (Individual edition: ISBN 978-3-8460-3638-9 ) In: W. Oncken (Ed.): General history in individual representations , Fourth Main Department, Sixth Part, Volume 2, Berlin: Grote, 1890 and more often, p. 167 .
  11. Werner Stuber: At 137 years of age, the sedan oak is still young . In: voice ; accessed on May 14, 2016.
  12. Wulfes Andres: From Sedaneiche, Blaurand and Klöterigem End . In: Böhme-Zeitung , June 26, 2015; accessed on May 14, 2016.
  13. Sedaneiche (Reideburg) on the “Halle im Bild” page; accessed on May 14, 2016.
  14. There was one in Hamburg-Hohenfelde, east of the Sankt Gertrud Church (title of a file in the State Archives ).

Coordinates: 49 ° 42 ′ 0 ″  N , 4 ° 56 ′ 40 ″  E