Nach Paris - The Franco - Prussian War of 1870
The war of 1870 is perhaps more accurately called the Franco - German war, as all the remaining states of Germany participated in the war. It can be divided into two main periods. Firstly the 'Imperial' phase when the Imperial French army resisted the invasion. This phase ended with the surrender of the bulk of the Imperial army at Sedan and Metz. Following this a French republic was proclaimed which attempted to continue the war. During this 'Republican' phase the Germans besieged Paris. With most of the fighting being attempts to break or protect the siege of Paris by the rival forces. In this article I will provide details of the forces that participated in this conflict. Using the proposed amendments to Fire and Fury in W.I. 119. In addition I will provide a brief outline of possible other European participation in the war. Finally I will include a scenario to re fight the bulk of the battle of Froeschwiller.
The French Army

Weapons: French infantry during the initial, 'Imperial' , phase of the war were equipped with the excellent Chassepot rifle, a 2BL. During the 'Republican' phase the weaponry was more mixed. Some units were armed with the Chassepot, but many were armed with a variety of imported firearms. These will be either MLR's or 1BL's depending on type. Indeed some of the rifles used were unable to fire, so some units should perhaps be restricted to close combat. The artillery was all rifled (RA), although small numbers of other types may have been used later on. In addition the Mitrailleuse machine gun (MG) was also used.

Tactical Doctrine: The 'African' troops and some other elite formations retained there aggressive spirit and count as 'Impetuous'. While many of the poorly trained republican soldiers reverted to attack columns and thus should use 'Assault Tactics', with a -1 on the maneuver chart if not in attack or march column. Chasseur units may use skirmish tactics, as may some republican units. Cavalry may not dismount unless the scenario allows it. Finally early French artillery doctrine emphasized the use of 'grand batteries'. So during the 'Imperial' phase only divisional artillery and Mitrailleuse may be attached to units. In addition no piece may be deployed in front of the battleline, they must be deployed along side or behind the battleline. I am unsure if this practice was continued during the 'Republican' period so this is optional then.

Troop Quality: Generally the quality of the Imperial French army was high, while that of the Republican army was low but very variable. The Imperial Guard should be rated as elite. The Chasseurs, the 'African' troops and the cavalry should be rated as crack. While the rest of the field army are veteran. For the 'Republican' period the remnants of the Imperial army should follow the guidelines above, with units such as the marines and the foreign legion counting as crack. The new units raised by the republic were generally bad and should be mostly levy with a few green units.

Leadership: The leadership of the French army, particularly at the higher ranks, handicapped the performance. In the 'Imperial' phase divisional commanders and higher will rarely be 'exceptional' and a third or more will be 'poor'. In contrast the lower level commanders often held the regiments together under difficult circumstances. Therefore a third or more unit commanders should be 'exceptional'. During the 'Republican' phase the higher leadership improved, so there should be less 'poor' commanders and some 'exceptional'. On the other hand many of the experience lower leaders had been lost and so there should be few 'exceptional' unit commanders.

Organization: The following is the "standard" organization of French Imperial formations in 1870. There were many exceptions to this on the field of battle. During the Republican phase organization was based on this, but with even greater variations. The number of stands given depict the units at full strength, in brackets are the number of stands if the unit is skirmishing. The first number is appropriate to the 1:300 scale and the second to the 1:200 scale, if different.

French Corps
Corps HQ: 1 Leader.
Corps Artillery: 2 / 4 Foot Batteries. 1 / 2 Horse Batteries.
3 Infantry Divisions each:
1 Leader.
1 Foot Battery stand 1/2 / 1 Mitrailleuse stand
1 Chasseur unit of 2 (3) / 3 (4) stands
4 Line units of 6 / 9 stands
1 Cavalry Division:
1 Leader.
2 or 3 Cav Brig of 5 / 8 to 7 / 10 stands


The Germans

Weapons: Generally the German units used the Dreyse Needle Gun, counting as a NG. The exception to this was the Bavarian formations, which were armed with the Podewils rifle. Some sources identify this as similar to the needle gun, while others claim this is a muzzle loading rifle. Therefore it counts as either a MLR or NG depending on which version you believe. All artillery was Krupp breech loading and counts as BLA. 

Tactical Doctrine: All Jaeger units may use skirmish tactics. All infantry may use assault tactics when in column of attack. Cavalry may only dismount as part of a scenario. German Corps have a staff officer, counting as a 'poor' leader. This officer is used to give extra flexibility in employment of the artillery and can command any artillery units.

Troop Quality: The bulk of the German forces should be rated as Veteran with the following exceptions. Guard units should be rated as Crack or Elite, while Jagers should be Crack. Bavarian, Wurttemburg and Baden (the south German) line units should generally be Green as their performance during the war was not very committed. Landwehr units should similarly be Green with some Levy units. Finally German cavalry was not of the highest standard and should be average or below. The exception to this was the Saxon cavalry, which was above average and should be rated as Crack.

Leadership: The higher leadership of the German forces was quite good. 10 to 30% of divisional or higher leaders should be 'exceptional', while a smaller percentage than this are 'poor'. Each Corps gets a 'poor' staff officer to be used as noted above. Many, if not all of the south German commanders should be 'poor' because of their lack of enthusiasm for the war. Approximately one in six of the unit commanders should be 'exceptional'.

Organization: The same format as used above for the French will be used.

Bavarian Infantry Corps: Prussian Infantry Corps
Corps HQ: Corps HQ:
1 Leader (Corps Commander). 1 Leader (Corps Commander).
1 'Poor' Leader (Staff Officer). 1 'Poor' Leader (Staff Officer).
Corps Artillery: 1 Horse Battery. 3 / 4 Foot Batteries. Corps Artillery: 1 to 2 / 1 to 3 Horse Batteries. 2 / 3 Foot Batteries.
Corps Cavalry Brigade: 1 Cavalry unit of 6 / 9 stands. Corps Light Infantry: 1 Jaeger unit of 3(4) / 5(7) stands.
2 Infantry Divisions each: 2 Infantry Divisions each:
1 Leader. 1 Leader.
2 Infantry units of 10 / 15 stands. 4 Infantry units of 10 / 15 stands.
2 Infantry units of 6 / 9 stands. 2 / 3 Foot Batteries.
2 or 3 Jaeger units of 3(4) / 5(7) stands. 1 Cavalry Regiment of 2 / 3 stands.
2 / 3 Foot Batteries.  
1 Cavalry Regiment of 2 / 3 stands. Prussian Cavalry Division:
  Divisional HQ: 1 Leader.
Baden Division: Divisional Artillery: 1 Horse Battery.
As Prussian Infantry Division with the following exceptions. 2 or 3 Cavalry Brigades each of 4 / 6 or 6 / 9 stands
Divisional artillery 4 / 6 batteries and 1 Jager unit
(Fusilier battalion, 4th infantry regiment).
There was a cavalry brigade of 6 / 9 stands
instead of the normal regiment.
Prussian Landwehr Division:
  As Infantry Division but with 1 / 2 batteries.
Wurttemburg Division:  
1 Leader. Hessian Infantry Division (25th Division, IX Corps):
6 Infantry Regiments of 6 /9 stands. As Prussian but with 2 Jaeger units, as Corps Jaeger,
3 Jaeger units of 3(4) / 5(7) stands. 2 cavalry regiments.
1 Cavalry Brigade of 5 / 8 stands. An extra foot battery in 1:200 scale.
4 / 6 Artillery stands.  
  Saxon Formations (XII Corps and XII Cavalry Division):
  As Prussian, with the following exceptions.
  The 23rd Division had an extra infantry regiment, while the 24th had 2 Jaeger units.
  At corps level there were no Jaegers, 3 / 4 foot batteries and 1 / 2 horse batteries.