The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War, often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused primarily by France's determination to reassert its dominant position in continental Europe, which appeared in question following the decisive Prussian victory over Austria in 1866. According to some historians, Prussian chancellor Otto Von Bismark deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to induce four independent southern German states—Baden, Wurttemburg, Bavaria and Hesse Darmstadt—to join the North German Confederation; other historians contend that Bismarck exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. All agree that Bismarck recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.

    France mobilised its army on 15 July 1870, leading the North German Confederation to respond with its own mobilisation later that day. On 16 July 1870, the French Parliament voted to declare war on Prussia; France invaded German territory on 2 August. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more effectively than the French and invaded northeastern France on 4 August. German forces were superior in numbers, training, and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology, particularly railways and artillery.

    A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, resulted in the French Emperor Napoleon 111 captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated; a Government of National Defence was formed in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. German forces fought and defeated new French armies in northern France, then beseiged Paris for over four months, before it fell on 28 January 1871, effectively ending the war.

    In the waning days of the war, with German victory all but assured, the German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm 1 and Chancellor Bismarck; with the notable exception of Austria, the vast majority of Germans were united under a nation-state for the first time in history. Following an armistice with France, the Treaty was signed on 10 May 1871, giving Germany billions of francs in war indemnity, as well as most of Alsace and parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial Territory of Alsace Lorraine.

    The war had a lasting impact on Europe. By hastening the process of German unification, it significantly altered the balance of power on the continent; with the new German nation state supplanting France as the dominant European land power. Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades, developing a reputation for adept and pragmatic diplomacy that raised Germany's global stature and influence. In France, it brought a final end to imperial rule and began the first lasting republican government. Resentment over France's defeat triggered a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune, which managed to seize and hold power for two months before its bloody suppression; the event would influence the politics and policies of the Third Republic.

    Item Description

    This grouping consists of a 3 medal group and extensive documentation for a soldier that served in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. The soldier was Sturmann H Boetz who served in the 3rd Company of the 8th Jager Battalion of the 43rd Infantry Brigade.  


    War Commemorative Medal of 1870 - 1871

    The War Commemorative Medal of 1870 - 1871 is a campaign medal which was instituted by Kaiser Wilhelm I as the King of Prussia. It was made to commemorate service in the Franco Prussian War and was presented to members of the German military for both combat (bronze) and non-combat (steel) roles. Each version had minor differences in design, size, and inscription (if present at all) based on the maker of the medal. This example has the inscription around the edge 'AUS EROBERTEM GESHUETZ' meaning 'TAKEN FROM CAPTURED CANNON'.

    Prussian Landwehr Service Award 2nd Class

    This version of the Landwehr long service award was initially instituted in 1913 shortly before the start of the war. The prior version, an enameled clasp, was found to be unfavorable by those who received and wore it. To rectify the issue the shape was changed and an example (such as this one) could be purchased to replace the prior version.

    Prussian Centenary Medal

    The Prussian Centenary Medal of 1897 was instituted by Kaiser Wilhelm II to commemorate the 100th birthday of his grandfather, the late Kaiser Wilhelm I. The medal was awarded to active members of all branches of the military including enlisted, NCO, and officer positions. It was awarded to veterans of the first and second Schleswig, Austro-Prussian, and Franco-Prussian Wars as well.

    The documentation consists of Medal and service award documents all named to Boetz making the medals attributal to him, also many documents relating to his service that I just do not have the time to translate.

    Whilst we see medals for sale individually and in groups from the war of 1870 we do not see such an extensive documentation to support the medals all to the same man.