In the first part of this comprehensive all-new two-volume military history of the Franco-Prussian War, Quintin Barry presents a detailed account of the war against the French Imperial Army waged by the armies of the German Confederation, directed by that supreme military mind, Helmuth von Moltke. The author places Moltke and his strategic planning in the context of the European balance of power following the ending of the Austria Prussian War of 1866, before exploring the initial mobilization and deployment of the armies in 1870. All of the battles of this opening round of the war are described in detail, including Weissenburg, Worth, Spicheren, Borny-Colombey, Mars la Tour, Gravelotte, Beaumont and, of course, Sedan. The book ends as the Second Empire of Napoleon III lies defeated, crushed by the German armies directed by von Moltke. The author has made full use of an extensive number of German and French language sources. His detailed text is accompanied by a number of black and white illustrations and newly drawn battle maps. Orders of battle are also provided.