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1870/71 in Colour

Uniforms and Equipment – personal experiences of German soldiers during the Franco-Prussian War

out of print

About the book

Hardcover with dust jacket, thread binding, 31 coloured photographs, 120 pages total, format: 29.5 x 26 cm


Markus Stein Graphics and colouring of black and white photographs Luc Heinrich


€ 49.90


978-3-903341-27-2 (French)
978-3-903341-25-8 (German)


1.00 kg


In 1870/71, the German Army intended to go to war against France as a body, disciplined and dressed according to the regulations. The reality of the situation, which looked quite different, has hardly been dealt with before.

Up to this day, military historians and uniform collectors are interested in the appearance of soldiers at their everyday duties. It had always been necessary for soldiers in the field to improvise. Varying weather conditions often resulted in impractical items of uniform being discarded along the way. There were frequent disruptions to supply lines and in ice-cold weather wearing an enemy uniform was preferable to freezing, even with the resulting risk of confusion.

This booked is based on numerous personal accounts, notes and anecdotes about the appearance of the German troops in 1870/71 gathered by the author Markus Stein. They were witnessed first-hand and experienced by the soldiers who marched or sat, sodden, in their saddles for days on end. This book departs from the familiar organisation into individual states and their branches of service. Instead, after a brief introduction on developments in general, it deals with specific parts of the uniform such as trousers, shoes and headgear. It also contains interesting insights into the soldiers’ experiences with their firearms.

This is a book dedicated to a fascinating aspect of research – the disorder emerging from the otherwise extremely ordered appearance of the troops.

These lively accounts are complemented by 31 black-and-white photographs that have been coloured by Luc Heinrich, bringing to life the soldiers of the war of 1870/71. The photographs have been selected to present as wide a range as possible of the troops involved.