Wednesday 21 June 2023



Regular readers of this blog will know that I can take my own sweet time in updating it with new material. Compared to the 15 years+ it has taken to get this project over the line, that seems pretty efficient. 

I must have started this at least 15 years ago and got it 90% finished. It then lay on the shelf whilst other things got in the way. I have finally managed to get it done and I must admit I am quite pleased with it. This is the first in what will hopefully be a series of short monographs on aspects of the Franco-Prussian War that interest me. 

The mitrailleuse is one of those subjects that is often talked about in relation to the battles of 1870, but in truth is little understood. Michael Howard's dismissive comments on its role and usefulness have been uncritically echoed by most subsequent English language writers and I am pleased to make a start in adding a little balance to the debate.

The book traces the development of the weapon before moving on to examine its technical characteristics and its tactical use on the battlefield. It will I hope, convince people that it was not a largely useless curiosity, but an imaginative and, for the time, remarkably well engineered piece of military technology. It had its shortcomings to be sure, but is deserving of a long-overdue reappraisal.

It is currently receiving its final proof reading before heading off to the printers. As it is a fairly specialised subject, I will probably only have a hundred copies printed initially, so if you would like to reserve one, please contact me at Price will be around £18.00 plus postage.

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