Carl Rückert's Memoirs of the Franco-Prussian War

  • Alfred Kelly

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvii
  2. With My Rucksack: The Unvarnished Campaign Memoirs of an Infantryman from the Year 1870 by Carl Rückert

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Alfred Kelly
      Pages 3-4
    3. Alfred Kelly
      Pages 5-13
    4. Alfred Kelly
      Pages 195-200
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 201-203

About this book


This book offers the first English-language translation of the finest soldier’s memoir to emerge from the Franco-Prussian War, titled With my Rucksack: The Unvarnished Campaign Memoirs of an Infantryman from the Year 1870 by Carl Rückert. Lasting from 1870–1871, this was the war that made the modern German nation and set Europe on the path to World War I, and Carl Rückert offers an unrivalled worm’s eye view of the experiences of common soldiers who fought in it. A Hessian lance corporal in the German army, he was a close observer of daily hardships, class tensions, the influence of nationalism, and the terrors of combat. He was gravely wounded in the war’s decisive battle at Gravelotte, where he was among the first Europeans to face the horrors of breech-loading rifles, machine guns, and accurate artillery. Accompanied by an insightful translator’s introduction and a wealth of footnotes, this book is an invaluable link to the everyday realities of the Franco-Prussian War.


Franco-Prussian War War Memoir Nineteenth-century European history War Veterans field hospitals Combat experience Experiences of War War of 1870 Otto von Bismarck industrial war Battle of Gravelotte German nationalism Vionville modern warfare German Empire

Authors and affiliations

  • Alfred Kelly
    • 1
  1. 1.Hamilton CollegeClinton, NYUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-95803-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-95804-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site