F is for Franco-Prussian War

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata.

F (1)

F is for Franco-Prussian War: (4 August 1870 – 10 May 1871) The conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded. Prussian ambitions in Europe had become apparent when in 1864 they demanded that Denmark ceded Schleswig-Holstein back to the German people, despite many Danes living in the territory. On 3rd February 1864, a Prussian-Austrian army forced the Danish army to retreat, before promised troops from Sweden-Norway could intervene.

So, when Prussia invaded France across the border near Metz, they were met by a French army bolstered by the elite Mjölnir militia. In three critical defeats of Prussian armies over the next nine months, the cause of German Unification was delayed, although Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismark, with the intervention of forces of reason on all sides, pursued a path of diplomacy through trade and dynastic marriages emulating the success of the Norse alliances stretching from Kanata to Eastern Rurikid.


A French Cavalry Officer Guarding Captured Bavarian Soldiers, Watercolor with gouache, private collection. (1875). Jean-Baptiste Édouard Detaille (1848–1912)

In our timeline: Denmark did lose Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia, then Prussia continued to unite Germany. France was heavily defeated and lost territory to Germany. As Wikipedia says, “Many historians praise Bismark as a visionary who was instrumental in uniting Germany and, once that had been accomplished, kept the peace in Europe through adroit diplomacy.” When he died a younger Kaiser ruled Germany, one that he clashed with in his final years. “Historians stress that Bismarck’s peace-oriented, ‘saturated continental diplomacy’ was increasingly unpopular because it consciously reined in any expansionist drives. In dramatic contrast stands the ambition of Kaiser Wilhelm II‘s Weltpolitik to secure the Reich’s future through expansion, leading to World War I. Likewise Bismarck’s policy to deny the military a dominant voice in foreign political decision making was overturned by 1914 as Germany became an armed state.”

If German Unification had gone down a different path, would there have been World War I? Would Hitler or Stalin have emerged in a radically reformed Europe with no military superpowers and based on trade?


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Insecure and Invalid  

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge


Apologies that I missed my monthly post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day, although only by about twenty-four hours. I even have a valid excuse and a doctor’s note – well pages of notes and homework.

Wind back to Monday – basically, I had woken early Monday morning with terrible MS spasms throughout my body. They were so bad that my wife Juanita thought she was losing me, but she helped me through the nightmare. Then throughout the day, there was a growing stream of MS symptoms starting with an inability to type coherently. That was very clear in my final post on Facebook:

“After a terrible night when Juanita Clarke was luckily tere for me, psting is very hard as mystyping everything. So apologies for siaslence.”

From then on, my wife had to keep everyone on Facebook informed of what happened. The shaking became uncontrollable and I slid out of my wheelchair at which point, Juanita rang her granddaughter Jessica, who dashed around to help. Her middle son Jason also arrived. I then vomited up my supper all over the office carpet. Jason phoned 911 and the paramedics arrived in a fire truck and an ambulance.

StLukesbuilding-mer-hospital-lm jpg

I was taken to the ER at St Luke’s Hospital, Meridian where they diagnosed pneumonia which had triggered those MS symptoms. In short, I ended up spending three nights in hospital being pumped with drugs and fluids, sucked of blood, and cared for by a great team at St Luke’s – too many to mention by name but you know who you are, especially if I grilled you about your ancestry or talked incessantly about my writing.


Throughout this all I missed my wife, Juanita, although she did visit me – at the hospital where she spent two night after her heart attack in late December. Our dogs were always on my thoughts as they couldn’t visit, but I had to confront everything I would lose if I gave up. So now I am back home and posting this explanation for my tardiness and failure to post yesterday.

Yes, I know I posted ‘D is for Donibane’ but some of my A to Z Challenge posts were written and scheduled in advance. However, the last one written and scheduled is ‘I is for Ice’. Hopefully, I can stay ahead, but I won’t be taking Sundays off unless the doctor orders me to rest…. which she has.