Hi John, yes, this is a notorious story about the irony of the Franco-Prussian War. That said, one of the most fascinating things about the Siege of Paris to me is that many Parisians DIDN'T want to give up. In fact, the capitulation to the Prussians was the spark needed to start the violent Commune of Paris, a sort of proto-Communist self-imposed government (for those who see it in a positive light) and/or a reign of terror and extremism (for many non-Communards who lived through it). Even the Parisians who didn't have a political opinion and were tired of the Siege behaved admirably - maybe even a bit crazily - during the bombardment. Many refused to leave their homes and took shelter in their basements. Street urchins sold fragments of shells, newspapers printed caricatures of basement dwellers covered in "champignons de Paris" (Paris mushrooms). It was a very interesting mentality, to say the least. Also interestingly, while there were several hundred fatalities, the bombings miraculously spared a lot of people - there were many stories of shells not detonating and other narrow escapes. The bombing of the French government against the Communard rebels (as well as the Communards' spiteful decision to burn many Parisian monuments) would end up doing far greater damage, and that period overall would cause immense loss of lives.

is a writer & worrier. She lives in Paris with an eccentric Frenchman & a delightfully weird little boy. Besides them, she loves books, history, & cookies.

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