October 27 - 1870 - The Surrender of Metz
From the moment war broke out, the Franco-Prussian War was a massive disaster for the French. After initial battles in the summer of 1870, the large force under Marshal Francois Bazaine went into the fortifications of the city of Metz in Eastern France. There, the French Army was put under siege by a Prussian force led by Prince Friedrich Karl. In order to assist the beleaguered soldiers at Metz, French Emperor Napoleon III formed the massive Army of Chalons to relieve Metz. Unfortunately for him, he never made it to Metz. At the Battle of Sedan, on September 1 and 2, Napoleon III would not just be routed by a Prussian Army, but actually would be captured. The French Empire was dissolved, and a new Third French Republic was proclaimed. Yet the force at Metz held out under Bazaine, who was trying to keep the Empire going with himself as a leader. Meanwhile, the Government of National Defense in Paris was trying to restructure the French war, as Paris was now under siege. By October 27, Bazaine's men were threatened with starvation, and he surrendered. Notably, he refused allowing his men to perform in honors of war, and quietly was captured by the Prussians.