|The Franco German War broke out at the instigation of Prussian minister Bismarck who believed the war would help unify Germany. Bismarck maneuvered so that France would declare war on Germany, thus helping to stroke German nationalism. On September 2, 1870 the French army was defeated at the battle of Sedan. The French commanders, as well Napoleon III were captured. The Germans advanced steadily on Paris. The fort at Metz held out until October 28th. On December 27th the forts surrounding Paris were placed under siege. On January 28, 1871 Paris fell and the French surrendered.