Those are, enthusiasm, excitement of the crowd in the streets of Paris in this July 1870 such as they are perceived by Jacques alias Jules Garnier, young 31 year old bachelor engineer back from a mission overseas which proved to be a full success. They meet skepticism in his mind and he tries to imagine how it would have been otherwise with simply a little more thinking and of clear-sightedness, how defeats (Wissembourg, Worth, Beaumont, Sedan, Bazeilles) whatever could have piled up and how, eventually, political circumstances or coward ices were able to contribute to the disaster.
"I accompany my son said to me a fellow with white beard, but still sturdy and, I was surprised to see him armed with a chassepot and loaded with foot soldier's bag; I know the job and should indeed follow him; in any cases if it is need that I take again the tool, I am ready " Good people! And how those who plunged you into this one sided and ill timed fight have to have remorse … So thought I, splitting there with difficulty the crowd as I came up by boulevard Montmartre which it was necessary to cross. There, my intimate reflections might be postponed because there was no need of concerns to cross this compact mass of human beings, horses and cars; all were so fitted into each other that the least relative movement had become impossible and, by jumping in a car then in another, it became possible to me to cross this crowd, the most condensed that I had seen in my life.
The next day and the following days crossed continuously under my windows our nice soldiers singing the Marseillaise; caissons, vans, coaches, pulled at top speed, shook the ground and our heavy stony houses; the express couriers, a fold in the hand, crossed, followed each other in the gallop; all the time passed in an alert step happy looking officers …
A victorious sovereign is an immovable sovereign; so is war the last blow of die of the leader of a State. It is obviously this maxim that Napoleon III wished to put into practice; it was all the more awkward, as he was not yet reduced to this point… "
As a man of action, he conceives idea, on one hand, to form irregulars of the kind of those that worked wonders in 1815 in the same area, on the other hand, to build special war machines: torpedoes which his knowledge of the nitroglycérine allowed but also of a steam machine gun which he had made make in Lyon. Gambetta's October 9, 1870 proclamation " Help, I want to save with you our homeland! " at once pulls up his conviction and he meets Mr. de Freycinet, representative of the Minister of the war in Tours where had got organized the government of National Defense.
"The committee which had heard me on October 20, handed to the Minister on the following 22 a favorable report in which one approved not only my projects but one asked for the immediate manufacture of machines of this kind. The same day and on this first report, the committee of armament voted necessary funds for these works while, besides, the Minister of the war conferred me the rank of major of the engineering on the auxiliary title with license to raise certain number of voluntary companies of engineering. I rushed to Saint Étienne bringing officer's commissions in blank; I invested with it some devoted and capable people who went down to work of recruitment in this country of workers sturdy and accustomed in fatigues and to the dangers of the life of coal workers. I began immediately the manufacture of my torpedoes."
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