1. France's Declaration of War
" Some accounts give the date for France's declaration of war as July 15;
other accounts state that it was July 19. Most agree that the declaration
of war followed on receipt of the 'Ems Telegram' on July 13. Were there two
dates that claim the "declaration de la guerre"?"
Actually, there was a debate in the "Conseil des ministre" on
July 15, and they decided to mobilize. July 16, the credits were
voted for the war. But the official "declaration de guerre" was
on July 19.
2. The opening battle of the Franco-Prussian War outside Sarrebrueken
"My great uncle was born in the Rhineland (Bernkastel), studied in Metz
and in 1866 emigrated >from Prussia to France. He fled Paris after July 22,
1870 for his parent's home in Sarrebrueken. There he claimed he saw the
first battle of the war >from his parent's livingroom window. Was this
September 4 or August 4? Again, the historical records appear contradictory."
August 2: French troups go to Sarrebruck and there are some skirmish. But
August 4 is the real begining of the war. Prussians take the fortress of
September 4 is the end of second Empire and begining of IIIrd Republique.
My source: "Journal de la France et des Francais - Chronologie politique
culturelle et religieuse de Clovis ed. 2000", Quarto - Gallimard, Paris,