Perhaps taking place in July 1870, this scene represents the men of the Bavarian 5th Jäger Battalion (light infantry) engaging French troops somewhere in the hills of the Vosges. The landscape is typical.
The 5th Jäger was one of the only units of the Bavarian army (along with 3 other Jäger battalions) to be equiped with the brand new Werder M1869 rifle. I already talked about how the other regular pattern, the converted muzzle-loading Podewils-Lindner was a totally outdated, slow and unreliable weapon in comparison of its competitors. On the opposite, the Werder was probably the best military rifle of its time. That's why people said that the Bavarian army in 1870 had the worst and the best rifle at the same time, which is kind of true.
The Werder rifle earned the nickname of "Blitzgewehr" - "Ligthning rifle" - thanks to its extremely good rate of fire. It was one of the first rifle to use metallic (copper) cartridges instead of paper ones (whom had to be pierced all the way throu