Napoléon III is among the emperors who is held in the highest esteem. Not only did he ensure French colonial expansion (mainly in Africa), he was also successful at thwarting Austria's plans to extinguish Italian independence. The rise of a quasi-unified Germany under Austrian leadership (which also contains vast Eastern European territories) remains a huge problem for l'Empire, which also explains the troop movements and fortification in Alsace. A war with Europe's most prolific industrial power would have disastrous effects, as the threat from the East can hardly be handled alone (even with vast amounts of troops hailing from the colonies). Yet the tensions with Britain are even worse, since colonial conflicts with the United Kingdom were common in the last 5 decades. Meanwhile, only the alliance with the Russian Empire seems to be lasting, which helps to encircle her powerful Eastern neighbour. There has been no major war on the European continent for said 5 decades, and all major powers continue to increase their military capacity.