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The Bayonets Of The Republic: Motivation And Tactics In The Army Of Revolutionary France, 1791-94 (History & Warfare)

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813329451
ISBN-10: 9780813329451
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John A. Lynn, an expert on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century warfare professor, is a professor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an adjunct professor at Ohio State University. He lives in Champaign, Illinois.

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Product Details

  • Series: History & Warfare
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (September 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780813329451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813329451
  • ASIN: 0813329450
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,009,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin F. Kiley on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the ready availability of material in print, very little is actually understood about the French tactical system that was developed, in both theory and practice, from the period beginning with the disastrous French defeat in the Seven Years' War until the advent of Napoleon as French head of state in 1799. The system has been described as merely 'column versus line' and as the made-up term 'impulse tactics' in other volumes on the period. Here, a case study has been done, and quite succinctly and successfully, by the author on the French Armee du Nord during the period 1793-1794.
The French Revolution, besides being a somewhat tumultuous experience for the French nation, was convulsive for the French army. Inheriting a dispirited force from the ancien regime, with a good proportion of its officers deciding to emigrate, and commanded by thoroughly unwashed sans culottes, old Royalist officers who had courageously decided to stay at the risk of their own lives, and recently promoted sergeants and junior officers, these elements were infused with the 'levee en masse' with no time to train them into the steadiness demanded by the 1791 Reglement. Undaunted, those in command, remembering the experiments between the two wars in the use of battalion columns and skirmisher swarms, reverted to this on the battlefield, finally hammering out victories over the armies of reaction and the kings. This excellent volume chronicles the experiences of only one of the myriad revolutionary armies and its progress in the military art. In those parameters what results is fascinating.
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By B. N. Peacock on March 12, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone wanting to understand how the rag-tag, disorganized French Army became a formidable force must read Lynn's book. Scholarly without being boring, it leads the reader through the opening stages of the Revolutionary Wars, Concentrating on the Armee du Nord, the largest potion of the French Army during this time. A must read for those interested in tactics and men.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on February 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a very academic study of the French Armée du Nord in 1791-4. There are only two maps and no useful appendices. Lynn follows the non-military approach of Janowitz, looking at small group dynamics, political education, etc. There is useful analysis of French doctrine on use of columns, bayonets, artillery, etc. Would have been much better if he had analyzed French forces using more extensive methodology; Lynn ignored intelligence, command control, engineers and only touched on logistics. Lynn also ignored Austrian and Prussian enemies: how good were they? He should have analyzed key battles in greater detail. This was a distinctly non-military study of a military issue. Lynn concludes that the French had developed a new, flexible tactical doctrine by 1794 that when combined with revolutionary élan, made them a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield.
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