- Series: History & Warfare
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Westview Press (September 13, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813329450
- ISBN-13: 978-0813329451
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,672,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bayonets Of The Republic: Motivation And Tactics In The Army Of Revolutionary France, 1791-94 (History & Warfare)
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Top customer reviews
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.
Officers tried diffeent methods of employing troops in open order; how to assault strong points; coordinate the operations of artillery and infantry on the battlefield; as well as setting up schools of instruction to better facilitate training before letting the troops loose on the battlefield. What we see is a succession of experiments and trial and error, which ended up with a tactical system, if employed properly, would be extremely difficult to defeat.
This volume is highly recommended for all who are interested in this fascinating period. Some of what Nord learned would later be incorporated into the tactics of the Napoleonic armies, cross fertilized with the knowledge and experience gained in different theaters and terrain by the other revolutionary armies and their commanders, culminating in the magnificent Grande Armee that marched away from the English Channel in August 1805 and ended up stabling its horses in every capitol of continetal Europe.