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"... a most illuminating and readable general survey.... This book is well organized, well produced, and well written. It belongs among the ten most useful books on this period to the historian and... to the general reader." —American Historical Review
"This splendid volume fills a gap in the vast outpouring of literature on the military aspects of the era of the French Revolution and Napoleon by combining a description of the major changes and trends of warfare with a comparative discussion of the French military establishment and the armies of its major opponents.... As another contribution to ‘synthetic’ history, it is a very successful exercise." —Military Affairs
"... a splendid little study which will be of considerable interest both to the general student and specialist.... [it] fills a definite need for a survey of the military developments of the period and one can learn a great deal from a close reading of it." —History
"A clear, lively, and well-produced survey that relies upon the best scholarship of several languages.... " —Library Journal
In a comprehensive study of a crucial era in warfare—from the last decades of the ancient régime to Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo—Rothenberg describes the organization, training methods, equipment, tactics, and strategy of France and its adversaries. He also explores staff systems, logistics, fortifications, medical services, and insurgency and counterinsurgency.
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Some 12 years ago it was estimated that well over 300,000 works existed on this period and since then several thousand more have appeared. Therefore, it might be reasonably argued that there is little room for another volume. Nonetheless, this vast outpouring of literature has usually dealt with major leaders, specific battles or campaigns, and with certain branches of the service. Moreover, at least in English, the literature tends to concentrate primarily on the French or British armies. There appears to be a lack of works combining a description of the major changes and trends in the art of war, especially at the cutting edge of events, with a discussion of the French military establishment and the armies of the major opponents, British as well as continental. And while this book is only a brief survey, I do believe that it may serve as a contribution towards filling this gap in our historical knowledge of military institutions and fighting men.
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