The bayonets of the republic: Motivation and tactics in the army of revolutionary france, 1791-94

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook

Abstract

The Bayonets of the Republic challenges the view of the French revolutionary army as an unskilled but fiercely patriotic fighting force that won simply by overwhelming its enemies with bayonet assaults. Skillfully combining traditional and new military history, Lynn demonstrates that French combat effectiveness encompassed far more than mere patriotism or frenzied charges.Lynn focuses on the Armee du Nord, largest of the eleven armies which protected the borders of France at the height of the Revolution. He does not, however, restrict himself to an analysis of generalship or weaponry, but examines every aspect of life in the French army--from rank-and-file recruitment, officer selection, discipline, political education, and group cohesion, to the flexible use of line, column, and skirmishers on the battlefield. The image which emerges is one of a highly motivated, disciplined, and tactically superior army that outmaneuvered and outfought its opponents.For students of the French Revolution, Bayonets builds upon and extends the best of recent scholarship on subjects as diverse as the debate over conscription and the distribution of revolutionary newspapers and songbooks. For military historians, it combines social, organizational, and operational elements to present a unique view of the French army as an institution and fighting force. And, finally, for social scientists concerned with troop motivation and combat effectiveness, it supplies a highly illustrative case study of troops under fire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages356
ISBN (Electronic)9781000242959
ISBN (Print)9780367290306
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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