Articles (Napoleonic and French Revolution)

Meissonier recruting sergeantOutside of my current interests I’ve published a number of articles on different episodes of the Napoleonic era. I’ll post some of them here.

Here’s an early one on the epic siege of Saragossa. And another on how Suchet won his marshal’s baton at Tarragona in 1811. This article looks at Borodino in 1812. An account by Captain Mrozinski of the Vistula Legion, detailing his escape from Spanish guerrillas, whilst not an article as such, can be found here. A similar story, told by a captain in the French 81st Line, also shows what life was like fighting insurgents in Spain (although this one is from the close of the Peninsular War when the French were trying to escape back into France). An account by a Swiss member of the Imperial Guard, detailing the death throes of empire in 1814, shows what life was like on and off the battlefield.

My little biography of the Belgian Captain Peruset underscores the fact that many Napoleonic officers spent their careers as far away from glory as it was possible to be. He spent his life fighting insurgents in central Italy and Naples before being moved to Spain and Portugal for more of the same. He retired, exhausted, in 1811.

An article I wrote on General Hoche and counter-insurgency is still available online. Revolutionary France attempted to formulate a doctrine of how to use armed force to control  some of the many insurgencies they faced within France itself. Hoche was the leading exponent of these new techniques which, I think, are still relevant in today’s confused world.