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Osprey Men-at-Arms 233 : French Army 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War (1) : Imperial Troops

The Second Empire, under Napoleon III, was a reaction against the bourgeois age of the previous ruler King Louis Philippe in spirit as well as in deed. The army, elevated from tactful obscurity, was re-modelled on Napoleonic lines, and its neglected iconography revived in the form of the eagle, the crowned 'N' and the Imperial bee. What was needed to complete the resurrection was victory in the field. It is hardly surprising that Napoleon and the army were mindful of the great Napoleonic traditions and were anxious to emulate them. Their first real opportunity came with the Crimean War, in which, despite a muddled campaign, the army acquitted itself well. In 1859 it was again successful, against the Austrians this time, with costly victories at Magenta and Solferino. Their next adventure, unfortunately, ended in a humiliating withdrawal, after a protracted anti-guerrilla struggle in Mexico. Meanwhile, back in Europe, Prussia was fast emerging as a challenge to France's military pre-eminence. In concert with Austria, Bismarck first crushed Denmark before turning on Austria herself. The victory at Sadowa in 1866 stunned Europe, and in Paris Napoleon and his advisers set to thinking of a way to counter this new threat. In this first of two books looking at the French Army of the Franco-Prussian War, Stephen Shann and Louis Delperier examine the history, organisation and weapons of the French Imperial troops with illustrations by Jeffrey Burn.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • The Imperial Guard
  • L'Armee D'Afrique
  • Troops of the Line
  • Artillery
  • Command, Staff and Logistics
  • Weapons
  • Orders of Battle
  • The Plates


The books in this series are;
Men-at-Arms 233 : French Army 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War (1): Imperial Troops
Men-at-Arms 237 : French Army 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War (2) : Republican Troops

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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