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Under the Shadow of NapoleonFrench Influence on the American Way of Warfare from Independence to the Eve of World War II$
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Michael Bonura

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709429

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709429.001.0001

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A French Way of Warfare

A French Way of Warfare

(p.11) 1 A French Way of Warfare
Under the Shadow of Napoleon

Michael A. Bonura

NYU Press

This chapter provides an overview of the fundamental elements of the French combat method. Since the French Revolution had unleashed new ideas that fundamentally altered French culture, and at the same time realized Enlightenment military reforms deemed anathema by the armies of the ancien régime, the result was a way of warfare that matched the unique capabilities of the citizen-soldier with a new system of tactics. This new system disregarded the limitations of eighteenth-century warfare and proved superior to the system of Frederick the Great. This intellectual framework, called the French combat method, informed military affairs far beyond the borders of France, eventually becoming a transnational cultural influence.

Keywords:   French combat method, French Revolution, Enlightenment military reforms, way of warfare, citizen-soldier, eighteenth-century warfare

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