Military and War

The Legendary French Drummer Boy Joseph Bara

The legendary French drummer boy Joseph Bara was raised to the status of hero in the 1790s. His story begins with his birth on 30 July 1779 to a woodranger and a domestic servant, both of whom worked at the Palaiseau estate of the Condés. Unfortunately, while Bara was still a youth, his father died,…

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The Insects That Defeated Napoleon’s Army

Napoleon was a great military leader and strategist. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution, led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars, and served as Emperor of the French. He also dominated Europe for more than a decade and fought against a variety of fluctuating European coalitions during the Napoleonic Wars defeating…

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Battlefield Communication Using Drums and Drumming

Battlefield communication using drums and drumming was an important military aspect of war, and this type of communication lasted well into the nineteenth century. During this time, the drum most popular among drummers was the ordinary drum that consisted of a wooden or brass cylinder with a skin head at either end, and described in…

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Reasons British Feared Napoleon in 1803

Despite a temporary peace that was achieved between France and Britain in 1802, the English remained on edge. They became more panicked when a new dispute with France broke out and resulted in Britain declaring war against France in 1803. Almost immediately rumors were rife about the ill effects Englishmen would suffer if Napoleon was…

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French Heroine, Philis de La Tour or Philis de La Charce

In 1669, Philippe de La Tour du Pin La Charce (and sometimes better known as Philis de La Charce) was born in Nyons, located in Dauphiné, France. She grew up to be a well-educated woman, and, in her youth, she met a woman of letters named Antoinette Des Houlières. Houlières then introduced her to an…

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Moustache, The French Army Poodle

Moustache, or as he was sometimes called Mous, was a black French poodle who some people claim took part in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. His feats became legendary and many people wrote about his exploits, sometimes exaggerating or fictionalizing them. Between the exaggeration and fiction, it has become nearly impossible to know the…

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Origin of the French National Guard

The French National Guard (called la Garde nationale by the French) was a militia that existed from 1789 until 1872 and was separate from the French Army. It favored the middle class and served both as a military and policing force. According to one newspaper, a French politician and diplomat, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, better…

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Clever Ruse: Surprise at the Tabor Bridge by Napoleon’s Forces

The Napoleonic Wars were a series of conflicts that begin in 1803 and lasted until 1815. The wars pitted Napoleon I against various European powers. Among one of the cleverest ruses achieved during the Napoleonic Wars was an incident that occurred near Vienna in November 1805 and involved French forces against the Austrians. The French…

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Napoleon and His Camel Corps

The great general Napoleon employed a camel corps during his Egyptian Campaign between 1798 and 1799. He formed the camel corps after suffering Bedouin incursions and raids into Egypt proper. After their raids, the Bedouins would easily escape from the French cavalry because of their swift horses. To remedy this situation, Napoleon decided to form…

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