Conscripts & Deserters: The Army & French Society During the Revolution & Empire by Alan I. Forrest
English | 26 Mar. 2001 | ISBN: 0195059379 | 308 Pages | PDF | 22 MB
Between the outbreak of war with Austria in 1792 & Napoleon's final debacle in 1814, France remained almost continuously at war, recruiting, in the process, some two to three million Frenchmen - a level of recruitment unknown to previous generations & widely resented as an attack on the liberties of rural communities.
Forrest challenges the notion of a nation heroically rushing to arms by examining the massive rates of desertion & avoidance of service as well as their consequences on French society, on military campaigns & the morale of armies, on political opinion at home, on the social fabric of local villages, & on the Napoleonic dream of bringing about a coherent & centralized state.