An 'invisible giant', the seventeenth-century French army was the largest and hungriest institution of the Bourbon monarchy. Combining social and cultural emphases with more traditional institutional and operational concerns, this book examines the army in depth, studying recruitment, composition, discipline, motivation, selection of officers, leadership, administration, logistics, weaponry, tactics, field warfare and siegecraft. The portrait that emerges differs from what current scholarship might have predicted. Instead of claiming that a 'military revolution' transformed warfare, Lynn stresses evolutionary change. This work also offers surprising insights into absolutism and the relationship between the monarchy and aristocracy. Questioning widely held assumptions about state formation and coercion, Lynn argues that this standing army was primarily devoted to border defence and only rarely to internal repression.
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(228mm x 152mm x 34mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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