By Charles Esdaile
Within the Napoleonic interval conflict ceased to be an issue for armies by myself, but in addition grew to become an affair of the folk. So, no less than, runs the standard declare. In Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Russia outraged peasants and townsfolk rose opposed to the French armies and fell upon them with no mercy. From those insurrections we get the trendy be aware 'guerrilla', yet did armed civilians quite play an enormous a job within the fight? during this choice of essays a gaggle of experts at the Napoleonic epoch tease out the query, and arrive at a few startling conclusions.
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Additional resources for Popular Resistance in the French Wars: Patriots, Partisans and Land Pirates
In brief, these are five-fold. In the first place the popular will to take up arms was relatively limited even in those areas of Europe – a clear minority – which did experience armed resistance on the part of the populace. In the second, outbreaks of armed resistance were rarely ideological: whilst the masses were frequently worked on by members of the establishment, they do not seem to have been much moved by anti-French propaganda per se, but rather by their experience of enemy occupation and the extent of their ability to feed themselves and their families and to carry on some semblance of normal life.
20. An excellent eye-witness account of the guerrilla war in the Serranía de Ronda may be found in Rocca, Memoirs, pp. 122–63; for a critical discussion, meanwhile, cf. J. Esdaile, Fighting Napoleon, pp. 124–5. 21. For events in Galicia in 1808–09, cf. J. Esdaile, ‘Rebeldía, reticencia y resistencia: el caso gallego de 1808’, Trienio, no. 35 (May, 2000), pp. 57–80. 22. Finley, Most Monstruous of Wars, pp. 28–30; E. ), Souvenirs Militaires du Baron Desvernois, Ancien Général au Service de Joachim Murat, Roi de Napoles, Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur et de l’Ordre Real de Deux Siciles (Paris, 1858), pp.
At Jena and Auerstädt the Prussian army had fought adequately, but its performance had hardly been heroic. At Leipzig and Waterloo, by contrast, it is claimed that a very different vision was on show. Let us here quote Gunther Rothenberg: In 1806 the typical Prussian soldier had been a mercenary or a reluctant conscript; now he was animated both by patriotism and by a deep and even savage hatred of the French. The first expressed Charles J. Esdaile 21 itself, as it had in the days of Frederick, by religion.