Rus Articles Journal

How the French revolution made revolution in military science? Part 1.

French revolution gave to Europe (and Russia) not only new ideas and changes in the political relations. Revolution happened also in military science.

Revolutionary wars brought serious changes in army strategy and tactics. It is possible to tell, radical. To which not less profound changes in all organization of army accompanied.

Actually changes in the French army became ripe from the middle of 18 century. New tactical schemes were at least theoretically actively discussed. They entered practice with revolution and the subsequent foreign intervention. And not under the influence of theories, and forcedly. By the end of 18 century noblemen almost forced out the bourgeoisie from officers of the French army. Remained mostly in younger, an unter - an officer komsostav. Revolution seriously undermined noble army shots.

Then - a postrevolutionary mess with voluntariness of service, selectivity of commanders and distrustfulness to old officers. The commanders nominated from bottoms often were not trained, and soldiers got out of hand in revolutionary outlaws. Result: absence of discipline.

A without discipline army is disabled.

In old army were also pluses apprehended and revolutionary army. It is more than that: can be, thanks to them and it was succeeded to construct rather effective new army.

distinguished Old French army:

- effective system of fortresses

- fine artillery

- the organized back

- excellent voyenno - the engineering case and the General Staff

- rather soft (in comparison with reference at that time Prussian) the treatment of the soldier; lack of the rigid discipline of the rod

- army, rather uniform in social composition, - mainly the lower class of citizens, with a peculiar psychology: existence of a certain consciousness, national consciousness, concept of honor, self-respect. For example, soldiers (not officers) dueled

- a small number of foreigners, the army is mononational; foreigners (unlike Prussian practice) formed separate divisions

still the revolutionary government began to Put the clamps. In 1793 the general compulsory military service is declared.

Before revolution army is completed, as well as neighbour`s: recruitment. Then - volunteers. The first was rejected, the second … probably, clearly. Transition to a general duty gave the sharp, many times, growth of number at once. At the expense of which a number of victories was gained.

A in Bonaparte who came to the power brings order to the country and, naturally, to army.

Nevertheless, return to old forms of the organization and tactics was impossible. And it is not necessary.

Can be assumed that if soldiers were not beaten with sticks - it and it was not required?

A with revolution it became absolutely impossible.

But personal qualities of the soldier gave the chance to rely on consciousness and a collectivism.

Of course, discipline was supported also by usual methods. Did not hesitate and shoot. But the main rate - on education and responsibility.

Can allocate a number of educational factors.

At soldiers existed courts of honor where “understood“ noticed in cowardice. In total as well as it is necessary, guilty gave the chance to speak. And either forgave, or flogged directly in part...

Cult of the old soldier. The former soldier could become an unter... all! Now officer places were taken by natives from below. “professional growth“ to officer ranks became possible.

Napoleon in every possible way ennobled veterans, from campaigns in the press before personal acquaintance to many and even correspondences.

I one more factor - the authority of commanders. Earlier the officer separated from soldier`s weight:

- an origin (the nobleman, the aristocrat) and class arrogance

- often weak knowledge of military science (the practician of purchase of ranks; the acquaintance across Russia signing up in service from the early childhood)

Now in officers toadied, quite often rising from the lower ranks. Sometimes to generals.

Is natural, such officers have other attitude towards soldiers. To the contrary, the commander for the lower ranks - not something separate, and same as they. But more skilled, competent and authoritative.

Napoleon seriously cared for veterans. In Russia kept the well-known Old guard up to the end. At advance - the priority of old soldiers, Bonapapt did not forget to emphasize it. Probably, it was dictated entirely by practical reasons - to earn authority. But it worked. His authority in army was high, in guard is indisputable.