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 radical changes in army strategy and tactics. And all organization of army.

Actually changes in the French army became ripe from the middle of 18 century. But people are conservative, military especially.

New tactical schemes were discussed theoretically long ago. They entered practice not under the influence of theories, and forcedly and spontaneously. With revolution and the subsequent foreign intervention.

By the end of 18 century noblemen almost forced out the bourgeoisie from officers of the French army. Remained unless in an unter - an officer komsostav. Revolution thinned out noble army shots.

Then - voluntariness of service, selectivity of commanders and distrustfulness to old officers. The commanders nominated “from below“ are often not trained, and soldiers got out of hand in revolutionary outlaws. Result: absence of discipline

and disabled army.

In old army was the mass of pluses thanks to which it was succeeded to construct rather effective new system.

distinguished Former army:

- powerful system of fortresses

- fine artillery

- the organized back

- the excellent engineering case and the General Staff

- quite soft (in comparison with others) the treatment of the soldier; lack of the discipline of the rod

- army, uniform in social composition, - the lower class of citizens, with a peculiar psychology: certain consciousness, national consciousness, feelings of honor and the advantage. So, soldiers (not officers!) dueled...

- army national; the few foreigners (unlike Prussian practice) form separate divisions

still the revolutionary government began to Put the clamps.

Old armies are completed with recruitment. New - volunteers. The first was rejected, the second … probably, clearly. Volunteers are, but it is necessary - that many times more.

Transition to a general compulsory military service gave the sharp, many times, growth of army. “Number“ also won the first victories.

A then order is brought by Bonaparte.

But return to old forms of the organization and tactics both is impossible, and is not necessary.

Did without sticks?

A now it became impossible.

But personal qualities of soldiers gave new opportunities.

Of course, discipline was supported and “as usual“. Did not hesitate and shoot. But the main rate - on education and responsibility, consciousness and a collectivism.

On soldier`s (!) courts of honor afraid “understood“. Guilty allowed to speak. And either forgave, or flogged here...

Cult of the old soldier. The former soldier could become an unter... all! New officers are natives from below. Growth to the highest ranks became possible. Napoleon ennobled veterans, from campaigns in the press before lichey acquaintance and even correspondence.

Authority of commanders. Earlier the officer separated from soldiers:

- an origin and noble arrogance

- often weak knowledge of military science (purchase of ranks; the acquaintance across Russia signing up in service since the childhood) Now officers “grew“ at

from the lower ranks. Sometimes to generals.

Now the commander for the lower ranks - not something separate, and same as they. But is more skilled, more competent and more authoritative.

Napoleon seriously cared for veterans. The well-known Old guard out of Russia brought all. At advance on ranks - Bonaparte emphasized a priority of old soldiers. Probably, it was dictated entirely by an earning of the authority. But it worked. His authority in army was high, in guard is indisputable.

The new organization excluded the linear system demanding that “the soldier was afraid of a stick more, than bullets“. Generally French told

about tactics change long ago.

In revolution became not to the theory. And the choice special was not.

Worked with what was.

After a mess began reforms. Old battalions united with again gathered.

At Bonaparte the main tactical unit became the infantry regiment including infantry, a cavalry, artillery. It became convenient to work with the compact armies soldered by training and ideal obedience.

At linear tactics the striking factor - not aim, very dense synchronous fire.

the Effective system accepted practically by all Europe.

At all not suiting revolutionary army. But spontaneously there was an attack by a chain.

the Rarefied chain:

- less close line suffers from dense

fire - quicker than

- more maneuverable than

- uses obstacles for shelter

- there is no solid volley, but individual aim firing

is possible - at the soldier the initiative

is developed But there are always also minuses.

- a chain is less operated

- high responsibility of each certain soldier who is not directed by a dense system

- the authority of the commander conducting soldiers on counter fire out of a system

is very important - it is difficult to lift soldiers from - for shelters

the Main complexity - to direct a loose system to counter fire. In near fight was better, but it is necessary to reach still! There was an average between a loose system and the line: column. Long ago noticed: soldiers are much more confident in a dense column. In which similarity they get off if necessary.

the Column was known, but before revolution is not especially usable. In new conditions she earned. We remember Suvorov: “… godless, windy, mad frantsuzishka. They are at war on Germans and others columns. Whether is to us it happened against them, it is necessary to beat to us them with columns“.

great Suvorov Allowed use of columns and against Turks. Noting that the need in that was not yet.

the Column was used together with a loose system. Ahead a chain of shooters, part - with the cut weapon. Their task - aim fire, it is desirable on commanders. approaching, the column is reconstructed in the attacking order. Everything is dynamic!

Put the commander - the general coordination in the battlefield and strategy on theater of war.

Is conditional: “from above“ strategic tasks are set.

On places tactics, ways of the decision are defined by commanders.

Grows a role of identity of soldiers and commanders.

Army breaks into rather small parts. Large divisions gather for the night and to fight; on march can separately move. There is no need for camp, the billeting in the settlement is possible. Yes, that not to avoid thefts and marauding. And desertions. But now supervision was not required for each soldier. In normal conditions there was enough self-discipline, a collectivism and the authority of commanders. From here - mobility.

Is entered the field artillery - facilitated mobile. Even before revolution the French artillery passed from “private carrying“ to own horses. Approximately same reforms went in Russia …

the system of supply Changed. Napoleon aspired to a mobility maximum. On theater of war even officers carry supplies in satchels. Seemingly first the opponent took officers with satchels for unter, so it was atypical. Supply with local means, too difficult to old armies was widely used. There everything was necessary to regulate and control. Weakening of the discipline of the rod led to mass desertion.

Revolutionary army - “national“. The lodging for the night, partially the maintenance of troops were imputed to the population a duty. And education of troops was sharpened on conflict prevention.

By the way, you should not be deceived about “nationality“. Some feeling of unity, ““, of course, was. But we will consider: the national consciousness is only formed. …

the Army effectively “milled“ class communications citizens and peasants in soldiers. That in Europe that in Russia.