Other books byRene Chartrand
French Musketeer 1622-1775
In 1884 the French novelist Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, followed by Twenty Years After (1845) and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later (1847-50). This trilogy of works, reproduced in countless forms and media, most recently in a Hollywood film of 2011, has ensured the perpetual popularity of the unit known to history as the King's Musketeers of the Guard. Dumas based his work on a genuine memoir by an officer of the Musketeers, Memoires de M. D'Artagnan, capitaine lieutenant de la première compagnie des Mousquetaires du Roi, which was published in 1700, and the historical truth is as fascinating as the legends created by Dumas. The King's Musketeers were formed in 1622 and abolished in 1775. It was populated by young men of noble birth, but often of poorer means, and the Musketeers served as a form of military academy that enabled such men to qualify for a commission in the regular army. In the 1760s, the young Marquis de Lafayette gained his first military training in the Musketeers. However, this was no schoolroom and the Musketeers served in all the major battles and campaigns of the period, including all the battles of the Wars of the Spanish and Austrian Succession. Their reputation for bravery was well deserved, and the units suffered horrendous casualties at a number of these encounters. This title will delve behind the fiction to reveal the true history of this most colorful and flamboyant of units.
Wellingtonís Lighting Strike Into Spain
The battle of Talavera in 1809 was one of the major battles of the Peninsular War and Arthur Wellesley's first victory in Spain itself, following which he was created Viscount Wellington of Talavera and Wellington. Having driven the French forces in Portugal under Marshal Soult out of the country following his victory at the battle of the Douro, Wellesley went onto the offensive and led his army into Spain where he joined up with a substantial forces under the Spanish General Cuesta in order to attack a smaller French force under Marshal Victor at the town of Talavera de la Reina to the south-west of Madrid. Delays caused by the Spanish allowed Victor to withdraw, whilst promised supplies also did not arrived, and a combined French force gathered opposite Wellesley's position that now outnumbered the Anglo-Spanish force. The French army's nominal commander was King Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, but marshals Victor and Jourdain exercised the actual command. On the night of the 27th the French launched their first attacks, followed up by a general assault on the 28th. Although Wellesely's forces were outnumbers, and a sizeable contingent of the Spanish ran away, he had chosen a superb defensive position and was able to beat off successive French attacks, though at a heavy cost in terms of casualties. Although the French had withdrawn leaving Wellesley the master of the field, his high casualties and approaching French reinforcements led to Wellesley withdrawing to Portugal. His foray into Spain had an enormous effect on Spanish morale as they realized they were not alone in the struggle. British redcoats had had got to within 70km of Madraid, and they would return in future years.
Wellington defeats Napoleon's Marshals
This Osprey title details the gruelling Bussaco campaign of the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815), as French attempts to subdue Portugal reached their climax. By 1810, Napoleon reigned supreme over most of continental Europe. But the Iberian Peninsula remained unsubdued, particularly Portugal, which continued to resist. Napoleon ordered Marshal Masséna to crush this resistance with the Army of Portugal. Greatly strengthened, Masséna's army would drive the Portuguese and British into the sea. Facing the French were 60,000 British and Portuguese troops. No-one knew how the Portuguese would perform in battle, but on 27 September 1810, they received their baptism of fire.
French Fortresses in North America 1535-1763
Quebec, Montreal, Louisbourg and New Orleans
Following the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, European colonists brought their system of fortification to the New World in an attempt to ensure their safety and consolidate their conquests. French and British explorers came later to North America, and thus the establishment of their sizeable settlements only got under way during the 17th century. The inhabitants of New France built elaborate fortifications to protect their towns and cities. This book provides a detailed examination of the defenses of four of them: Québec, Montréal and Louisbourg in Canada, and New Orleans in Louisiana.