Fighting the French Revolution (Kindle)
The Great Vendée Rising of 1793
In 1793 France was facing foreign invasion along its borders and a fierce political war was raging in Paris when a large-scale revolt, centred on the western Department of the Vendée, suddenly erupted, almost bringing the new-born French Republic to its knees.
The immediate trigger for this Great War of the Vendée, barely known outside of France, was the attempted imposition of conscription but the region seethed at the erosion of its traditional values and way of life. The persecution of the Catholic Church and killing of the king symbolized to the Vendéens how dangerous the new Republic had become; in a matter of weeks tens of thousands had flocked to fight for the ‘Catholic and Royal’ cause.
This is the story of the new Republic’s ferocious military campaigns against the armies of the Vendée, which fiercely defied them between March and December 1793, tying down hundreds of thousands of troops desperately needed on the frontiers. Napoleon later called it ‘The War of Giants’ and it directly led to the implementation of some of the Republic’s most extreme laws.
As featured byVaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019
Rob Harper’s book tells the fascinating story of one particular incident that occurred when the French revolution had more or less finished and the various factions were jockeying for position in the new Republic. Fascinating stuff.Books Monthly
Harper provides detailed accounts of just about every key engagement that occurred between Royalist and republican forces... They point to some solid research by Harper.Penniless Press
Read the full review here
For those of us who tend to focus on the wars of Napoleonic France this book offers an interesting diversion into a conflict that was instrumental in forming some of the conditions that impacted the later conflicts in which France felt compelled to partake. As with all revolutions, the enemy within is as problematic as the enemy outside the borders. Indeed the enemy within can help focus and justify actions to stiffen the revolution. So it was with the Vendee Rising and this book has a well written narrative, good maps and supporting images. Enjoyable read.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide