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Fighting the French Revolution (Hardback)

The Great Vendée Rising of 1793

French Revolutionary Wars Military

By Rob Harper
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 376
ISBN: 9781473868960
Published: 30th January 2019


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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.

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About Rob Harper

Rob Harper has a degree in History and has worked for nearly thirty years as a specialist in the preservation of historic buildings. His particular passions are for the history of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras and Early Modern military buildings, which happily coincide with his current work on major heritage projects in the Portsmouth Harbour area, a locale closely linked with the Napoleonic wars. His deep interest in the counter revolution was sparked by a visit to the Vendée over twenty years ago and he has devoted much of his spare time to researching it ever since. He has written numerous articles for heritage magazines and wargaming magazines. He lives in Fareham, Hampshire.

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