A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from Latin: sedere, lit.'to sit'. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, defensive position. An opportunity for negotiation between combatants is not uncommon, as proximity and fluctuating advantage can encourage diplomacy; the art of conducting and resisting sieges is called siegecraft, or poliorcetics. A siege occurs when an attacker encounters a city or fortress that cannot be taken by a quick assault, which refuses to surrender. Sieges involve surrounding the target to block the provision of supplies and the reinforcement or escape of troops; this is coupled with attempts to reduce the fortifications by means of siege engines, artillery bombardment, mining, or the use of deception or treachery to bypass defenses. Failing a military outcome, sieges can be decided by starvation, thirst, or disease, which can afflict either the attacker or defender.
This form of siege, can take many months or years, depending upon the size of the stores of food the fortified position holds. The attacking force can circumvallate the besieged place, to build a line of earth-works, consisting of a rampart and trench, surrounding it. During the process of circumvallation, the attacking force can be set upon by another force, an ally of the besieged place, due to the lengthy amount of time required to force it to capitulate. A defensive ring of forts outside the ring of circumvallated forts, called contravallation, is sometimes used to defend the attackers from outside. Ancient cities in the Middle East show archaeological evidence of having had fortified city walls. During the Warring States era of ancient China, there is both textual and archaeological evidence of prolonged sieges and siege machinery used against the defenders of city walls. Siege machinery was a tradition of the ancient Greco-Roman world. During the Renaissance and the early modern period, siege warfare dominated the conduct of war in Europe.
Leonardo da Vinci gained as much of his renown from the design of fortifications as from his artwork. Medieval campaigns were designed around a succession of sieges. In the Napoleonic era, increasing use of more powerful cannon reduced the value of fortifications. In the 20th century, the significance of the classical siege declined. With the advent of mobile warfare, a single fortified stronghold is no longer as decisive as it once was. While traditional sieges do still occur, they are not as common as they once were due to changes in modes of battle, principally the ease by which huge volumes of destructive power can be directed onto a static target. Modern sieges are more the result of smaller hostage, militant, or extreme resisting arrest situations; the Assyrians deployed large labour forces to build new palaces and defensive walls. Some settlements in the Indus Valley Civilization were fortified. By about 3500 BC, hundreds of small farming villages dotted the Indus River floodplain. Many of these settlements had planned streets.
The stone and mud brick houses of Kot Diji were clustered behind massive stone flood dikes and defensive walls, for neighbouring communities quarrelled about the control of prime agricultural land. Mundigak in present-day south-east Afghanistan has defensive walls and square bastions of sun-dried bricks. City walls and fortifications were essential for the defence of the first cities in the ancient Near East; the walls were built of mudbricks, wood, or a combination of these materials, depending on local availability. They may have served the dual purpose of showing presumptive enemies the might of the kingdom; the great walls surrounding the Sumerian city of Uruk gained a widespread reputation. The walls were 9.5 km in length, up to 12 m in height. The walls of Babylon, reinforced by towers and ditches, gained a similar reputation. In Anatolia, the Hittites built massive stone walls around their cities atop hillsides, taking advantage of the terrain. In Shang Dynasty China, at the site of Ao, large walls were erected in the 15th century BC that had dimensions of 20 m in width at the base and enclosed an area of some 2,100 yards squared.
The ancient Chinese capital for the State of Zhao, founded in 386 BC had walls that were 20 m wide at the base. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization showed less effort in constructing defences, as did the Minoan civilization on Crete; these civilizations relied more on the defence of their outer borders or sea shores. Unlike the ancient Minoan civilization, the Mycenaean Greeks emphasized the need for fortifications alongside natural defences of mountainous terrain, such as the massive Cyclopean walls built at Mycenae and other adjacent Late Bronze Age centers of central and southern Greece. Although there are depictions of sieges from the ancient Near East in historical sources and in art, there are few examples of siege systems that have been found archaeologically. Of the few examples, several are noteworthy: The late 9th-century BC siege system surrounding Tell es-Safi/Gath, consists of a 2.5 km long siege trench and other elements, is the earliest evidence of a circumvallation system known in the world.
It was built by Hazael of Aram Damascus, as part of his siege and conquest of Philistine Gath in the late 9th century BC (mentio
A duchy is a country, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. The term is used exclusively in Europe, where in the present day there is no sovereign duchy left; the term "duke" should not be confused with the title Grand Duke, as there exists a significant difference of rank between the two. In common European cultural heritage, a grand duke is the third highest monarchic rank, after emperor and king, its synonym in many Slavic and Baltic European languages is translated as Grand Prince, whereas most Germanic and Romance European languages use expressions corresponding to Grand Duke. Unlike a duke, the sovereign grand duke is considered royalty; the proper form of address for a grand duke is His Royal Highness, whereas for a non-royal duke in the United Kingdom it is His Grace. In contrast to this, the rank of a duke differs from one country to the next. In Germany, for example, a duke is listed in the aristocratic hierarchy below an emperor, grand duke, elector – in that order – whereas in Britain the duke comes third after king/queen and prince.
In all countries, there existed an important difference between "sovereign dukes" and dukes subordinate to a king or emperor. Some historic duchies were sovereign in areas that would become part of nation-states only during the modern era, such as Germany and Italy. In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that had unified either or during the medieval era, such as France, Sicily and the Papal States. In England, the term is used in respect of non-territorial entities. Traditionally, a grand duchy, such as Luxembourg or Tuscany, was independent and sovereign. There were many sovereign or semi-sovereign duchies in the de facto confederate Holy Roman Empire and German-speaking areas. In France, a number of duchies existed in the medieval period including Normandy, Burgundy and Aquitaine; the medieval German stem duchies were associated with the Frankish Kingdom and corresponded with the areas of settlement of the major Germanic tribes. They formed the nuclei of the major feudal states that comprised the early era of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation.
These were Schwaben and Sachsen in pre-Carolingian times, to which Franken and Lothringen were added in post-Carolingian times. As mentioned above, such a duke was styled Herzog. In medieval England, duchies associated with the territories of Lancashire and Cornwall were created, with certain powers and estates of land accruing to their dukes; the Duchy of Lancaster was created in 1351 but became merged with the Crown when, in 1399, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, ascended the throne of England as Henry IV. Nowadays the Duchy of Lancaster always belongs to the sovereign and its revenue is the Privy Purse; the Duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 and held successively by the Dukes of Cornwall, who were heirs to the throne. Nowadays, the Duchy of Cornwall belongs to the sovereign's heir apparent, if there is one: it reverts to the Crown in the absence of an heir apparent, is automatically conferred to the heir apparent upon birth; these duchies today have lost any non-ceremonial political role, but generate their holders' private income.
During the Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York made a successful entry into the City of York, by claiming no harm and that it was his right to possess "his duchy of York". Any and all feudal duchies that made up the patchwork of England have since been absorbed within the Royal Family. Other than Cornwall and Lancaster, British royal dukedoms are titular and do not include land holdings. Non-royal dukedoms are associated with ducal property, but this is meant as the duke's private property, with no other feudal privileges attached. In more recent times, territorial duchies have become rare. At present all independent duchies have disappeared. Luxembourg, an independent and sovereign nation with a history dating back as far as the 8th century, is the only remaining independent grand duchy, with HRH the Grand Duke Henri I as its head of state since the year 2000. In the middle east the concept of beylik can be seen as equivalent to duchy. For example, the Ottoman Empire, first just the nomadic Kayı tribe among the Ghuzz, settled in Bithynia on the border to the Byzantine Empire, evolved under the Sultanate of Rûm into a border principality.
It became an independent principality. It grew further into its own empire by conquering the nearby Anatolian beyliks remnants of the Sultanate of Rûm. Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Grand Duchy of
Thérèse of Lisieux
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O. C. D. was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun, venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as "The Little Flower of Jesus", or "The Little Flower". Thérèse has been a influential model of sanctity for Catholics and for others because of the simplicity and practicality of her approach to the spiritual life. Together with Saint Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. Pope Saint Pius X called her "the greatest saint of modern times". Thérèse felt an early call to religious life, overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, she became a nun and joined two of her elder sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress, having spent her last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, Thérèse died aged 24, following a slow and painful fight against tuberculosis.
Her feast day is 1 October in the General Roman Calendar, 3 October in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Thérèse is well-known throughout the world, with the Basilica of Lisieux being the second-largest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes, she was born in Rue Saint-Blaise, Alençon, in France on 2 January 1873, the daughter of Marie-Azélie Guérin, Louis Martin, a jeweler and watchmaker. Both her parents were devout Catholics who would become the first married couple canonized together by the Roman Catholic Church. Master Louis had tried to become a canon regular, wanting to enter the Great St Bernard Hospice, but had been refused because he knew no Latin. Zélie, possessed of a strong, active temperament, wished to serve the sick, had considered entering consecrated life, but the prioress of the canonesses regular of the Hôtel-Dieu in Alençon had discouraged her enquiry outright. Disappointed, Zélie learned the trade of lacemaking, she excelled in it and set up her own business on Rue Saint-Blaise at age 22.
Louis and Zélie met in early 1858 and married on July 13 of that same year at the Basilica of Notre-Dame d'Alençon. At first they decided to live as brother and sister in a perpetual continence, but when a confessor discouraged them in this, they changed their lifestyle and had nine children. From 1867 -- 70 they lost five year old Hélène. All five of their surviving daughters became nuns: Marie, Pauline, Léonie, Céline, Thérèse"A dreamer and brooder, an idealist and romantic, gave touching and naïve pet names: Marie was his diamond, Pauline his noble pearl, Céline the bold one.. But Thérèse was his petite reine, little queen, to whom all treasures belonged". Zélie was so successful in manufacturing lace that by 1870 Louis had sold his watchmaking shop to a nephew and handled the traveling and bookkeeping end of his wife's lacemaking business. Soon after her birth in January 1873, the outlook for the survival of Thérèse Martin was grim; because of her frail condition, she was entrusted to a wet nurse, Rose Taillé, who had nursed two of the Martin children.
Rose had her own children and could not live with the Martins, so Thérèse was sent to live with her in the forests of the Bocage at Semallé. On Holy Thursday, 2 April 1874, when she was 15 months old, she returned to Alençon where her family surrounded her with affection. "I hear the baby calling me Mama! as she goes down the stairs. On every step, she calls out Mama! and if I don't respond every time, she remains there without going either forward or back." She was educated in a Catholic environment, including Mass attendance at 5:30 AM, the strict observance of fasts, prayer to the rhythm of the liturgical year. The Martins practiced charity, visiting the sick and elderly and welcoming the occasional vagabond to their table. If she wasn't the model little girl her sisters portrayed, Thérèse was sensitive to this education, she played at being a nun. Described as a happy child, she was emotional too, cried: "Céline is playing with the little one with some bricks... I have to correct poor baby.
She rolls in the floor in despair believing. Sometimes she is so overcome she chokes. She's a nervous child, but she is good intelligent, remembers everything." At 22, Thérèse a Carmelite, admitted: "I was far from being a perfect little girl". From 1865 Zelie had complained of breast pain and in December 1876 a doctor told her of the seriousness of the tumour. Feeling the approach of death Madame Martin had written to Pauline in spring 1877, "You and Marie will have no difficulties with her upbringing, her disposition is so good. She is a chosen spirit." In June 1877 she left for Lourdes hoping to be cured, but the miracle did not happen: "The Mother of God has not healed me bec
Anjou is a historical province of France straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was coextensive with the diocese of Angers, it bordered Brittany to Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form of Anjou is Angevin, inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown; the region takes its name from the Celtic tribe of the Andecavi, which submitted to Roman rule following the Gallic Wars. Under the Romans, the chief fortified settlement of the Andecavi became the city of Juliomagus, the future Angers; the territory of the Andecavi was organized as a civitas. Under the Franks, the city of Juliomagus became Angers. Under the Merovingians, the history of Anjou is obscure, it is not recorded as a county until the time of the Carolingians. In the late ninth and early tenth centuries the viscounts usurped comital authority and made Anjou an autonomous hereditary principality.
The first dynasty of counts of Anjou, the House of Ingelger, ruled continuously down to 1205. In 1131, Count Fulk V became the King of Jerusalem; the territories ruled by Henry and his successors, which stretched from Ireland to the Pyrenees, are called the Angevin Empire. This empire was broken up by the French king Philip II, who confiscated the dynasty's French lands, including Anjou in 1205; the county of Anjou was united to the royal domain between 1205 and 1246, when it was turned into an apanage for the king's brother, Charles I of Anjou. This second Angevin dynasty, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, established itself on the throne of Naples and Hungary. Anjou itself was united to the royal domain again in 1328, but was detached in 1360 as the Duchy of Anjou for the king's son, Louis I of Anjou; the third Angevin dynasty, a branch of the House of Valois ruled for a time the Kingdom of Naples. The dukes had the same autonomy as the earlier counts, but the duchy was administered in the same fashion as the royal domain and the royal government exercised the ducal power while the dukes were away.
When the Valois line failed and Anjou was incorporated into the royal domain again in 1480, there was little change on the ground. Anjou remained a province of crown until the French Revolution. Under the kingdom of France, Anjou was identical with the diocese of Angers, bound on the north by Maine, on the east by Touraine, on the south by Poitou and the Mauges, the west by the countship of Nantes or the duchy of Brittany, it occupied the greater part of. On the north, it further included Candé, Bazouges, Le Lude. Anjou's political origin is traced to the ancient Gallic state of the Andes. After the conquest by Julius Caesar, the area was organized around the Roman civitas of the Andecavi; the Roman civitas was afterward preserved as an administrative district under the Franks with the name first of pagus—then of comitatus or countship—of Anjou. At the beginning of the reign of Charles the Bald, the integrity of Anjou was menaced by a twofold danger: from Brittany to the west and from Normandy to the north.
Lambert, a former count of Nantes, devastated Anjou in concert with duke of Brittany. By the end of the year 851, he had succeeded in occupying all the western part as far as the Mayenne; the principality which he thus carved out for himself was occupied on his death by Erispoé, duke of Brittany. By him, it was handed down to his successors, in whose hands it remained until the beginning of the 10th century; the Normans raided the country continuously as well. A brave man was needed to defend it; the chroniclers of Anjou named a "Tertullus" as the first count, elevated from obscurity by Charles the Bald. A figure by that name seems to have been the father of the count Ingelger but his dynasty seems to have been preceded by Robert the Strong, given Anjou by Charles the Bald around 861. Robert met his death in 866 in a battle at Brissarthe against the Normans. Hugh the Abbot succeeded him in the countship of Anjou as in most of his other duties. Odo acceded to the throne of France in 888, but he seems to have delegated the country between the Maine and the Mayenne to Ingelger as a viscount or count around 870 owing to the connections of his wife Adelais of Amboise.
Their son Fulk the Red succeeded to his father's holdings in 888, is mentioned as a viscount after 898, seems to have been granted or usurped the title of count by the second quarter of the 10th century. His descendants continued to bear that rank for three centuries, he was succeeded by his son Fulk II the Good, author of the proverb that an unlettered king is a wise ass, in 938. He was succeeded in turn by his son Geoffrey I Grisegonelle around 958. Geoffrey inaugurated a policy of expansion, having as its objects the extension of the boundaries of the ancient countship and the reconquest of those parts of it, annexed by other states.
Communes of France
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain; the United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered; the communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France. Communes vary in size and area, from large sprawling cities with millions of inhabitants like Paris, to small hamlets with only a handful of inhabitants. Communes are based on pre-existing villages and facilitate local governance. All communes have names, but not all named geographic areas or groups of people residing together are communes, the difference residing in the lack of administrative powers.
Except for the municipal arrondissements of its largest cities, the communes are the lowest level of administrative division in France and are governed by elected officials with extensive autonomous powers to implement national policy. A commune is city, or other municipality. "Commune" in English has a historical bias, implies an association with socialist political movements or philosophies, collectivist lifestyles, or particular history. There is nothing intrinsically different between commune in French; the French word commune appeared in the 12th century, from Medieval Latin communia, for a large gathering of people sharing a common life. As of January 2015, there were 36,681 communes in France, 36,552 of them in metropolitan France and 129 of them overseas; this is a higher total than that of any other European country, because French communes still reflect the division of France into villages or parishes at the time of the French Revolution. The whole territory of the French Republic is divided into communes.
This is unlike some other countries, such as the United States, where unincorporated areas directly governed by a county or a higher authority can be found. There are only a few exceptions: COM of Saint-Martin, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe région. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Martin became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. COM of Wallis and Futuna, which still is divided according to the three traditional chiefdoms. COM of Saint Barthélemy, it was a commune inside the Guadeloupe region. The commune structure was abolished when Saint-Barthélemy became an overseas collectivity on 22 February 2007. Furthermore, two regions without permanent habitation have no communes: TOM of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean In metropolitan France, the average area of a commune in 2004 was 14.88 square kilometres. The median area of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was smaller, at 10.73 square kilometres. The median area is a better measure of the area of a typical French commune.
This median area is smaller than that of most European countries. In Italy, the median area of communes is 22 km2. Switzerland and the Länder of Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia in Germany were the only places in Europe where the communes had a smaller median area than in France; the communes of France's overseas départements such as Réunion and French Guiana are large by French standards. They group into the same commune several villages or towns with sizeable distances among them. In Réunion, demographic expansion and sprawling urbanization have resulted in the administrative splitting of some communes; the median population of metropolitan France's communes at the 1999 census was 380 inhabitants. Again this is a small number, here France stands apart in Europe, with the lowest communes' median population of all the European countries; this small median population of French communes can be compared with Italy, where the median population of communes in 2001 was 2,343 inhabitants, Belgium, or Spain.
The median population given here should not hide the fact that there are pronounced differences in size between French communes. As mentioned in the introduction, a commune can be a city of 2 million inhabitants such as Paris, a town of 10,000 inhabitants, or just a hamlet of 10 inhabitants. What the median population tells us is that the vast majority of the French communes only have a few hundred inhabitants. In metropolitan France just over 50 percent of the 36,683 communes have fewer than 500 inhabitants a
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history; the causes of the French Revolution are still debated among historians. Following the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, the French government was in debt, it attempted to restore its financial status through unpopular taxation schemes, which were regressive.
Leading up to the Revolution, years of bad harvests worsened by deregulation of the grain industry and environmental problems inflamed popular resentment of the privileges enjoyed by the aristocracy and the Catholic clergy of the established church. Some historians hold something similar to what Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: that France had "been awakened by our Revolution." Demands for change were formulated in terms of Enlightenment ideals and contributed to the convocation of the Estates General in May 1789. During the first year of the Revolution, members of the Third Estate took control, the Bastille was attacked in July, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was passed in August, the Women's March on Versailles forced the royal court back to Paris in October. A central event of the first stage, in August 1789, was the abolition of feudalism and the old rules and privileges left over from the Ancien Régime; the next few years featured political struggles between various liberal assemblies and right-wing supporters of the monarchy intent on thwarting major reforms.
The Republic was proclaimed in September 1792 after the French victory at Valmy. In a momentous event that led to international condemnation, Louis XVI was executed in January 1793. External threats shaped the course of the Revolution; the Revolutionary Wars beginning in 1792 featured French victories that facilitated the conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the Low Countries and most territories west of the Rhine – achievements that had eluded previous French governments for centuries. Internally, popular agitation radicalised the Revolution culminating in the rise of Maximilien Robespierre and the Jacobins; the dictatorship imposed by the Committee of Public Safety during the Reign of Terror, from 1793 until 1794, established price controls on food and other items, abolished slavery in French colonies abroad, de-established the Catholic church and created a secular Republican calendar, religious leaders were expelled, the borders of the new republic were secured from its enemies. After the Thermidorian Reaction, an executive council known as the Directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.
They suspended elections, repudiated debts, persecuted the Catholic clergy, made significant military conquests abroad. Dogged by charges of corruption, the Directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799. Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution through his popular military campaigns, established the Consulate and the First Empire, setting the stage for a wider array of global conflicts in the Napoleonic Wars; the modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. All future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their predecessor, its central phrases and cultural symbols, such as La Marseillaise and Liberté, fraternité, égalité, ou la mort, became the clarion call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian Revolution over a century later. The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French politics to this day; the Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal system, emancipation of the individual, a greater division of landed property, abolition of the privileges of noble birth, nominal establishment of equality among men.
The French Revolution differed from other revolutions in being not only national, for it intended to benefit all humanity. Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of democracies, it became the focal point for the development of most modern political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism and secularism, among many others. The Revolution witnessed the birth of total war by organising the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the objective of military conquest; some of its central documents, such as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, continued to inspire movements for abolitionism and universal suffrage in the next century. Historians have pointed to many events and factors within the Ancien Régime that led to the Revolution. Rising social and economic inequality, new political ideas emerging from the Enlightenment, economic mismanagement, environmental factors leading to agricultural failure, unmanageable national debt, political mismanagement on the part of King Louis XVI have all been cited as laying the groundwork for the Revolution.
Over the course of the 18th century, there emerged what the philosopher Jürgen Habermas called the idea of the "public sphere" in France and elsewhere
The French Army the Ground Army to distinguish it from the French Air Force, Armée de l'Air or Air Army, is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces. It is responsible to the Government of France, along with the other four components of the Armed Forces; the current Chief of Staff of the French Army is General Jean-Pierre Bosser, a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff. General Bosser is responsible, in part, to the Ministry of the Armed Forces for organization, use of forces, as well as planning and programming and Army future acquisitions. For active service, Army units are placed under the authority of the Chief of the Defence Staff, responsible to the President of France for planning for, use, of forces. All soldiers are considered professionals following the suspension of conscription, voted in parliament in 1997 and made effective in 2001; as of 2017, the French Army employed 117,000 personnel. In addition, the reserve element of the French Army consisted of 15,453 personnel of the Operational Reserve.
In 1999, the Army issued the Code of the French Soldier, which includes the injunctions: The first permanent army, paid with regular wages, instead of feudal levies, was established under Charles VII in the 1420–30s. The Kings of France needed reliable troops after the Hundred Years' War; these units of troops were raised by issuing ordonnances to govern their length of service and payment. These Compagnies d'ordonnance formed the core of the Gendarme Cavalry into the sixteenth century. Stationed throughout France and summoned into larger armies as needed. There was provision made for "Francs-archers" units of bowmen and foot soldiers raised from the non-noble classes but these units were disbanded once war ended; the bulk of the infantry for warfare was still provided by urban or provincial militias, raised from an area or city to fight locally and named for their recruiting grounds. These units became more permanent, in 1480s Swiss instructors were recruited and some of the'Bandes' were combined to form temporary'Legions' of up to 9000 men.
These men would receive training. Henry II further regularised the French army by forming standing Infantry regiments to replace the Militia structure; the first of these—the Régiments de Picardie, Piémont and Champagne—were called Les Vieux Corps. It was normal policy to disband regiments after a war was over as a cost saving measure with the Vieux Corps and the King's own Household Troops the Maison du Roi being the only survivors. Regiments could be raised directly by the King and so called after the region in which they were raised, or by the nobility and so called after the noble or his appointed colonel; when Louis XIII came to the throne he disbanded most of the regiments in existence leaving only the Vieux and a handful of others which became known as the Petite Vieux and gained the privilege of not being disbanded after a war. In 1684 there was a major reorganisation of the French infantry and again in 1701 to fit in with Louis XIV's plans and the War of the Spanish Succession; this reshuffle created many of the modern regiments of the French Army and standardised their equipment and tactics.
The army of the Sun King tended to wear grey-white coats with coloured linings. There were exceptions and the foreign troops, recruited from outside France, wore red or blue while the French Guards wore blue. In addition to these regiments of the line the Maison du Roi provided several elite units, the Swiss Guards, French Guards and the Regiments of Musketeers being the most famous; the white/grey coated French Infantry of the line Les Blancs with their Charleville muskets were a feared foe on the battlefields of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fighting in the Nine Years' War, the Wars of Spanish and Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution. The revolution split the army with the main mass losing most of its officers to aristocratic flight or guillotine and becoming demoralised and ineffective; the French Guard joined the revolt and the Swiss Guards were massacred during the storming of the Tuileries palace. The remnants of the royal army were joined to the revolutionary militias known as sans-culottes, the "National Guard" a more middle class militia and police force, to form the French Revolutionary Army.
From 1792, the French Revolutionary Army fought against various combinations of European powers reliant on large numbers and basic tactics, it was defeated bloodily but survived and drove its opponents first from French soil and overran several countries creating client states. Under Napoleon I, the French Army conquered most of Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. Professionalising again from the Revolutionary forces and using columns of attack with heavy artillery support and swarms of pursuit cavalry the French army under Napoleon and his marshals was able to outmanoeuvre and destroy the allied armies until 1812. Napoleon introduced the concept of all arms Corps, each one a traditional army'in miniature', permitting the field force to be split across several lines of march and rejoin or to operate independently; the Grande Armée operated by seeking a decisive battle with each enemy army and destroying them in detail before occupying territory and forcing a peace. In 1812 Napoleon marched on Moscow seeking to remove Russian influence from eastern Europe and secure the frontiers of his empire and client states.
The campaign went well but the vast distances of the R