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Battle of Valmy

The Battle of Valmy was the first major victory by the army of France during the Revolutionary Wars that followed the French Revolution. The action took place on 20 September 1792 as Prussian troops commanded by the Duke of Brunswick attempted to march on Paris. Generals François Kellermann and Charles Dumouriez stopped the advance near the northern village of Valmy in Champagne-Ardenne. In this early part of the Revolutionary Wars—known as the War of the First Coalition—the new French government was in every way unproven, thus the small, localized victory at Valmy became a huge psychological victory for the Revolution at large; the outcome was unexpected by contemporary observers—a vindication for the French revolutionaries and a stunning defeat for the vaunted Prussian army. The victory emboldened the newly assembled National Convention to formally declare the end of monarchy in France and to establish the First French Republic. Valmy permitted the development of the Revolution and all its resultant ripple effects, for that it is regarded by historians as one of the most significant battles in history.

As the French Revolution continued, the monarchies of Europe became concerned that revolutionary fervor would spread to their countries. The War of the First Coalition was an effort to stop the revolution, or at least contain it to France. King Frederick William II of Prussia had the support of Great Britain and the Austrian Empire to send the Duke of Brunswick towards Paris with a large army. In the war's early encounters of mid-1792, French troops did not distinguish themselves, enemy forces advanced dangerously deep into France intending to pacify the country, restore the traditional monarchy, end the Revolution; the French commander Charles Dumouriez, had been marching his army northeast to attack the Austrian Netherlands, but this plan was abandoned because of the more immediate threat to Paris. A second army under General François Kellermann was ordered to link up with him in a mutual defense. Just over half of the French infantry were regulars of the old Royal Army, as were nearly all of the cavalry and, most the artillery, which were regarded as the best in Europe at the time.

These veterans provided a professional core to steady the enthusiastic volunteer battalions. Combined, Dumouriez' Army of the North and Kellermann's Army of the Centre totalled 54,000 troops. Heading towards them was Brunswick's coalition army of about 84,000, all veteran Prussian and Austrian troops augmented by large complements of Hessians and the French royalist Army of Condé; the invading army handily captured Longwy on 23 August and Verdun on 2 September moved on toward Paris through the defiles of the Forest of Argonne. In response, Dumouriez halted his advance to the Netherlands and reversed course, approaching the enemy army from its rear. From Metz, Kellermann moved to his assistance, joining him at the village of Sainte-Menehould on 19 September; the French forces were now east of the Prussians, behind their lines. Theoretically the Prussians could have marched straight towards Paris unopposed, but this course was never considered: the threat to their lines of supply and communication was too great to be ignored.

The unfavorable situation was compounded by bad weather and an alarming increase in sickness among the troops. With few other options available, Brunswick prepared to do battle; the troops trudged laboriously through a heavy downpour—"rain as of the days of Noah", in the words of Thomas Carlyle. Brunswick headed through the northern woods believing. At the moment when the Prussian manœuvre was nearly completed, Kellermann advanced his left wing and took up a position on the slopes between Sainte-Menehould and Valmy, he centered his command around an old windmill, which he razed to prevent enemy artillery spotters from using it as a sighting location. His veteran artillerists were well-placed upon its accommodating ridge to begin the so-called "Cannonade of Valmy". Brunswick moved toward them with about 34,000 of his troops; as they emerged from the woods, a long-range gunnery duel ensued and the French batteries proved superior. The Prussian infantry made a cautious, fruitless, effort to advance under fire across the open ground.

As the Prussians wavered, a pivotal moment was reached when Kellermann raised his hat and made his famous cry of "Vive la Nation". The cry was repeated again and again by all the French army, had a crushing effect upon Prussian morale; the French troops sang "La Marseillaise" and "Ça Ira", a cheer went up from the French line. To the surprise of nearly everyone, Brunswick retired from the field; the Prussians rounded the French positions at a great distance and commenced a rapid retreat eastward. The two engaged forces had been equal in size, Kellermann with 36,000 troops and 40 cannon, Brunswick with 34,000 and 54 cannon, yet by the time Brunswick retreated, casualties had risen no higher than three hundred French and two hundred Prussians. The precipitous end to the action provoked elation among the French; the question of why the Prussians withdrew has never been definitively answered. Most historians ascribe the retreat to some combination of the following factors: the defensible French position together with the growing numbers of reinforcements and citizen volunteers with their discouraging and unexpected élan which persuaded the cautious Brunswick to spare himself a dangerous loss of manpower when the Russian invasion of Poland had raised concerns for Prussia's defensibility in the east.

Others have put forward more shadowy motives for the decision, including a secret plea by Louis XVI to av

Briquet Griffon Vendéen

A Briquet Griffon Vendéen is a breed of hunting dog originating in France. Prior to the first World War it was bred down in size by the Comte d’Elva from the Grand Griffon Vendéen; the Briquet Griffon Vendéen was extinct after World War II, but thanks to the effort of Hubert Dezamy, a French dog show judge, the breed was restored. The Briquet Griffon Vendéen has low-set ears and a bushy double coat, it comes in solid or mixed colors, light brown and orange, white and gray and tri-colored. They stand from 20 - 22 inches at the withers, they weigh from 48 to 53 lbs. The Briquet is a passionate hunter with fortitude, it should be able to pick up a cold trail as well as a hot one. Like its close relations the other vendeen hounds, the Briquet relishes its time outdoors with its family. While they are not high-strung, they are enthusiastic dogs. Bred to work in packs as well as on their own, they get along well with other dogs and are not overly possessive about anything, they are fine companion for children.

Griffons do not take to being told what to do. They do not mind being cajoled, bribed, or played with- and if these things lead them to do something their owner likes everyone is happy. All the Griffons are keen hunters with strong instincts, they thrive on being able to follow their noses at least once a day. Provided with a large, safe area in which to sniff and explore to its heart's content, a Briquette will be a happy dog- if it is just once a week. Short of hunting opportunities, Griffons must have time outdoors. Long walks are most appreciated- bred as hunting dogs, they do not tire easily; the tousled appearance of the Griffon comes and any trimming is discouraged. Its double coat must be combed; the burrs and mud it picks up in its travels need to be brushed off its legs and belly. Its long ears should be cleaned regularly. "Briquet Griffon Vendéen" FCI-Standard N° 19, 18 February 2000 Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard.

Gusła

Gusła is the debut concept album of the Polish band Lao Che released in January 2002. The theme of the album is Slavic mythology. Titles in brackets are translated from Polish. "Astrolog" "Kniaź" "Klucznik" "Wiedźma" "Junak" "Lelum Polelum" "Mars: Anioł Choroby" "Nałożnica" "Did Lirnik" "Topielce" "Komtur" "Jestem Słowianinem" "Wisielec" "Kat" ^ In the Old Polish language, "junak" is a plucky, brave fellow ^ Lelum Polelum is an ancient spell in Slavic witchcraft and a title of a story by Ivan Franko ^ Did Lirnik is a Ruthenian expression for a Slavic aoidos