Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Colloque international sur Turenne et l'art militaire, and Fernand Louis Gambiez. Actes du Colloque international sur Turenne et l'art militaire: tenu à Paris, École militaire, Amphithéâtre des Vallières, les 2 et 3 octobre 1975. [Paris]: Les Belles lettres, 1978.

Napoleon famously said: “The principles of warfare are those which guided the great captains whose high deeds history has transmitted to us—Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Eugene of Savoy, Frederick the Great….The history of their eighty-three campaigns would constitute a complete treatise on the art of war; the principles that must be followed in defensive and offensive warfare would flow from it as from a common source.”

My current reading includes this scarce volume, which is a collection of essays delivered in Paris by eminent military scholars to mark the 300th anniversary of the death in battle at Sasbach, Germany, of the great marshal-general. Although like all such collective works the quality of the many contributions vary, there is much here that I've found useful, new (to me), even provocative. And, I am not unfamiliar with the literature on Turenne, which is rather extensive. But, this is the first opportunity that I've had to read this volume, and I'll share my observations in coming posts.

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