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The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand  Louis XIV,...

The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand

The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand

The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715 Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV by Rene Chartrand




The Armies and Wars of the Sun King 1643-1715

Volume I: The Guard of Louis XIV

by

Rene Chartrand





 Louis XIV, the Sun King, is usually the king that comes to mind when we think of France. It is hard to believe that less than eighty years separate his reign from the French Revolution. The opulence of the Sun King's reign to the convulsions of 1789 seem a world apart. The book is an overview of the history of the army, wars, and campaigns during his reign, along with the history and make up of his various guard units.


 The author takes us from the youth of Louis XIV through the 'Fronde' (Civil Wars in France in the 1640s) uprisings to Louis taking over the actual rule of the state. The French National Army was the first in Europe to be put on a professional basis and not just a militia called up when needed. Some individual armies  (Gustavus Adolphus, Cromwell, and Wallenstein) were professional, but the different European states did not have national standing armies.


 These are the book's chapters:

Young Louis XIV
Into Personal Rule
Foreign Intrigues and Adventures
The Sun King's Blitzkrieg
The Army's Command
Senior Officials and Officers
The World of Chivalry
The Royal Guard: Units Au Dedans du Louvre
The Royal Guard: Units Au Dehors du Louvre
The Royal Guard: Infantry
Other Guard Units

 The book is over 200 pages long. It is filled with pictures of the various battles and commanders of the age. The thirty pages of colored plates are a gold mine of information for the miniatures crowd. Short biographies of all of the higher commanders during Louis' reign are also in the book. There is also an abridged history of all of the Sun King's various Wars, Civil and otherwise.

 A quarter of the book is taken up by the actual guard units of the Sun King. These not only look at the weaponry, uniforms, and organization of the different units, but also give information of the actual battles they fought in. These were not just dress up soldiers, but were actually used in most of the campaigns of Louis XIV. The list includes the Musketeers (with the real D'artagnan), Swiss, and Scottish Guards to name just a few.

 I can easily recommend the book as both a primer and an information bonanza for people looking for more information on the Sun King's military. The information on the different Guard Units is priceless. Thank you Casemate Publishers for another excellent book to review.

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