Witnessing the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in German Central Europe

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-31
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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The Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars profoundly affected German Central Europe. Thousands of German and Austrian soldiers fought as enemies and allies of France in military campaigns that stretched from the sierras of Spain to the snowfields of Russia. Meanwhile, German and Austrian civilians found their lives touched by warfare in a way not seen for decades. The political geography of area was transformed as the thousand-year Holy Roman Empire collapsed and Napoleon redrew state borders. Millions found themselves forced to adapt to the political and military reality of French domination.

This book traces the individual and collective experience of these momentous events in the letters, diaries and memoirs of contemporaries. It explores how soldiers and civilians wrote about both the horrors and pleasures of warfare and how these experiences were mediated by social status, sex, religion and geography. It suggests that despite the trauma of a generation of warfare, older, pre-Revolutionary interpretations of armed conflict remained important as eyewitnesses sought to explain and understand the turmoil around them.

Author Biography

Leighton S. James is Lecturer in European History at the University of Swansea, UK. His research interests include military-civilian relations, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, labour history and social history. He has previously worked on the history of south Wales and Ruhr coalfields. He is the author of The Politics of Identity and Civil Society in Britain and Germany: The Miners in the Ruhr and South Wales, 1890-1926.

Table of Contents

1. Facing the Revolution: The German States from 1789 to 1815
2. Writing War
3. Military Life and Combat
4. Captivity and Travel
5. Invasion and Occupation
6. Resistance and Liberation

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