Guibert: Prophet of Total War?

TitleGuibert: Prophet of Total War?
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHeuser, Beatrice
EditorChickering, Roger, and Stig Förster
Book TitleWar in an Age of Revolution, 1775-1815
PublisherGerman Historical Institute
CityWashington, DC

Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, Comte de Guibert (1743– 1790) was a French general and military writer. In 1772, he published an essay on tactics which was very influential in his time. One quotation from Guibert's essay may be described as a prediction of the impending revolution in the art of war. "The standing armies, while a burden on the people, are inadequate for the achievement of great and decisive results in war, and meanwhile the mass of the people, untrained in arms, degenerates. ... The hegemony over Europe will fall to that nation which ... becomes possessed of manly virtues and creates a national army." Beatrice Heuser's chapter in War in an Age of Revolution, 1775-1815 concerns Guibert's prophecy.

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