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Enforced DisarmamentFrom the Napoleonic Campaigns to the Gulf War$
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Philip Towle

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206361.001.0001

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Napoleonic Disarmament

Napoleonic Disarmament

(p.17) 1 Napoleonic Disarmament
Enforced Disarmament

Philip Towle

Oxford University Press

Dunkirk and the fortresses on the Russo–Ottoman border were demilitarized in eighteenth-century peace treaties because of the dominating part played by such fortifications in the warfare of the period. With the outbreak of the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte's subsequent seizure of power as emperor of France, the international scene and the nature of warfare were transformed. French expansion was based on mass armies raised by conscription. Because the size of armies was now crucial, it was not surprising that Napoleon tried to limit the number of men under arms maintained by his defeated enemies. Napoleon's armies conquered Italy, the Low Countries, and the smaller German states. They overwhelmed Austria and threatened Russia and Turkey. They defeated Prussia in 1806 and Austria for the second time in 1809. This chapter focuses on Napoleon's implementation of forced disarmament measures in Prussia and Austria.

Keywords:   Napoleon Bonaparte, Austria, forced disarmament, Prussia, warfare, armies, France, French Revolution, conscription

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