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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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The Demilitarization of French Fortresses in 1815

The Demilitarization of French Fortresses in 1815

(p.36) 2 The Demilitarization of French Fortresses in 1815
Enforced Disarmament

Philip Towle

Oxford University Press

By 1814, the whole of Europe from Gibraltar to Moscow had suffered for two decades from the ravages of France's armies in wars which were almost unlimited by conventional restraints. Allies, who gathered in Vienna in 1814 and in Paris the following year, had thought long and hard about ways of preventing a recurrence of French aggression. Their solutions were comprehensive — political, strategic, and military. After some hesitation in 1815, the political solution they favoured was the restoration of a reformed Bourbon monarchy which, they hoped, would prevent future revolutions and the aggression that went with them. Their strategic answer was to keep the alliance together and to isolate France if it again showed signs of wanting to upset the international status quo. Their military solution was to revert to the pre-Napoleonic policy of demolishing existing French fortifications or constructing new ones in friendly territories. This chapter examines the demilitarization of French fortresses in 1815.

Keywords:   France, Napoleon Bonaparte, demilitarization, armies, wars, fortifications, fortresses, Bourbon monarchy, allies

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