Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Dutch army under Napoleon

Also in, this great book on the Dutch army under the Kingdom of Holland. This period was the last step between the foundation of a Batavian revolutionary republic under French protection in 1795 and full incorporation into the French empire in 1810.

With Napoleon's brother Louis put on the throne in 1806, the country seemed already well under French control. But Louis' genuine considerations for the interests of the Dutch people ensured that neither Napoleon was satisfied nor the Dutch.

Given Napoleon's focus on the military contribution of the Dutch to his overall war effort, the army was always going to be a breaking point. Louis' four years in charge failed to bring a balance between Napoleon's demands for a bigger army and the Dutch ability to pay for expansion and provide the necessary recruits.

Which is why Napoleon finally decided to be done with and independent state.

Christiaan van der Spek looks at the Dutch room for manoeuvre in military policy during independence, and also to which extent the Dutch maintained a separate identity, first within the French sphere of influence and later within the empire.

Will be an interesting read.

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