Saturday 2 December 2023

Late 18th century warfare

 Join my group for this period on Facebook. Photos of this year's Austerlitz reenactment there.

Austerlitz 1805

 Today's anniversary. 

Russian infantry 1804-07

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Toulon 1793 Osprey

 The Battery de la Montagne opens fire on the Allied fleet, 18 September 1793.

Artwork from CAM 153: Toulon 1793: Napoleon’s first great victory, illustrated by Adam Hook

Monday 27 November 2023


 From   Afbeeldingen der Fransche Militairen, zo als dezelve in Holland zijn binnengetrokken, in den jaare 1795.


French troops of 1794


Military music and society during the French Wars 1793-1815

Review of the Northampton[shire] Militia at Brackley, by Thomas Rowlandson, c.1803 (Yale Center for British Art), featuring drummers in the foreground and the regimental band playing on the right.

 Interesting article here. Well worth a read. Illustrated and free.


The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars were experienced by the ears as much as the eyes, yet the auditory dimensions of these conflicts have received limited attention from historians. This article interrogates the reach and reception of military music in wartime Britain and Ireland by drawing on a wealth of evidence from memoirs, diaries, press reports and regimental archives. It demonstrates that military bands provided sought-after entertainment at myriad public events and staged open-air concerts for socially diverse audiences. The article interprets martial music-making as an important civil-military interface and a potent form of cultural propaganda: a means of inculcating patriotism and asserting the sonic supremacy of the established order in a revolutionary age. But it also reveals that military music provoked irritation, controversy and distress, not least by generating noise complaints and exacerbating sectarianism in Ireland. The article concludes by considering the role of British regimental music-making in overseas colonies and foreign theatres of operations, arguing that it functioned as a form of soft power that underpinned imperial authority, aided diplomacy and eased relations with local inhabitants. An intrusive symptom of large-scale military mobilization, martial music shaped civilian attitudes and soundscapes while profoundly influencing broader musical culture.