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To this day, war colleges dissect the Ulm-Austerlitz and Jena-Auerstadt Campaigns, but they have little interest in the siege-dominated wars fought by Louis' great generals." (Lynn - "Giant of the Grand Siecle: The French Army") Under King Louis XIV "The Sun King" the French army had been the world's finest army.
Until World War I, commanders and nations throughout the world hoped to reproduce Napoleon's lightning campaigns.British beef and German sausage might create specialists in the art of standing still under fire but the mercurial Frenchman could not be so inhibited." Griffith - "Military Thought ..." "My soldiers are as brave as it is possible to be, but they argue too much.If they had the impassible firmness and the docility of the Russians the world not be great enough for me." - Napoleon "Conceptions about French military prowess go back for centuries, but they first became prevalent during the reign of Louis XIV, when French military hegemony both inspired and angered many Europeans.The officers and men were to be of the Roman Catholic faith, the official state religion.Recruiting parties went to towns and villages looking for likely volunteers, inducing them to enlist with the usual promises wines, money, fast women, and glory.