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View Full Version : Ethnic Composition of Napoleon's "Grande Armée"?



Schutzstaffelor
Saturday, January 29th, 2005, 08:12 PM
I have read that towards the end of his campaigns (war of the third to fifth coalitions especially) that his army was less than 50% French ethnically. I am wondering, would German soldiers make up the bulk of rest then? Napoleon was also quite popular in Poland, so perhaps there were also significant numbers of Polish volunteers.

Does anyone have any comments on this?

Bismark
Saturday, January 29th, 2005, 09:33 PM
I have read that towards the end of his campaigns (war of the third to fifth coalitions especially) that his army was less than 50% French ethnically. I am wondering, would German soldiers make up the bulk of rest then? Napoleon was also quite popular in Poland, so perhaps there were also significant numbers of Polish volunteers.

Does anyone have any comments on this?
I've read that the majority of his soldiers were indeed not French, Especially in his later campaigns. As I understand it, his armies in mainland Europe were comprised of about 30% German, 20% polish, 20% Italian, and only about 20% French, with the other 10% made up of people from French Satellites. This is the make up of his later armies as I have read; the early of course would have been mostly French.

Kräuterhexe
Sunday, January 30th, 2005, 12:51 AM
There were 612.000 soldiers , only 210.000 French , but 40.000 Austrian , 23.000 Prussian , 30.000 Bavarian and 90.000 Polish ,- members , the rest was from french Satellites.


Picture of the Grand Armee

http://www.histoire-image.org/photo/zoom/vers26_gautherot_001f.jpg