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Spectateur Militaire

Campaign of the Army of the Reserve in 1800 Histoire Régimentaire et Divisionnaire de l'armée d'Italie (History of the Regiments and Divisions of the Army of Italy) compiled by the editors of the Spectateur Militaire. Published in 1844, this is a compilatation of extracts of the regimental histories of the French regiments that cover Napoleon’s 1796-1797 Italian campaign. The histories vary widely in their degrees of detail. Some were clearly taken from journals of the campaign and contain day-by-day logs of where the unit was and what it was doing. Others are very unsystematic, providing great detail about some incidents while remaining completely silent about other matters. For all works, claims about the accomplishments of the units should be taken with a grain of salt (to say the least) and descriptions of enemy strengths and movements are completely unreliable. Used properly, however, the histories are an extremely useful research tool that can fill in many details missing from the accounts of the senior commanders. French, English (forthcoming).