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The French Wars 1667-1714 by John Lynn
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The French Wars 1667-1714

by John Lynn

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This short history of the five wars of Louis XIV avoids a dry recitation of dates and instead discusses cross-cutting themes in the wars: how and why they stated; why they ended. It's a military history in the sense of grand strategy, with two chapters discussing the lives of two individuals, to provide some social depth. The book briefly recounts some major battles, but does not focus in depth on tactics, command structures, or logistics. In that sense, it's an ideal overview for a reader interested in France and its foreign policy in the period, and perhaps less ideal for a reader seeking a close analysis of the kingdom's military. ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Jul 9, 2015 |
My, but weren't there a lot of battles in Flanders during this period!

Professor Lynn, who is a great authority on military activities in early modern Europe, here provides a basic narrative framework for the five significant conflicts that took place under the full authority of the Sun King. Because of the complexity of the conflicts, and the seemingly never-ending series of engagements along the Rhine River and in the Spanish Netherands, the result is a book that sometimes seems like "one damn battle after another." But Lynn does provide some good analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Louis XIV's strategy, making it clear that he sought to maximalize France's position within the established European order; unlike Napoleon, he did not seek to create an entire new world of nations and peoples.

This Osprey book is exceptionally well illustrated. The pictures are indeed worth thousands of words. However, the maps, while very attractive, are oddly labeled and are really not all that helpful. ( )
1 vote yooperprof | Jun 16, 2014 |
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