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  • Massena
    replied
    Originally posted by MaximGorki View Post
    true most soldiers would take the chance for a little plunder, but this is different to the French army where it was organized - any seemingly the soldiers saw an unofficial contract they risked their lives and Boney granted them the plunder.
    Where was it 'organized' in the French army? Some sources would be helpful here. And where did Napoleon 'grant them the plunder?'

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  • MaximGorki
    replied
    true most soldiers would take the chance for a little plunder, but this is different to the French army where it was organized - any seemingly the soldiers saw an unofficial contract they risked their lives and Boney granted them the plunder.

    Leave a comment:


  • Snowygerry
    replied
    Originally posted by Massena View Post
    I believe that all troops looted if they were allowed to.
    But Belgian *civilians* looted the troops apparently.

    Which makes sense when you think about it,

    when the armies move after battle, a lot of whatever they looted previously, will be easy pickings and many of the troops will no longer be in a condition to protect their "loot"


    The flood of teeth onto the market after the Battle of Waterloo was so large that dentures made from them were known as “Waterloo teeth.” They were proudly advertised as such, since it meant the teeth came from relatively healthy young men.
    https://shannonselin.com/2016/07/nap...field-cleanup/
    Last edited by Snowygerry; 09 Apr 19, 07:12.

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  • MaximGorki
    replied
    Of course Boney had a heavy hand in looting, as the rest of his army, especially in Italy, be became very rich - all of a sudden, certainly not from the income being a general.
    By their sort of non existend supply system (for food) the French soldiers had no other chance than to loot, to survive, but this wasn't restricted to the common soldiers' strife for survival but also to enrich the high echelon officers. Kellermann kidnapped rich citizens in Spain and held then at ransom - difficult to find such criminal behaviour in other armies.

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  • Massena
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post

    The Belgians also looted. Woodberry had his best horse stolen by Belgian soldiers who later made the mistake of trying to sell it back to the British Army
    I believe that all troops looted if they were allowed to. Both Napoleon and Wellington were against it, Blucher and the Russians not so. Houssaye's history of the 1814 campaign in France gives myriad examples of allied looting.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by Massena View Post

    You can find what Mercer did to feed his men and horses in his book on the Waterloo campaign-even when it was forbidden.

    Blucher encouraged pillaging and looting except within Prussia. In 1815 the Belgians believed that the Prussians were worse than the Cossacks of the year before.
    The Belgians also looted. Woodberry had his best horse stolen by Belgian soldiers who later made the mistake of trying to sell it back to the British Army

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  • Massena
    replied
    Originally posted by MarkV View Post

    The distinction is between pillaging and foraging. Wellington forbade the former and issued tight restrictions on the latter. Pillagers were flogged. Foraging was to be controlled by regimental officers and commissary officers and supplies paid for using promissory notes.

    Oman's study of Peninsula court-martial accounts indicates that a significant proportion of officer court martials were for "permitting men to plunder"

    The Journal of Lieutenant George Woodberry, a Hussar, mentions that in the advance from Waterloo to Paris Wellington had sentries posted, in the French towns and villages occupied in the process, to prevent looting It would seem that Blucher and the Prussians were less solicitous and the latter used the threat of permitted pillage as a means of obtaining French submission.
    You can find what Mercer did to feed his men and horses in his book on the Waterloo campaign-even when it was forbidden.

    Blucher encouraged pillaging and looting except within Prussia. In 1815 the Belgians believed that the Prussians were worse than the Cossacks of the year before.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by Massena View Post

    There is a difference between pillaging, which is unregulated, and living off the land which was, or should have been regulated.
    The distinction is between pillaging and foraging. Wellington forbade the former and issued tight restrictions on the latter. Pillagers were flogged. Foraging was to be controlled by regimental officers and commissary officers and supplies paid for using promissory notes.

    Oman's study of Peninsula court-martial accounts indicates that a significant proportion of officer court martials were for "permitting men to plunder"

    The Journal of Lieutenant George Woodberry, a Hussar, mentions that in the advance from Waterloo to Paris Wellington had sentries posted, in the French towns and villages occupied in the process, to prevent looting It would seem that Blucher and the Prussians were less solicitous and the latter used the threat of permitted pillage as a means of obtaining French submission.

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  • Massena
    replied
    Originally posted by marktwain View Post
    Pillaging, pre railroads, was virtually the only realistic way to move a mass army across country.

    the duke of Wellington, to hjs credit, recognized that the best you can do is channel it to necessities. ( for man and Horse.)
    There is a difference between pillaging, which is unregulated, and living off the land which was, or should have been regulated.

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  • MarkV
    replied
    Originally posted by marktwain View Post
    Pillaging, pre railroads, was virtually the only realistic way to move a mass army across country.

    the duke of Wellington, to hjs credit, recognized that the best you can do is channel it to necessities. ( for man and Horse.)
    Old Concky did more than that - he instituted a system whereby Commissary officers issued promissory notes for what was taken. These did not reflect full war time market rates and were post dated but it did mean that the peasantry could eventually redeem them and get some compensation.

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  • Massena
    replied
    Originally posted by Surrey View Post


    Didn't Nappy himself do quite a bit looting? Seem to remember that he had particularly sticky hands in Italy.
    That's the usual commentary on Napoleon and the first Italian campaign. However, Boycott-Brown in The Road to Rivoli provides evidence that it wasn't an accurate assessment. The principal 'looters' were the representatives of the French government in Italy and it was an activity that Napoleon attempted to curtail.

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  • marktwain
    replied
    Pillaging, pre railroads, was virtually the only realistic way to move a mass army across country.

    the duke of Wellington, to hjs credit, recognized that the best you can do is channel it to necessities. ( for man and Horse.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Michele
    replied
    Originally posted by Surrey View Post


    Didn't Nappy himself do quite a bit looting? Seem to remember that he had particularly sticky hands in Italy.
    That would be answer #2 above. if I listed it among the possibilities, there is a reason.

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  • Surrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Surrey View Post


    Didn't Nappy himself do quite a bit looting? Seem to remember that he had particularly sticky hands in Italy.
    https://byronico.com/2013/07/14/the-...l-of-napoleon/

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  • Surrey
    replied
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    Interesting. Then one wonders what the explanation of reality was:
    1. an undeserved bad reputation of the French Napoleonic armies?
    2. a case of "don't do as I say (here), do as I do"?
    3. a distinction being drawn between pillaging (intended as the criminal action of individual soldiers or groups of soldiers, against orders) and foraging (under orders)?

    Didn't Nappy himself do quite a bit looting? Seem to remember that he had particularly sticky hands in Italy.

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