Grant for a publication > Les troupes de marine au combat 1854 – 1870 edited by Walter Bruyère-Ostells

The Fondation Napoléon has made a grant publication for this new book by L’Artilleur – Bernard Giovanangeli devoted to the Troupes de Marine [a branch of the French Army] in combat, from the Battle of Alma (1854) to the Battle of Bazeilles (1870).

At Bazeilles, in 1870, the soldiers of the Troupes de Marine of the Blue Division distinguished themselves in fierce fighting, until their ammunition ran out. Their bravery and self-sacrifice set an outstanding and founding example for their successors in the French army.

Published under the auspices of the État-Major Spécialisé pour l’Outre-mer et l’Étranger (EMSOME), the parent company of the Troupes de Marine, this book retraces the campaigns of the “marsouins” and “bigors” under the Second Empire, in the Crimea, Mexico and China. It also studies the very harsh sanitary conditions of these distant expeditions. The marine infantry and artillery already had a solid reputation when they took part in the Battle of Sedan on 31 August and 1 September 1870. Their relentless defence of the village of Bazeilles is remembered in Alphonse de Neuville’s painting, Les dernières cartouches, which transcends the defeat by celebrating military and patriotic virtues (see the painting and its study).

This book is published under the direction of Walter Bruyère-Ostells, university professor of contemporary history at Sciences-Po Aix, and director of research at the Service Historique de la Défense.

Paris, L’Artilleur / Bernard Giovanangeli, 2021, 209 p.

Table of contents

PART I • The Troupes de Marine in Distant Campaigns before the War of 1870
• Introductory Remarks
• The Troupes de Marine during the Mexican Campaign, by Jean-David Avenel
• The Troupes de Marine in the Second Opium War, by Patrick Louvier
• The General Faidherbe and the Contact with African Societies: a Precursor for the Officers of the “Coloniale“?, by Benoît Beucher

PART II • Health and Medical Issues during the Franco-Prussian War and Earlier Conflicts
• Introductory Remarks
• An Inhuman War? 1870-71 in the Eyes of the International Committee of the Red Cross, by Daniel Palmieri
• The Troupes d’infanterie de Marine and the French Naval Forces in the Face of Epidemics in the Distant Expeditions of the Second Empire, Crimea, China and Cochinchina, Mexico, by Benoît Pouget

PART III • War of 1870 and the Bazeilles Battles, Memory and Representations
• Introductory Remarks
• The French Operational Plan in 1870 or the Great Illusion, by colonel Thierry Noulens
• The Blue Division 42 Days: the Life Span of a Summer Bee, by General (2S) Nicolas Graff
• “Bazeilles”, Images of a Legend, by François Robichon

•Conclusion, by General Garnier

29 June 2021