Jacques Antoine Hippolyte, Comte de Guibert

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Jacques Antoine Hippolyte
Comte de Guibert
Guibert.jpg
Born(1743-11-12)12 November 1743
Montauban
Died6 May 1790(1790-05-06) (aged 46)
LanguageFrench
NationalityFrench

Jacques-Antoine-Hippolyte, Comte de Guibert (12 November 1743 – 6 May 1790) was a French general and military writer. Born at Montauban, he accompanied his father in wars before he became a general himself. In 1770, he published an essay on tactics which was very influential in his time.

Contents

Biography

He was born at Montauban, and at the age of thirteen accompanied his father, Charles-Benoît, comte de Guibert (1715–1786), chief of staff to Maréchal de Broglie, throughout the Seven Years' War in Germany, and was awarded the cross of St Louis and then promoted to the rank of colonel in the expedition to Corsica (1767). [1]

Montauban Prefecture and commune in Occitanie, France

Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Occitanie region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Toulouse. Montauban is the most populated town in Tarn-et-Garonne, and the sixth most populated of Occitanie behind Toulouse, Montpellier, Nîmes, Perpignan and Béziers. In 2013, there were 57,921 inhabitants, called "Montalbanais". The town has been classified "Ville d’art et d’histoire" since 2015.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Corsica Island in the Mediterranean, also a region and a department of France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

In 1773 he visited Germany and was present at the Prussian regimental drills and army manœuvres; Frederick the Great, recognizing Guibert's ability, showed great favour to the young comte and freely discussed military questions with him. Guibert's Journal d'un voyage en Allemagne was published, with a memoir, by Toulongeon (Paris, 1803). His Défense du système de guerre moderne, a reply to his many critics (Neuchâtel, 1779) is a reasoned and scientific defence of the Prussian method of tactics, which formed the basis of his work when in 1775 he began to co-operate with the count de Saint-Germain in a series of much-needed and successful reforms in the French army. During those years, he also won the love of Julie de Lespinasse, whose love letters to him, later published, are still read today.

Frederick the Great king of Prussia

Frederick II ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, the longest reign of any Hohenzollern king. His most significant accomplishments during his reign included his military victories, his reorganization of Prussian armies, his patronage of the arts and the Enlightenment and his final success against great odds in the Seven Years' War. Frederick was the last Hohenzollern monarch titled King in Prussia and declared himself King of Prussia after achieving sovereignty over most historically Prussian lands in 1772. Prussia had greatly increased its territories and became a leading military power in Europe under his rule. He became known as Frederick the Great and was nicknamed Der Alte Fritz by the Prussian people and eventually the rest of Germany.

Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain French general

Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain, French general, was born on 15 April 1707, at the Château of Vertamboz.

Jeanne Julie Éléonore de Lespinasse French Salon-holder

Jeanne Julie Éléonore de Lespinasse was a French salon holder and letter writer. She held a prominent salon in Paris during the Enlightenment. She is best-known today, however, for her letters, first published in 1809, which offer compelling accounts of two tragic love affairs.

In 1777, however, Saint-Germain fell into disgrace, and his fall involved that of Guibert who was promoted to the rank of maréchal de camp and relegated to a provincial staff appointment. In his semi-retirement he vigorously defended his old chief Saint-Germain against his detractors. On the eve of the Revolution he was recalled to the War Office, but in his turn he became the object of attack and he died, practically of disappointment, on 6 May 1790. [1]

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Writings

In 1770 he published his Essai général de tactique in London, and this celebrated work appeared in numerous subsequent editions and in English, German and even Persian translations (extracts also in Liskenne and Sauvan, Bibl. historique et militaire, Paris, 1845). Of this work (for a detailed critique of which see Max Jahns, Gesch. d. Kriegswissenschaften, vol. iii. pp. 2058–2070 and references therein) it may be said that it was the best essay on war produced by a soldier during a period in which tactics were discussed even in the salon and military literature was more abundant than at any time up to 1871. [1]

Apart from technical questions, in which Guibert's enlightened conservatism stands in marked contrast to the doctrinaire progressiveness of Menil Durand, Folard and others, the book is chiefly valued for its broad outlook on the state of Europe, especially of military Europe in the period 1763-1792. One quotation may be given as being a most remarkable prophecy of the impending revolution in the art of war, a revolution which the "advanced" tacticians themselves scarcely foresaw. "The standing armies, while a burden on the people, are inadequate for the achievement of great and decisive results in war, and meanwhile the mass of the people, untrained in arms, degenerates. ... The hegemony over Europe will fall to that nation which ... becomes possessed of manly virtues and creates a national army"—a prediction fulfilled almost to the letter within twenty years of Guibert's death. [1]

Other works of Guibert, besides those mentioned, are: Observations sur la constitution politique et militaire des armées de S. M. Prussienne (Amsterdam, 1778), Eloges of Marshal Catinat (1775), of Michel de l'Hôpital (1778), and of Frederick the Great (1787). Guibert was a member of the Académie française from 1786, and he also wrote a tragedy, Le Connétable de Bourbon (1775) and a journal of travels in France and Switzerland. His final work was De la force publique considérée par tous ses rapports (Paris: Didot l'aîné, 1790) in which he contradicted several of the postulates on militias and professional armies. Guibert's writing on the subject - pondering the advantages and disadvantages of militias/conscript armies and mercenaries/professional forces until this day cover most fundamental arguments on the subject. [1]

Michel de lHôpital French statesman

Michel de l'Hôpital was a French statesman.

Académie française Pre-eminent council for the French language

The Académie française is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution, it was restored as a division of the Institut de France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest of the five académies of the institute.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Notes

Attribution

Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Guibert, Jacques Antoine Hippolyte, Comte de". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Bibliography

Guibert's works

Secondary Literature

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