The Petite Guerre of the 18th Century in Europe:

An Updating of the Bibliography[1]

Sandrine Picaud (2005)


Article published in:

Bibliographie Internationale d’Histoire Militaire (BIHM) / International Bibliography of Military History (IBMH), t. 26, Centre général Guisan, Pully (Suisse), éditions Thesis Zürich, 2005 – Introduction in English, p. 187-194 ; then commentated Bibliography, p. 195-225. 

In addition to the Introduction to the bibliography offered in HTML format below, you will find the English text of the introduction AND the whole commented bibliography to be read entirely in PDF format on the present Website, HERE.

See also the presentation and abstract of this article HERE.


Translation from French in English from the IBMH (2005), with thorough corrections post-publication by Sandrine Picaud-Monnerat and revision by Ludovic Monnerat (2011), so that the version offered below is expurgated from mistakes and misinterpretations. And – what is as much important – the expression “petite guerre” is restored in French. Indeed:
- on the one hand, there was no translation of this expression in the 18th century;

- on the other hand, the contemporary English-speaking authors themselves have been hesitating since several decades about which expression using for the translation, as I explain below and in another article: “‘Partisan warfare’, ‘war in detachment’ : la ‘petite guerre’ vue d’Angleterre (XVIIIe siècle)”, Stratégique [Paris, distribution through Economica editions], Number 84, March 2004, p. 13-59. See the page devoted to this last article HERE, with a rich abstract in English.


[p. 187]

1. A “key” subject

     The study of the petite guerre, warfare made of skirmishes and surprise attacks, is in fashion. It is in keeping with the context of a revival of military history over several decades, revival on which several articles have been written[2]. In France, it was initially that of a wide-scale social history of military personnel and military institutions; the revival also touches, more recently, on tactical and strategic history. Publications in the collections “Campagnes et stratégie” and “Bibliothèque stratégique”, Economica editions, are an example, as are the periodical conferences given at the CEHD in Vincennes [ndlr 2011: Centre d’études d’histoire de la défense, now a part of the IRSEM, Paris] within the committee “Nouvelle histoire bataille” (under the coordination of Laurent Henninger). In this context, in the same way that the battle can be analyzed according to the grid of “the matrix event, which encompasses a series of consequences beneficial or not, having repercussions over several centuries” or as “a magnifying event” which “allows the deep-rooted structures of society to be untangled”[3], as well the petite guerre can in turn benefit from an analysis privileging globalizing. This analysis integrates, alongside tactics itself, its practice and reflections about it, everything that may explain the manner in which it is used: the combatants in petite guerre (troops and their leaders), its reputation towards the fighters and civil society, and governmental attitude. This reflects the context of military thinking, social structures and mentalities at the time. 

2. The subject’s interest and the incertitude in terminology


From a tactical point of view, the petite guerre cannot be much distinguished from the warfare called “guerrilla” from the beginning of the 19th century onwards: a “coups d’épingle”[4] tactic, which compensates the lack of force with art and cunning, and concentrates all its efforts in the effects of surprise: a tactic of all time, still widely used today in “low intensity”[5] conflicts. [p. 188] The subject of the petite guerre merits being put under the spotlight, something done neither by the so called “Positivist” historical school of the 19th century, which favoured “battle history”, nor by the “Ecole des Annales” of the 20th century, which diverted itself away from military history. And yet the petite guerre filled the operational theatre between battles and sieges during the 18th century; it was the real day-to-day war. The subject of tactical stalemate in European wars of the 18th century was dealt with time and time again[6] (limited objectives, aiming the defence of territories which would be negotiated at peace time, the defence also of bases and provisioning points; slow and heavy armies, that could not force into battle and make it decisive). This stalemate favoured the development of petite guerre as an alternative tactic to battle, in order to cut enemy communications and hinder logistics. A paragraph from Turpin de Crissé is very expressive upon the real importance of the petite guerre in the 18th century campaigns: “One does not do battle every day. As such general actions are never unimportant, generals commanding the forces don’t give or receive them till after careful reflection; in this way two or three campaigns can pass without finding the occasion to give one, and during these campaigns there are only marches, camps, detachments, ambushes, surprises, attacks on posts, convoys and forages”[7].

It is even more relevant to undertake a study of the petite guerre focussing on the 18th century, as, in addition to the importance of this tactic on the ground, many theoretical manuals on the subject appeared at this time[8]. The middle of the 18th century saw indeed the first works on the petite guerre, following the war of the Austrian Succession (1740-1748). And it really was an “art”, which authors wanted to deal with and theorise. Backed by their personal field experiences, often in a hussars regiment or in a light cavalry corps (specialists in the petite guerre), theorists can calmly teach the lessons of the Bohemian and Bavarian campaigns as well as those in Flanders. Last, but not least, taking especially a French look at the petite guerre is nothing more than re-tell history; the first theoretical works on this topic were published in French[9]. The German (and a few British[10]) authors followed.

The expression “petite guerre” itself appeared, or re-appeared[11], in the 18th century, after a long break. During the 17th century, one used only the expression “guerre de partis” [p. 189] (with the same meaning). This modification confirmed itself as Western European wars saw an increase in oriental influence, Turkish through the model of Hungarian hussars and irregular Croatian Infantrymen. The chronological coincidence tends to prove that the slipping of vocabulary (especially the adjective “petite”) reveals the lame reputation (new fact?) where this war in Western Europe henceforth carried out by hussars, upon which were rumours of savagery inherited from their Hungarian ancestors, did spread. And yet this curious expression “petite guerre” wasn’t unanimously accepted: even if a literal German translation (“der Kleinkrieg”) or a Polish one (“mała woyna[12]) existed, the British didn’t use it in the 18th century, whatever texts were concerned, as translations of French works or British productions. So, Anglo-Saxon historians found themselves in a difficult situation during the last 40 years, when they wanted to reflect on the notion of the “petite guerre” of the 18th century. Should they create an expression which didn’t exist in the 18th century? P. Paret[13], Walter Laqueur, Hew Strachan, proposed literal translations of “Little War”, “Small War” or even “Petty War” (Hew Strachan). The semantic wealth of the English language explains such hesitations. Also, Robert A. Selig and David Curtis Skaggs[14] preferred to beat around the bush with “Light Warfare”, “Irregular Warfare”; whereas other historians stick to the French expression in their works (J.-A. Houlding, Col. Roger, P.-E. Russell[15]).

These discussions to determine the most accurate expression may seem futile. Futile they are not, as it is important to define a precise reality using a precise term. For example, the French and German expressions of “petite guerre” and “kleiner Krieg” are often misinterpreted in historiography, mixing up the petite guerre and guerrilla war, to such an extent that the significance isn’t that of the 18th century any more. Petite guerre and guerrilla war: both have been around for centuries (even if the term “guerrilla” is more recent); both privilege the art of surprise and ambush. These are two realities which should continue to be distinguished nevertheless, on other criteria than tactics. The petite guerre is an expression of the early modern period (16th-18th centuries) but its name, like the reality it expresses, goes beyond the French Revolution. In this sort of warfare, the institutional legitimacy of the fighters is recognized in both camps; the fighters, themselves, do not have any personal motivation for combat other then the service to the prince who employs them, whether they are regimented troops or not. Here therefore we will study a tactic used in the “grande guerre” of sieges and battles, within conventional international conflicts. The guerrilla war supersedes the petite guerre as soon as the fighters have more personal motivations such as political, religious or social motivations, as soon as they do not have the endorsement of the prince, of the leader or, in other words, of the dominant country; as soon as the institutional legitimacy only exists on one side. All civil wars can be placed in this latter category. Guerrilla warfare existed also before the 19th century, even if the term only dates back to the Spanish war (for the 18th century, the struggles of the Camisards or those of the Corsican supporters can be quoted)[16]. Amongst the authors whose works lack clarity on this point, and risk creating a certain confusion to the reader, we can cite G. Buchheit, K. Metz, G. Bonnet, L. Gann, J. Alger and T. Griess[17]. The imprecision is linked either to the chronology (one limits the petite guerre to the “guerres de cabinet prérévolutionnaires”; and the guerrilla starts in the post-revolutionary period) or to a mix up between the two realities.

[p. 190]


3. An innovative subject 

      Brought about by the renewal of tactical history, the history of the petite guerre in early modern times still remains not thoroughly enough studied. More and more military historians tackle the subject in their works, without it being their principal topic; as recently in an article published by Bruno Colson[18] where one finds a chapter on “La cavalerie et la petite guerre” because the prince of Ligne had a few treatises the petite guerre in his library, on which, like on many of the other books of his library, he made comments. Yves-Marie Bercé had also already touched on the subject of the petite guerre twenty years previously, as had a number of German or Anglo-Saxon historians: C. Duffy, B. Nosworthy, G. Parker, J. Alger and T. Griess, G. Blumentritt, C. Stephan, T. Nevitt Dupuy, passim[19]. As the covered subjects are vast, their authors often content themselves with what others did right about the petite guerre. Serious studies mention theirs sources. Thus, one knows that J. Alger and T. Griess based their work on books by Werner Hahlweg (Typologie des modernen Krieges, 1967; and Guerilla. Krieg ohne Fronten, 1968); G. Parker used notably the studies by P. E. Russell (1978), P. Paret (“Colonial experience...”, 1964) and H. Strachan (1983).

In France, there is no synthesis published on the petite guerre in the 18th century [until our own work, 2010], or on the petite guerre of early modern times. At the end of the 19th century, some works with a larger chronology were published (for example that of Quinteau[20]). When they are not written in a retaliating perspective with respect to Germany, like that of Devaureix[21], which tend to distort the historical analysis, they are linear narratives and so lack perspective, as shown by that of Desroziers[22]. One must wait until the 1960’s before military historians (General Gambiez and Colonel Suire) again become interested in an “indirect style of warfare” for the early modern times in a manner sufficiently backed-up to draw our attention. In fact, among the “guerres insurrectionnelles et révolutionnaires” listed by Colonel Bonnet (1958), the passage concerning our period, under the title “La guerre de partisans”, is brief; and if the tactic is similar, rebellious wars do not enter into our line of study, for the 18th century, which remains centered on an indirect style “en climat conventionnel”, as described by General Gambiez and Colonel Suire. Today, apart from a few specific articles (especially those of General Boissau), only B. Peschot’s research[23], of which ours is complementary, goes deep into the subject. It should be noted that we only mention works of principally tactical interest in this historiographic picture, while not forgetting that many others exist on light troops, among which, some reserve a place to the petite guerre, like that of Sapin-Lignières[24].

Anglo-Saxon military historiography over the last thirty years, while rich in other subjects (for example: the question of military revolution in early modern times)[25], is relatively poor concerning the petite guerre in Europe. Overall studies on guerrilla warfare by J. Ellis, W. Laqueur, R.-B. Asprey, skim over the 16th-18th centuries in a few pages[26]. In a work on armies and the art of war like the one by C. Duffy, there is an interesting passage on light European troops and their combat methods, next to a passage on the “petite guerre” (expression in French in the author’s text, p. 287) in North America[27]. It is often, and logically, concerning the theatre of American operations, linked to the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and to the American Revolutionary War (1776-1783), that Anglo-Saxons writers touched on the subject of the petite guerre (from a tactical point of view). This is the case in the few specific studies on light troops published on the other side of the Channel, for example that of E. Robson or the already dated work by Colonel Fuller[28].

This approach can be useful when looking at links between the practice of the petite guerre in Europe and in North America, and possible reciprocal influences [p. 191] in practice as in thinking. In the 18th century many writers (Baron of Lahontan, Lafitau, Capt. Bossu, passim)[29] wrote on the “guerre à l’indienne”, and these authors were read, for training purposes, by officers called up to serve in Canada.

The influence of European military thinking in terms of the petite guerre is measured for example by the existence of foreign editions of books; now, we know of an American publication for the treatise of Grandmaison, appearing in Philadelphia in 1777. Why was the Hungarian petite guerre used as an example to the French troops in the 18th century and not the Canadian petite guerre? Because the methods employed by the latter were not known in the mother country; because in France, they had had to fight the Hungarians and the Austrians, not Indians or American troops of European origin. It was more urgent and efficient to copy, in order to thwart it, the tactics of the enemy one had to fight. On the question of reciprocal influence of irregular combat methods in Europe and North America as well as on judgments on these methods and their practitioners, several studies (works and articles) have appeared over the last thirty years, for example ones by O. T. Murphy (1969), M. L. Nicolai (1989), P. Paret (1976), P. E. Russell (1978), A. Starkey (1998), M. C. Ward (1997)[30]. Our bibliography only covers the petite guerre in North America as a comparative perspective.

The thinking on the petite guerre in Europe in early modern times are the most advanced today within the German school of history. If one sticks to relatively recent works, two studies stand out: that by J. Kunisch, appearing in 1973 and that by M. Rink in 1999. However, they touch logically more particularly on the Germanic world (Austria and Prussia). For the rest the name of Werner Hahlweg stands out. His publications deal with the post 18th century period; but the introductions often contain reflections on the 18th century that one wouldn’t expect, bearing in mind the title. He wrote for example in 1968: “During the 18th century wars, particularly in the war of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713) and in the war of the Austrian succession (1740-1748) as during the Seven Years’ war (1756-1763), it [“der kleine Krieg”] showed its almost definitive perfection, as much in the form of an art as in the form of a profession. Audacious and happy professionals of the Kleinkrieg, “Parteigänger”, as they were formerly known, such as the Field Marshal de Saxe, Count Luckner, Andreas Emmerich, Baron von der Trenck, Grandmaison, de Jeney, and notably Johan von Ewald merit a quotation in this group”[31]. In the same way, one can read the introductive account by Herfried Münkler (1990) and that of Gerhard Schulz (1985)[32].

In this overview of the current historiography of the petite guerre of the 16th-18th centuries, the work of the Hungarian historians should not be forgotten. A part of the tactical heritage of the petite guerre led by the Western European armies in the classic 18th century conflicts is, in fact, attributed to the Hungarians: the Hungarian hussar, a light horseman who acquired the command in skirmishes with the Turks in an incessant frontier war, win a following; in France in the 18th century, all the hussar regiments wanted to have horsemen from this nation. Concerning Hungarian historiography, one should cite Jozsef Zachar: two of his articles directly refer to the tactics of the petite guerre, published in 1991 (on the work of Jeney, theorist of the petite guerre) and in 1992 (a more general article). Ferenc Tóth’s research, whose PhD thesis has been recently published, contains some references to the tactics, but leans more towards the social approach[33].

[p. 192] One can see, the topic needs more depth, by completing it using two principal axes of active research, to better understand on the one hand the evolution in the practice, and on the other hand, evolutions in the conceptions of this form of warfare in the 16th to 18th centuries, as well as on the importance given to it; all this is concomitant and is often the consequence of changes in the manner of waging war in general. One must of course look for the factors of observed evolutions. It is only by the multiplication of national viewpoints and studies comparing the petite guerre in different conflicts that the knowledge in these domains can be expanded. Benefiting from the contributions of these interlaced studies, it remains to elaborate, with a wider point of view, a synthesis on the petite guerre in Europe envisaging the evolutions quoted above.

Our doctorate thesis intends to propose a synthesis on the petite guerre in the 18th century as seen through French eyes (but including a British view point as well, missing from the historiography; over the Channel there aren’t any equivalents to the studies of J. Kunish and M. Rink). This work benefited from the boost given in France, for ten or so years, by Professor Jean-Pierre Bois on studies of the petite guerre; a boost which in conjunction with the works of Bernard Peschot, has made the subject an important branch of current historiography in France. Until now, many studies have appeared, but their points of interest were not of any great importance. Weren’t these historians interested in the tactics too early, when the renewal of military history only got as far as the institutional and social domains?

The problem is also, and always, that of compartmentalization of the research. Improvements in this area are clear today, thanks to progress in computer technology and thanks to follow-up of foreign reviews’ content through linking bulletins from the associations, for example[34] the ISC website puts many texts from the Stratégique review and the Revue internationale d’histoire militaire on-line, as well as many texts from works on strategy and military history, including treatises of the petite guerre of the 18th century. The partitioning we are talking about, meanwhile, is visible in the temporal fields of the researchers’ centres of interest (true both in France and abroad), as with insufficient knowledge of works produced outside national frontiers.

On the first point, the partitioning leads sometimes to gross mistakes, as in two articles in the Infantry review (article by S. Canby, Infantry, vol. 74, n° 4, 1984; article by J.A. English, Infantry, vol. 74, n° 6, 1984). In the first, the author, in a historical glance, candidly writes that the opposite of the compact European line formation came from America in the 18th century. The influences inherited by Europe in the 18th century are of course more complex, and the place of the Hungarian cavalry has been shown enough; the bibliography we are proposing witnesses enough. In the second article, J.A. English affirms that real British light troops didn’t exist before those raised in America in the 1750’s. This is wrong: the first true regiment of “light dragoons” dates back to 1745, who wrestled against the son of the Pretender Jacques Stuart in Scotland. Light dragoons regiments and Highland foot regiments then served in Flanders in 1747[35]. The two authors are obviously more aware of the 20th century than of the early modern times.

[p. 193] It is true on the other hand that the revival of interest in the petite guerre on behalf of researchers from different European countries has very likely benefited from studies on low intensity conflicts, in majority today on the surface of the planet (one knows what the publication of War in the Shadows of R. B. Asprey owes to the war in Vietnam[36]). Historians of tactical military history from the early modern times have benefited from present-day events and reflections about them. The strengthening of the ties between university military historians, on one side, and the military called to action, on the other, is under way[37].

On the second point (insufficient knowledge of works from beyond national frontiers), an example is obvious: David Curtis Skaggs and Robert A. Selig, the editors of the treatise of petite guerre of Ewald (1991) questioned themselves in a very thoughtful manner on the true identity of the partisan La Croix, theorist of the petite guerre. Nobody has echoed until now. Equally, which researchers have actually read their work, of good introduction and rich in important notes, that exceeds a lot the announced title (edition of a treatise on the petite guerre at the end of the 18th century)? We haven’t seen it cited in other French works before ours. In the same way, the prior reflection by Peter Paret is rarely cited in French works (it is, as a welcome exception, in the Traité de stratégie by H. Coutau-Bégarie).

General Gambiez said in 1975 that the lesson learnt by the indirect style used during the Second World War should improve the comprehension of the campaigns by field-marshal de Saxe, until now envisaged in a formal manner by the historiography[38]. It wasn’t until the publishing of the biography of Maurice de Saxe by Jean-Pierre Bois that the remark reached its whole impact[39]. The author gives value to this indirect style in the wars leads by the general of Louis XV, most importantly in the war of the Austrian Succession. In fact, J.-P. Bois leaved a place for the petite guerre in practically all the works on the warfare of the early modern times he wrote. The prolongation of this reflection occurs naturally by the academic works lead under the direction of J.-P. Bois at the Nantes University, in particular the Maîtrise and DEA works [names of Master I and II in France until 2003 or 2006, depending on the universities], in which some have reserved a lot of space for the petite guerre[40]. Alongside the influence of J.-P. Bois, that of Professor Hervé Coutau-Bégarie, president of the French Commission of Military History [1999-2005] should be noted, who (apart from his own works linked to his historical specialty on strategy) made sources more accessible, which had become rare, and facilitated thoughts in this domain through his re-edition (in micro-edition) of the treatises on the petite guerre of the 18th century. Since 2001 the treatises of captain de Jeney, captain de Grandmaison, count de La Roche and lastly de La Croix have been thus re-edited[41].

The emergence of what one could qualify as a school for French history of the petite guerre of the early modern times also justifies, if the subject wasn’t so important in the 18th century itself, making the point about the available bibliography.

[p. 194]  

4. Remarks on the presentation of the bibliography

This bibliography aims to be a practical reference tool for researchers who wish to go deeper into the subject in one direction or another. It tries to offer an overview of the principal publications (and of some non-published but useful academic works) on the theory and practice of the petite guerre in general, in 18th century Europe. It leans initially on French writings, put under the European military perspective. In order to allow readers to grasp the real measure as to what has already been written on the subject, or what leads to a better understanding, we have privileged a “reasoned” bibliography by adding comments following an asterisk, each time that it was judged necessary (a lot of titles are elliptical; a lot of works have a general content, that prevent spotting an interesting passage on the petite guerre or light troops).

In the same perspective, we have chosen a bibliography arranged by theme, and by alphabetical order of the author within each theme; and for each theme, most frequently, a progression from specific to general, starting with that which is closest to the topic.

The European countries kept back successively under chapter II answer the initial question of our PhD thesis (Principal protagonists of campaigns from Flanders to the war of the Austrian Succession). One couldn’t meanwhile overlook a few references concerning Prussia. These works or articles give a useful perspective view of the French case, both because at the time Prussians were admired in the second half of the 18th century; and because studies on light Prussian troops also contain food for thought on the petite guerre in general. France, German states, England and Austria are the principal geographical European spaces in which theoretical thoughts on the petite guerre in the 18th century were led.

[1] This bibliography, reworked and annotated, refers to the PhD thesis: Sandrine Picaud, La petite guerre au xviiie siècle: l’exemple des campagnes de Flandre de la guerre de Succession d’Autriche, mises en perspective dans la pensée française et européenne (1701-1789), PhD thesis in history, prepared under the guidance of Professeur Jean-Pierre Bois and supported by the Nantes University (France) the 11th June 2004 in 4 typed volumes.

[2] For a historical reflection, one can consult : Laurent Henninger et alii, Histoire militaire et sciences humaines, ed. Complexe, 1999 (collection of articles of historiography); André Corvisier, “Histoire militaire et histoire générale”, Bibliographie internationale d’histoire militaire, vol. 19, Bern, 1998, p. 9-10; Jean-Pierre Bois, “Approche historiographique de la tactique à l’époque moderne”, Revue historique des armées, n° 2, 1997, p. 23-30; Jean Chagniot, “L’histoire militaire de l’époque moderne (xvi-xviiie siècles)”, Revue internationale d’histoire militaire, Paris, n° 61, 1985, p. 65-86; André Corvisier, “Aspects divers de l’histoire militaire”, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine, vol. 20, January-March 1973, p. 1-9; André Martel, “Le renouveau de l’histoire militaire en France”, Revue historique, n° 497, January-March 1971, p. 107-126.

[3] This renewal of the events is described for example by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie (Le Monde poche, 15 avril 1995, p. VI). Quoted by Laurent Henninger, “Pour une nouvelle histoire des batailles”, Cahiers du CEHD, n° 9, château de Vincennes (France), 1999.

[4] The expression “guerre de coups d’épingle” (“mit einer Politik der Nadelstiche provozieren”) is re-used in: Cora Stephan, Das Handwerk des Krieges, Berlin, Rowohlt, 1998, p. 175.

[5] It is mainly the Anglo-Saxon historiography that leans today towards this notion; this may seem paradoxical because, according to the studies on the petite guerre of the 18th century, the subject hasn’t generated many Anglo-Saxon publications. On these low intensity conflicts, see: Martin Van Creveld, La Transformation de la guerre [traduit de l’anglais par Jérôme Bodin], s. l., ed. du Rocher, 1998 [GB: 1991], p.36-53; and some other studies, for example: Manfried Rauchensteiner and Erwin Schmidl (ed.), Formen des Krieges. Vom Mittelalter zum “Low-Intensity-Conflict”, Graz, Verlag Styria, 1991; John A. Adam, „Heavy Versus Light Forces: a Middle Ground“, Military Review, 66, October 1986, p. 65-73 (the tactics of light troops expresses itself nowadays in low-intensity conflicts); Grant T. Hamond, “Low-Intensity Conflict. War by Another Name”, Small Wars and Insurgencies, 3 (1990), 1, p. 226-238.

[6] See for example: Yves Gras, “Les guerres limitées du xviiie siècle”, Revue historique des armées, 1970, n° 1, p. 22-36; Jean-Pierre Bois, Maurice de Saxe, Paris, Fayard, 1992.

[7] Lancelot Turpin de Crissé (comte), Commentaires sur les mémoires de Montecuculi, Paris, Lacombe/Lejay, 1769, t. I, art. 1, p. 347.

[8] In the 17th century one finds a chapter namely “Partis de guerre” in De la charge des gouverneurs des places, by Antoine de Ville (1639). Jean-Charles de Folard must have written a treatise on Guerilla warfare at the end of the 17th century, but it remains today undiscovered.

[9] List of treatises on the petite guerre published in France in the 18th century: those by La Croix (1752), Grandmaison (1756), Jeney (1759), Ray de Saint-Geniès (1766), de Wüst (1768), La Roche (1770), Vernier (1773), Grimoard (1782), Lacuée de Cessac (1785).

[10] The British production is unappreciated by historians. Usually one cites Emmerich (1789). In 1770, a certain Roger Stevenson published Military Instructions for Officers Detached in the Field. Writings on the petite guerre by John Ewald (Hessian officer, like Emmerich) on the other hand, that appeared in German, can’t be counted among the English treatises that influence British military thinking in the 18th century.

[11] The expression was used in the 16th century in France, during the Religious Wars, and in the same way as it was later in the 18th century, in a work of which a recent edition exists: Moreau (chanoine), Histoire de ce qui s’est passé en Bretagne pendant les guerres de la Ligue, Cesson-Sévigné (France), La Découvrance, 1997, p. 218. Passage cited in: Ludwig Ravaille, Les pratiques de la guerre en Europe au xvie siècle..., typed dissertation of DEA [= Master I in France], Nantes University, June 2001, p. 80.

[12] Example of the translation of the Grandmaison treatise of 1812 : Mała woynaczyli Opis slusby letkich pulkow w czasie woyny, przez P. Kapitana de Grand-Maison,… (“The petite guerre, that is to say, the description of the light regiments’ operations in war time, by Captain de Grandmaison”).

[13] Peter Paret, “Colonial Experience and European Military Reform at the End of the Eighteenth Century”, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, the Athlone Press, vol. XXXVII, n° 95, May1964, p. 47-59; Walter Laqueur, Guerrilla. A Historical and Critical Study, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977, p. 14; Hew Strachan, European Armies and the Conduct of War, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1985 [1983], p. 27.

[14] John Ewald, Treatise on Partisan Warfare. Translation, Introduction and Annotation by Robert A. Selig and David Curtis Skaggs, New York / Westport (Connecticut) / London, Greenwood Press, 1991 [Contributions in military studies, number 116].

[15] J.-A. Houlding, Fit for Service: the Training of the British Army, 1715-1795, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1981 [reprint: 2000, Sandpiper books, in association with Oxford University Press]; Col. Roger, The British Army of the Eighteenth Century, London, George Allen and Unwin, 1977; P.-E. Russell, “Redcoats in the Wilderness: British Officers and Irregular Warfare in Europe and America, 1740 to 1760”, William and Mary Quarterly, third series, vol. 35, n° 4, October 1978, p. 629-652.

[16] The distinction between the petite guerre and the guerrilla warfare is very well explained in: André Corvisier, La guerre. Essais historiques, Paris, PUF (Presses universitaires de France), 1995, p. 385-387.

[17] Gert Buchheit, Deux conceptions stratégiques. Guerre de destruction ou guerre d’usure (translated from German by R. Dhaleine), Paris, Payot, 1943; Karl H. Metz, “Der kleine Krieg im großen Krieg: die Guerilla”, Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen, 1-1983, p. 7-30, here p. 8; G. Bonnet, Les Guerres insurrectionnelles et révolutionnaires, de l’Antiquité à nos jours, Paris, Payot, 1958, p. 54-55; L. Gann, Guerrillas in History, Stanford (California), Hoover Institution Press, 1971; John I. Alger and Thomas E. Griess, (Series Editor), Definitions and Doctrine of the Military Art, Past and Present, Wayne (New Jersey), Avery publishing group inc., 1985, p. 69.

[18] Bruno Colson, “Les Lectures militaires du prince Charles-Joseph de Ligne d’après le Catalogue raisonné de sa bibliothèque”, Nouvelles Annales Prince de Ligne, t. XIV, Bruxelles, Groupe d’études lignistes / Paris, Librairie Honoré Champion, 2001, p. 9-78, here p. 45-48.

[19] Christopher Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, Londres / New York, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987;  Brent Nosworthy, The Anatomy of Victory. Battle Tactics 1689-1763, Hippocrene Books, New York, 1992; Geoffrey Parker, The Military Revolution. Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800, Cambridge University Press, 1988; J. Alger and T. Griess, op. cit., 1985; Günther Blumentritt, Strategie und Taktik. Ein beitrag zur Geschichte des Wehrwesen vom Altertum bis zur Gegenwart, Konstanz, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, Dr. Albert Hachfeld, 1960; C. Stephan, op. cit., 1998; Trevor Nevitt Dupuy, The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. Indianapolis, New York, 1980.

[20] A. Quinteau, La Guerre de surprises et d’embuscades, Paris / Limoges, Henri Charles-Lavauzelle, 1884.

[21] Anne-Albert Devaureix, De la guerre de partisans, son passé, son avenir, Paris, J. Dumaine, 1881.

[22] Gustave Desroziers, Combats de partisans; récits des petites opérations de la guerre depuis le xive siècle jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, Librairie militaire L. Baudoin et Cie, 1883.

[23] See: Bernard Peschot, “La Guérilla à l’époque moderne”, Revue Historique des Armées, Vincennes, 1998, n° 1, p. 3-12; same author, La Guerre buissonnière: partis et partisans dans la petite guerre (xvie-xviiie siècles), Mémoire d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) (under the direction of Professeur Henri Michel), Paul Valéry-Montpellier III University, 1 typed vol., 1999; same author, “La Notion de petite guerre en France (xviiie siècle)”, Histoire et défense - Les Cahiers de Montpellier, n° 28, 2-1993, p. 135-148; same author, “La Petite Guerre au xvie siècle : formes, styles et contacts dans l'Occident méditerranéen”, in: Les Armes et la toge. Mélanges offerts à André Martel, Montpellier, CHMEDN, 1997, p. 261-272; same author, “La Petite Guerre dans la grande: les campagnes de Flandres et la guerre de Succession d’Espagne”, Revue historique des armées, n° 231, 2 _ 2003, p. 23-29.

[24] Victor Sapin-Lignières, Les Troupes légères de l’Ancien Régime. Les corsaires du Roy de l’Armée de Terre, Saint-Julien-du-Sault (France), les Presses saltusiennes, François-Pierre Lobies éditeur, 1979.

[25] See the synthesis by Laurent Henninger, “Le renouveau anglo-saxon de l’histoire militaire”, Défense et Histoire (La lettre du CEHD), Château de Vincennes (France), October 2002, p. 3.

[26] John Ellis, A Short History of Guerrilla Warfare, London, Yan Allan ltd, 1975; Walter Laqueur , Guerrilla. A Historical and Critical Study, op. cit., 1977; Robert-B. Asprey, War in the Shadows. The Guerrilla in History, London, Mac Donald and Jane’s, 1976 [1975, Doubleday and Co., Inc., USA; new edition 1994, New York, William Morrow and Company, with a chronological study until 1990].

[27] C. Duffy, The Military Experience in the Age of Reason, op. cit., 1987.

[28] Eric Robson, “British Light Infantry in the Mid-Eighteenth Century: the Effect of American Conditions”, The Army Quarterly, vol. LXIII, n° 2, January 1952, p. 209-222; John Frederick Charles Fuller (colonel), British Light Infantry in the Eighteenth Century, London, Hutchinson and Co., 1925.

[29] References and extracts from these sources, which deal with a subject beyond ours, geographically (the “guerre à l’indienne” in North America), were transmitted to us by Arnaud Balvay, whom we thank. See the PhD thesis of A. Balvay, L’épée et la plume: Amérindiens et soldats des troupes de la marine en Louisiane et au Pays d’en Haut (1683-1763), PUL - Presses de l’Université Laval (Québac, Canada), 2006; see also, by the same author: “La Petite Guerre au xviiie siècle”, in : Alain Beaulieu (dir.), Guerre et paix en Nouvelle-France, Québec, Les éditions du GID, 2003, p. 205-224 (reflection on the petite guerre in the Nouvelle-France).

[30] Orville T. Murphy, “The French Professional Soldier’s Opinion of the American Militia in the War of the Revolution”, Military Affairs, vol. XXXII, n° 4, February 1969, p. 191-198 ; Martin L. Nicolai, “A Different Kind of Courage: The French Military and the Canadian Irregular Soldier during the Seven Years’ War”, Canadian Historical Review, University of Toronto Press, LXX, 1, 1989, p. 54-75; P. Paret, “The Relationship between the Revolutionary War and European Military Thought and Practice in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century”, in : Don Higginbotham (ed.), Reconsiderations on the Revolutionary War, London / Wesport (Connecticut), Greenwood Press, 1976, p. 144-157; P. E. Russell “Redcoats in the Wilderness...”, op. cit., 1978; Armstrong Starkey, European and Native American Warfare, 1675-1815, London, UCL Press limited, 1998; Matthew C. Ward “The European Method of Warring is not Practiced Here: The Failure of British Military Policy in the Ohio Valley, 1755-1759”, War in History, vol. 4, n° 3, 1997, p. 247-263.

[31] Werner Hahlweg, Lehrmeister des kleinen Krieges von Clausewitz bis Mao Tsé-Tung und Che Guevara, Darmstadt, Wehr und Wissen Verlagsgesellschaft MBH, 1968, p. 10.

[32] Herfried Münkler, “Die Gestalt des Partisanen. Herkunft und Zukunft”, in: Herfried Münkler (éd.), Der Partisan. Theorie, Strategie, Gestalt, Opladen, Westdeutschen Verlag GmbH, 1990, p. 14-39; Gerhard Schulz, "Die Irregulären: Guerilla, Partisanen und die Wandlungen des Krieges seit dem 18. Jahrhundert. Eine Einführung", in: Gerhard Schulz  (éd.), Partisanen und Volkskrieg. Zur Revolutionierung des Krieges im 20. Jahrhundert, Göttingen, Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1985.

[33] Ferenc Tóth, Ascension sociale et identité nationale. Intégration de l’immigration hongroise dans la société française au cours du xviiie siècle (1692-1815), Budapest, Nemzetközi Hungarológiai Központ, 2000.

[34] See : Pierre Streit, “L’histoire militaire sur Internet (Military History on the Internet)”, Bibliographie internationale d’histoire militaire, Pully (Switzerland), vol. 24, 2003, p. 194-222. One can learn a lot from the Website: (History, geopolitical and strategic. Site of the Institut de Stratégie Comparée (ISC), of the Commission française d’histoire militaire (CFHM) and of the Institut d’histoire des conflits comntemporains (IHCC)). The homepage announces the site as the “number one site of strategy in the Frenchspeaking world”.

[35] Sandrine Picaud, “‘Partisan warfare’, ‘war in detachment’: la ‘petite guerre’, vue d’Angleterre (xviiie siècle)”, Stratégique, n° 84, 4-2001 (published in 2004), p. 13-59. P. Paret in 1964 (“Colonial Experience and European Military Reform...”, op. cit.) and P. E. Russell in 1978 (“Redcoats in the Wilderness...”, op. cit.) had already written what the techniques of the British petite guerre in America took from European experiences.

[36] Robert B. Asprey, War in the Shadows..., op. cit., 1976 [1975] and 1994.

[37] See: L’utilité de l’histoire militaire pour les militaires. Texts from the study day of 27 September 1999, Cahiers du CEHD, n° 16, Château de Vincennes (France), 2000.

[38] Fernand Gambiez (general), “Turenne et la renaissance du style indirect”, in: Turenne et l’art militaire (proceedings of the international symposium held in Paris in 1975), Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1979, t. I, p. 10.

[39] Jean-Pierre Bois, Maurice de Saxe, Paris, Fayard, 1992

[40] Notably: Sandrine Picaud, L’art de la petite guerre au xviiie siècle, thesis of Maîtrise (1993); Damien Picherit, L’art de la guerre dans les écrits de Lancelot Turpin de Crissé, thesis of Maîtrise (2000); Ludwig Ravaille, Les pratiques de la guerre en Europe au xvie siècle (1494-1610), thesis of DEA (2001). See also, amongst the publications by the students of J.-P. Bois: Jérôme Le Corre, “Lorient: la défense d’un port-arsenal aux xviie et xviiie siècles”, Europe et Défense (number out of series of the Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique de Nantes et de Loire-Atlantique), Nantes, 2000, p. 83-95; same author, “La ‘Petite Guerre littorale’ et les populations de l’Amirauté de Vannes de 1744 à 1763”, in: Les Villageois face à la guerre (xive-xviiie siècle). Actes des xxiies Journées Internationales d’Histoire de l’Abbaye de Flaran, 8, 9, 10 sept. 2000 (études réunies par Christian Desplat), Toulouse, Presses universitaires du Mirail, 2002, p. 243-256.

[41] References to these re-editions : Paris, ISC (Institut de stratégie comparée) / CFHM (Commission française d’histoire militaire), collection “Les introuvables de l’art militaire”. The complete text of the treatises by Grandmaison, Jeney, La Roche, is available on the Internet: