Ab Ovo

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((Um... I posted an earlier IC which placed Louis-Charles in the Tuileries. Here, to be exact. And Niko, while I appreciate the effort for there to be less angry mobs, the former King is in jail. The current King, Louis-Charles, is (or should be) in the Tuileries. As for the Queen Mother and replacement of the Swiss Guard, the Royal Family will get back to y'all on that...))
 

Syriana

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Sorry! Missed the byline. I've amended the update accordingly.

Military orders have been received so expect a war update today.
 

Gen. Marshall

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Revolutionaries of Paris,


Only just has the Revolution begun to dawn on us, and already we find ourselves on the eve of a fair, universal election. Although the Cartelège cabinet has not served the people long, it has served them well. We have averted bankruptcy, and we have absorbed the first Austrian hits. In short, we have restored stability. It is up to the next government to maintain that stability, and to take advantage of it to press the Revolutionary agenda and force the Austrians out of our beloved nation.

You know that I will retire as First Minister indefinitely, and that I will make no effort to reclaim the seat. Partially, this is because being the present, unelected First Minister would give me an unfair advantage as the incumbent. I would rather see the people elect Monsieur Aulard for his ideals and spirit, than to see myself elected for the sake of status quo. Mostly, though, I resign because I am a man of the people. I cannot bear having to compromise with Monarchists who’d see our country go to ruin, while at the same time my people die of hunger and disease. I made you a promise to resolve the crop situation - to import food and to end hunger - and I hope the next government will carry it through.

So, what will I do, bereft of my Ministry? The answer is simple. I shall return to the neighbourhood I grew up in, and prepare Paris for war from the ground up. One of my closest friends, General and fellow Cordelier Javert Valjean, has preceded me in this task. He has endeavoured to make the Carabinier Guard representative of not only the Cordeliers, but of the middle and lower classes in the entirety of Paris. At his urging, the Vigilants accept any man, regardless of descent or history. It will be my honour to fight alongside such a unit and I hope the Carabinier Guardsmen realize that when they fight, they will do so as the embodiment of Equality and the guardians of Liberty. I hope that many more Parisians will take up their arms, because they know that we are brothers, because we know that it is up to us to hold the Revolutionary banner high.

Whatever result the Army might bring, together we will make Paris a bastion of the Revolution, and an insurmountable obstacle to Austrian domination. We, Carabiniers, Phrygians, Parisians; if needed we will fight. We will fight on the bridges, at the gates, in the Bastille. We will fight in the streets, in the squares, from house to house; until every single Austrian lays dead on the ground, or until there is nothing left for Leopold to rule.


Paris, mes frères; se battre.


¬ Le Préfet
 

Syriana

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22 October
The Battle of Sedan

BattleofSedan.jpg

General Charles Augereau was an implacable revolutionary. He had sided with Vincent Parént in the coup against the King who had appointed him to public office. But whereas Parént had been a restraining influence in the aftermath, Augereau positively relished in the mayhem and score-settling: "If you encounter a noble," he remonstrated to his followers, "it is your duty to kill him!" Duty was the supreme motivator; duty to France, and duty to the Revolution. Any man who did not perform his duty was deserving only of death. And so, having staked his principles to loyalty and honour, he was hardly about to turn around now. Here was a slave army of that most infamous aristocracy of all - Austria. What could be more honourable than striking a blow in defence of France and at the expense of the Hapsburgs? And so, having set out from Paris with plans to retreat at the first sign of trouble, Augereau instead committed himself to an engagement in the field. And there was practicality underpinning principle; if the Austrians were not faced down at Sedan, they would either pursue the French west towards Paris or pivot to take Verdun in conjunction with the second army at Longwy. The Army of Alsace would then be isolated and, if it was unable to breakout, destroyed. For his part, the Baron de Loiollac repeatedly considered whether to alter his dispositions in response to the Austrian threat. After issuing orders to this effect, he swiftly rescinded them and at last resolved to await reinforcement by the Reserve Army. Thus on 22 October, the first battle of the New France was to have its inauspicious origin in the provincial town of Sedan.

The battle plan was suitably audacious. Rather than hugging the river and the town itself, Augereau would bring the fight to the Austrians. The road to Sedan was enveloped by extensive woodland. His hope was to trap the enemy en defile, negating their cavalry and narrowing their numerical advantage. Attrition would then do the rest. For all his revolutionary sentiment, his dispositions were by the book: a vanguard of skirmishers followed by his infantry, bookending his artillery at the centre, and his cavalry held in reserve to guard the flanks. On paper, the plan was sound. The Austrian commander, Feldmarschall Nicolas-Antoine, Comte d'Arberg-Valengin, would hardly anticipate a French ambush; no doubt he believed that the Army of the Rhine had dissolved at the first sign of trouble, leaving him with an open path. He would be caught fully unawares and, before he could even recover, the back of his army would be broken and chased back into the Austrian Netherlands. Confident of success, Augereau issued standing orders to pursue the enemy as soon as they began to retreat.

Classically, the only flaw in the plan was that it relied on people. The Army of the Rhine had just marched from the frontier to Paris and back again in two weeks; it was exhausted. Having been promised a rest in Sedan, they were instead being marshalled into battle lines. Furthermore, relations between the ranks were acrimonious. The soldiery doubted the loyalties of their officers - after the desertion of the Marquis de Bouillé and Orléans' sons - who in turn thought their subordinates disgruntled and mutinous. And while their general may have been fired up by revolutionary fervour, they themselves were utterly disillusioned; having been ordered to Paris to pacify their fellow citizens by force, they could see little difference between the Revolutionary Government and its monarchical predecessor. It was on this fatal cocktail of fatigue, suspicion and disenchantment that the Army of the Rhine marched to face the enemy. As a result, Augereau struggled to get his forces in order, losing an opportunity to attack the enemy further up the road where the trees were at their thickest. By the time the French were lined up, the Austrians were at Daigny and advancing in good order.

0e5ff444-8ece-4fee-83f7-9f69edf72d3a.jpg
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This was a setback, not a disaster; the geographical advantage was still to Augereau. He moved his army into position along the tree line. And then the battle began in earnest. The skirmishers engaged the Austrian vanguard, bogging down the road and rendering it vulnerable to French artillery. As predicted, the forestation limited the manoeuvrability of Austrian cavalry and cannon. The whole French front was involved in the action. The army was holding steady. Indeed, the Austrians seemed paralysed by indecision, neither withdrawing their beleaguered men nor reinforcing successful sectors. In fact, the tree line concealed the scantiness of the Austrian lines. Feldmarshall Arberg, having been informed by his scouts of the wholly unsuitable terrain he was about to embark on, had decided to divide his forces rather than concentrate them and risk a massacre. The Austrian army had diverged at Givonne; one continuing on the road, the other taking a more circuitous route. Having been surprised by the French, Arberg was simply holding on until his reinforcements arrived – which they suddenly did, emerging from the east. To the previously confident French soldiers, it was as if a whole other army had been conjured from thin air. They mistook it for the second Austrian army that had taken Longwy, though that was in fact miles away. Exploiting their hesitance, Arberg suddenly pressed against the French line. And then, without orders, an entire regiment of cavalry abandoned its position and made for the river. When this was noticed, it was thought they were fleeing. In fact, they were deserting by arrangement; their royalist officers had planned from the beginning to turn themselves over to the Austrians. But the effect on morale was much the same.

As soon as he became cognisant of what was going on, Augereau ordered his cavalry to hunt down the deserters. This simple act was to have disastrous ramifications – for, from the perspective of the rank-and-file, it appeared as if the reserve itself was breaking up. Fearful of being caught out in the open between two armies, the stressed centre began to break. As soon as one company noticed their comrades wavering, they duly did the same. The confusion became supreme, and the Army of the Rhine melted away. The skirmishers initially held off the Austrians, but as the main body abandoned them, they soon gave up and fled. Realising his error, Augereau attempted to rally his men, but they were in no mood to be dictated – one malcontent even shot his horse out from under him. Mounting another, he hurriedly formed a rearguard from his loyal cavalry. Meanwhile, the eastern Austrian columns moved in, while Arberg urged his forces forward. Under severe harassment, the French retreated in utter disorder. Their artillery pieces were abandoned, with only a few having the mind to spike them. The bridges across the Meuse soon became thronged with soldiers fleeing the Austrian advance. In desperation to escape, many simply threw themselves into the river. Hundreds drowned this way. But Augereau's hasty rearguard managed to deter the Austrians long enough to permit the crossings, before they were forced to withdraw under heavy losses. A pocket of Frenchmen, having taken an alternative route towards another bridge, found themselves cut off and captured. But by some quick thinking, the potential destruction of the Army of the Rhine had been averted.

This was scant consolation to Augereau - or to his superiors, for that matter, once news of the battle reached Paris. Far from pushing the Austrians back to the Netherlands, the battle had ended in a rout. On the other side of the river, he was able to regroup what remained of his army and survey the damage. All of his artillery pieces were lost, along with much of his cavalry and thousands of men - having either died in battle, drowned or been captured. The Army of the Rhine could not face another engagement, leaving the Austrians unimpeded in the whole of north-eastern France. By all indications, it was a disaster - and one that Augereau, despite his sound planning and conduct, would have to answer for. In fact, one man had predicted it: the Marquis of Lafayette, recalled from disgrace to serve France in the field, had arrived in Paris but a day ago and immediately warned his superiors that the Army was in no fit state to wage war. The bloody events at Sedan bore out his prognosis. The battle had been lost - but the Revolutionary War was still to be won. It had to be.




-------------------------
Player Actions Needed:

The Army of the Rhine has been routed at the Battle of Sedan. The military statistics (on the front page) have been updated to reflect its losses. The Army has subsequently retreated to Boulzicourt. General Charles Augereau ((baboushreturns)) has survived. The ramifications of this will be addressed in the next update.


I am going to be highly occupied over the Easter weekend so the the general update is due on Tuesday. Feel free to plan for that and the legislative election (which will follow afterwards).
 
Last edited:

Gen. Marshall

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((Have you by any chance read military literature, and/or have experience as an officer? You have a surprisingly sound assessment of battles and what influences them.))

This loss makes it all the more important to stand together in defense of Paris. The Austrians can still be stopped before reaching our capital, however. There is a fresh reserve force of 13.300 men in Paris, which given the presence of the Swiss guard, police and Carabinier units could be deployed temporarily to restore the line in Northern France.

- First Minister Renaud de Cartelège
 

Watercress

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240px-The_french_tricolor_cockade.svg.png

The Reserve Army

General Lémieux overlooked the procession of the Reserve Army, arraying in a complex series of columns, as it proceeding on its north-bound passage. Watching with his cavalry officers at a nearby vantage point, Lémieux marvelled at the continued discipline and formation of the force. Lémieux had led this army from the most southerly point in France, the Pyrenees, on a lengthy march across the length of the country, to Lorraine in the North-East. This was a host of peasants and provincials, largely sourced from Aquitaine and Occitania. Their continued unity and cohesion amazed the aloof Parisian General, although even he recognised that frequent rest was necessary. Indeed, much in contrast to his demagogic command in the National Guard and dogmatic radicalism in the National Assembly, Lémieux had done much to accommodate himself with his force, and accept the advice and wisdom of his officer corps. His leadership was strict but fair, gregarious but clear-minded. He consumed ravenously military literature and deliberation with his officers, and possessed a growing desire, developed over the course of weeks of increasing dull travel, for battle. The tactics, the techniques, the military set-pieces. Lémieux greatly desired to see the culmination of his study and preparation in direct military action. Musing these topics, the General was suddenly interrupted by an aide, bearing news from Sedan.

When the Reserve Army finally camped for the evening, concluding the day's earnest travel, Lémieux proceeded to his tent and writing desk, composing hurried correspondence to his colleague in the Army of Alsace, and his superior in the Ministry of War.

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To the honourable Ignace Louis de Loiollac, Brigadier-General of the Army of Alsace,

I hope this brief message finds you and your host in good health and spirits. The defeat at Sedan is of high concern, and the grave burden of the defence of the Fatherland, forsaken by Augereau, now falls on ourselves. Let me assure you, the Reserve Army proceeds with all haste to your location. We shall be with you in short time, several weeks at most. Our journey from Villefranche-de-Conflent has been lengthy, but I am confident that my force, alongside yours, shall be well-prepared to resist the Austrian invader.

We should proceed, while we still possess the opportunity, to discuss the strategy we shall now employ. What is your next objective, noble General? Are we to march against the Austrian force Augereau faced, or to expel the invader from Longwy? I would appreciate your prompt response, for we must jointly be ready to proceed with our strategy as soon are our armies are united.

Until we meet in person, myself at the head of the Reserve Army,

I remain,
newcreate.php

Brigadier-General of the Reserve Army​

100px-The_french_tricolor_cockade.svg.png

To the honourable M. Jacques Nazaire Aulard, Secretary of State for War,

The news from Sedan, which I am sure you have already discovered, is received with concern in my camp. I trust we shall be able to recover from this blow, and continue to labour in the defence and protection of the Fatherland. My present course remains to come to the aide and side of General de Loiollac, but if you desire a change in my objective, I shall be receptive to your orders.

I remain,
newcreate.php

Brigadier-General of the Reserve Army​
 

baboushreturns

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Report on the Action of October 22nd- The Battle of the Sedan Addressed to the War Ministry

The Army of the Rhine had been advancing at a steady pace for near two weeks. And I had just received news from my screening cavalry that the Austrian army was near only a few miles up the road in the sleepy Barbrant village of Bouillon. The directives I had received upon gaining my command where clear. I was to attack any Austrian force attempting to cross the border if it was within my means. From the scouting reports I had read the Austrian army numbered 20,000 it was composed primarily of infantry and was commanded by Field Marshal Nicolas-Antoine de Valengin, Count of Arberg he was a cruel man who lead his army more through fear then anything else. Surveying the group between my camp at Sedan and the Austrians at Bouillon it was obvious that they'd be at a large disadvantage fighting in the woods. It was my best hope to defeat them for I feared that if I prepared a defense on the river bank in the event of a defeat my army would be forced to surrender. And that if I withdrew I'd have to fight them again on their terms and in a place in which they could use their superior numbers against me. So the decision was made I'd attempt to hit them in the woods meet them on my terms and break them. My planning was good yet the men I relied on to execute the plan were not trustworthy. Vital time was lost getting the army to begin its march as subversive monarchist elements slowed the army down at every turn. Encouraging their men to march slower or ordering them to take longer routes. By the time the army was in position we had lost some of our terrain advantage. Still the army formed up splendidly in parade ground fashion. Skirmishers taking cover in the trees with the line infantry directly behind them forming up along the tree line. Behind them was the cavalry and in the middle artillery which was aimed down the road and what intended to be fired down the length of Austrian columns as they got into position. Contact was first made by skirmishers down the road who harried the Austrian vanguard taking pot shots at grenadiers as they rushed to get into formation. The skirmishers watched as the Austrian army attempted to form up for battle but their formations were sloppy line infantry units had to worm their ways around trees, and their center was about 100 meters forward from the rest of the army. As they advanced our artillery began to fire and it was fun watching plumes of dirt go up as solid hunks of metal tore their way through the enemy ranks. It was at this point I ordered the skirmishers to fall back so that the long grueling exchanges of fire from the line infantry ranks could ensue. It seemed as though we were winning the Austrians were experiencing losses and had as of yet had been unable to deploy their artillery or cavalry. It was then that a second Austrian force appeared on my right flank. Immediately I ordered a few units to peel off my left flank and march to buffer my right. It was then Arberg ordered an attack on my lines committing his infantry reserves to the fray. It seemed we could hold them until a cavalry unit under the command of a young noble peeled off from the reserves and trotted off towards the Austrians. The sight of this threw the army into a frenzy and soon chaos reigned. Seeing this I dismounted my horse and took up the tricolor. Ordering fleeing infantrymen to form up around me I momentarily believed I could salvage the situation. But when my lieutanient told my my right flank had collapsed and the left was running I ordered my men back. And the army retreated with the exception of my courageous artillery crewmen who held on for as long as they could many of them choosing not to run instead deciding to deliver a final canister salvo into the packed ranks of charging Austrians. As the situation continued to deteriorate I knew I had to buy time for the army to retreat so I ordered my reserves forward primarily composed of some line infantry but dismounted cavalry and skirmish units were also present. This motley force of soldiers managed to hold the Austrians off for 30 minutes buying time for the rest of the army to retreat to the other bank. They did this at a horrific cost and I was forced to eventually pull them back as I knew they'd break soon.

In the aftermath of this battle my force has regrouped on the west bank of the river. I have ordered a purge of all monarchist officers and have promoted those who served with distinguishment at Sedan. As it stands I have tallied 5,000 losses. 1,700 of those men were infantry, 1,300 were cavalry (they defected), and all of the artillery was lost. My army is not in fighting condition and will spend the remainder of this week recuperating and awaiting reinforcements.

My regrets,

-Brigade-General Charles-Pierre-François Augereau


 
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viola

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The defeat at Sedan is a terrible news.
We might need a more widespread popular conscription to stop the Austrian advance.

- André Bouchard, Secretary of State of the Navy
 

Riccardo93

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The Baron d’Harfleur was reviewing various army reports (most of which were out of date, as the War Minister deigned not give a potential counter-revolutionary the latest news and battle-plans) when news of the “Folly of Sedan” as some were already calling it, reached his ears; that the army lost roughly five-thousand men was shock enough, but that Augereau was apparently on the run towards Paris was even worse. The Baron hoped (and perhaps even half-expected) to receive a visit from either the War Minister with a commission or from the Bourchardists demanding his head; however, none arrived and the Baron read the old reports and waited until the sun had set. On his desk lay a letter of reply from the Queen Mother, to whom he had written some days before offering prayers and support for her during the anti-Austrian riots, and next to that was an unsent letter to the War Minister, full of half-formed ideas that Paul was still mulling over.

As the night grew darker and the shadows outside his window began to coalesce with themselves, Paul continued to wait; another messenger had arrived with more rumours and news, mostly the former. Apparently the “counter-revolutionaries” were to blame for the defeat and not any poor planning on the part of Augereau, and Paul knew in an instant that many reprisals were going to be made on innocent men and women for the General’s hubris.

But still, Paul waited at his window-table, until his candle-flame finally subsided into the molten wax at the base, and his room was shrouded in darkness. He sat there, at his chair, for quite a while after the candle died; he looked out the window to the clear violet sky above him… apparently the heavens cared not for Augereau’s folly or for the defeat of France.
 

aussieboy

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320px-Pavillon_royal_de_France.svg.png

To the honorable Valerian Lemieux, Brigadier-General of the Reserve Army,

I am glad to hear that the Reserve Army is approaching our positions. I am at present making preparations to make a cross-Rhine incursion to take Austrian Breisach, which is, as we know, under enemy control and directly adjacent to my position, in order to make sure the Austrians do not flank us on the rear. Given our combined overwhelming numerical superiority such a routine operation would be quick. I would have done it earlier, had it not been for a wish to have overwhelming operational superiority. Then I propose we attempt to take Longwy, going down the Moselle to save time, and from there to proceed to make an offensive into the Austrian Netherlands. If we take the fight there, we can give Augereau room to breathe, and allow him to resupply with the National Guard, to deal with Arberg.

For King and Country,

I remain,
Baron de Loiollac of the Army of Alsace.​
 

baboushreturns

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General Charles-Pierre-François Augereau's Adress to the Army of the Rhine​

Men, I have failed you and for that there is no excuse. I know you are all tired, thirsty, hungry and disheartened. But I must ask you, beg of you do not lose hope we must continue to fight on, not for any political belief but for France. France our fatherland is once again being attacked by the most vulgar of all enemies the Austrians. A people who have repeatedly sought the destruction of our nation. We all must fight for the most holy of all things, for France! We must prepare to resist another day, we must be ready this time and we must prevail. When you men are out on the field remember what it is you are fighting for. France is so much more then just a place it is your home, it is your wife and your children, your sweethearts and your mothers, your brothers and your sisters! You are fighting to protect them! We all know why the Austrians are here, they've come to ravage our country murder our children slaughter the elderly! You my brothers you must not allow this to happen. So I ask you next time we face the Austrians on the field to stand with me no matter what the cost for we prevail the fate of our nation lies on our shoulders. I also would like to make you a promise my men, from this point on I will eat what you eat, sleep when you sleep, march when you march. I promise you I will ask you to do nothing which I have not done myself. And I ask any of you with a problem come seek me out I vow to listen to your problems and do my best to fix them. Que Dieu bénisse l'armée du Rhin! Vive l'armée du Rhin! Vive la France!
 

Ab Ovo

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Loyal citizens of Paris,

After much consideration, HM the Queen Mother will be visiting the Établissements français de l'Inde on a state trip, on the advice of HM Louis-Charles. The Swiss Guard, also, will not be disbanded but will be placed under the aegis of His Majesty's Secretariat of War rather than His Majesty himself.

Francisco_Franco_Signature.svg

Francisque de St Denis-Paternoster,
Royal Secretary to His Majesty the King of the French
 

viola

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Marie Antoniette's decision to visit India is absurd! The People of France are suffering under economic crisis and war and the Queen only thinks about a trip to the East! To abandon the country in such a desperate moment is absolutely despicable!

Does she really believe that the People will allow this second Varennes? We'll have to go the Palais de Luxembourg once again and ensure that the queen will be moved to the Conciergerie toghter with her husband, as the People demand!

- André Bouchard, Secretary of State of the Navy
 
Last edited:

Ab Ovo

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((I guess I shouldn't expect savages to appreciate the difference between "a second Varennes" and imposed exile in the most backwards and isolated French possession...))
 

Syriana

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((Have you by any chance read military literature, and/or have experience as an officer? You have a surprisingly sound assessment of battles and what influences them.))
Much like my 'lawyering' in FoE, my warmaking is a synthesis of painful hours of research (it took me about as long to write that battle as it did the previous update) and pop culture (mostly Sharpe, Richard Holmes' Redcoat and Empire: Total War).

Also, just because I have noticed this a few times, please remember that OOC should only be used when posing a question to the GM - although I'll also make exceptions for flattery.
 

Watercress

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240px-The_french_tricolor_cockade.svg.png

The Reserve Army

100px-The_french_tricolor_cockade.svg.png

To the honourable Ignace Louis de Loiollac, Brigadier-General of the Army of Alsace,

I am in receipt of your proposed strategy. If you would allow, I would propose some alterations, or at the very least some considerations for the both of us to bear. While an expedition against Breisach would certainly secure our flank, I fear that if we were to jointly commit to a seizure of the city, we would be abandoning Northern France to the Austrians, and, ignorant as we are of the strength of the garrison and fortifications at Breisach, an extended siege could be the only result of our considered stratagem. I would thus propose that, in regards to Breisach, only a modest advance force should be sent, or perhaps preferably, a modest garrison stationed in the fort at Neuf-Brisach, which would protect our Alsatian flank just as ably as her German counterpart on the other bank of the Rhine.

The rest of your strategy, is, however, sound. While this advance force secures Breisach or Neuf-Brisach, the rest of our combined host can march on Longwy to expel the Austrians. Then, depending on events in the west, particularly if the Army of the Rhine is able to recover from its defeat and repel the Austrians from Paris, then we may proceed with an invasion of the Austrian Netherlands.

Regardless of the details of our employed strategy, I shall be glad to fight by your side in the defence of the Fatherland. Until our armies are joined,

I remain,
newcreate.php

Brigadier-General of the Reserve Army​
 

Harpsichord

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Name: François Rousseau
Date of Birth: May 21 1762
Place of Birth: Auch, Gascony
Estate: Third
Religion: Catholic
Culture: Gascon

Bio:
As a young man, Francois joined his local militia, rising to the rank of Major. Despite his skills, his low birth prevent any promotion, as the sons of nobles would buy their commission into the higher ranks; over time, the seeds of resentment were planted in Francois' mind. Upon the outbreak of the revolution, Francois's commander ordered that the militia march to Paris to support the Monarch. Instead, Francois removed his commander from power, and led his men to support the people of Paris. Following the Templar coup and the opening of hostilities with Austria, Francois is eager to gain a command in the military, so that he may prove himself and bring honour to him family.
 

Belgiumruler

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images


Name: Cesaire Dequand
DoB: April 18 1770
PoB: Cherbourg, Normadie
Estate: Third
Culture: Norman
Religion: Atheist

Bio: His Father died when he was twelve, and his mother died when he was Eighteen. When his mother died, he went to Paris to join one of the local gangs. Later he joined the Carabinier Guard of Paris, where he became a Brigadier. He was skilled in the art of stealth (and in the use of a crossbow), and his popular nickname in the Cordeliers was "The Silent Breeze". He was filled with hate against the monarchist, and happily joined raids against them.