Les Femmes Militaires: Women in the French Army 1792–1815

TitleLes Femmes Militaires: Women in the French Army 1792–1815
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsConner, Susan P.
JournalProceedings of the Consortium on Revolutionary Europe
Pagination291 - 302

Thousands of women served with French military units between 1792 and 1815 yet the subject of French women’s military participation in the Age of Revolution has never been covered comprehensively. Between 1792 and 1815, France was almost constantly at war and, as the centre of revolution, underwent numerous regime changes, each with potential ramifications for both gender relations and military institutions. The French army included far more women than did the armies of other European powers.Each of the French army’s female roles as female soldiers, sutlers and washer women  had unique characteristics, but all involved women working in a largely male world and engaging in combat at least occasionally. Therefore, by definition, these roles implicitly challenged ideas of women as unsuited to military service, particularly combat.  This early article started the exploration of the subject.

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