Some 12 years ago it was estimated that well over 300,000 works existed on this period and since then several thousand more have appeared. Therefore, it might be reasonably argued that there is little room for another volume. Nonetheless, this vast outpouring of literature has usually dealt with major leaders, specific battles or campaigns, and with certain branches of the service. Moreover, at least in English, the literature tends to concentrate primarily on the French or British armies. There appears to be a lack of works combining a description of the major changes and trends in the art of war, especially at the cutting edge of events, with a discussion of the French military establishment and the armies of the major opponents, British as well as continental. And while this book is only a brief survey, I do believe that it may serve as a contribution towards filling this gap in our historical knowledge of military institutions and fighting men.