Keep right on to the end of the road: the stamina of the French army in the War of the Spanish Succession

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article makes a major contribution to understanding why Louis XIV was able to keep military forces in the field against the Grand Alliance of Great Britain, the Dutch Republic, the Holy Roman Empire, Portugal and Savoy throughout the War of the Spanish Succession despite the financial meltdown France suffered. It looks first at the degeneration of the French state's financial system, before considering the expedients used to maintain the flow of funds to regiments and companies, especially in the field armies. It suggests patterns of state prioritisation between different field armies as well as different military zones, and points to a number of ways in which army officers - who ran their units as franchises in a semi-entrepreneurial fashion - kept their troops together, through banal corruption as well as naked criminality. It argues that the armies remained in existence not only because of a developing sense of honour and duty on the part of the officers but also thanks to extensive corner-cutting and dubious expedients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe War of the Spanish Succession
Subtitle of host publicationnew perspectives
EditorsMichael Schaich, Matthias Pohlig
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198811121
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameStudies of the German Historical Institute London
PublisherOxford University Press


  • France
  • War
  • Spanish Succession
  • Army
  • Louis XIV


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