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Three Weeks in November. A Military History of the Swiss Civil War of 1847 [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Ralph Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 April 2012
The political phenomenon known as the 'Springtime of the Nations' swept through Europe in 1848, toppling thrones, forcing old autocratic regimes to grant constitutions to the people and bringing street fighting and large scale campaigns to cities and states across the continent. What is not generally known is that a precursor to these events had already taken place in the centre of Europe in the Alpine valleys of the collection of independent states known collectively as Switzerland. In November 1847, twelve of the Swiss cantons went to war with seven other cantons over the future of the country. The campaign lasted just three weeks, with only a few hundred casualties and ended with the establishment of the modern Swiss state we have today. If it had not ended so quickly it is likely that France, Austria and Prussia would have become involved, which would have led to a European-wide war. This book is unique in that it concentrates on the military aspects of this episode in history. As well as an outline of the campaign itself, it covers the strengths and organisation of each canton; in 1847 each was a separate state with its own army. Included are chapters on the uniforms of the canton's armies, their battle flags, weapons and distinguishing badges. The major battle of the war, at Gislikon (modern Gisikon), a small village with a strategic river crossing, just north of the city of Luzern, is treated in detail. As well as the general picture, individual soldiers' stories illustrate the combat techniques of the period. To compliment the text the book is well illustrated with a mixture of contemporary pictures, in colour and black and white, and also specially produced colour plates of Swiss canton uniforms and flags. So that the reader can follow the campaign, maps from official Swiss sources are included. Orders of battle for all the cantons and detailed orders of battle for the main action at Gislikon are also provided. This is the latest title in Helion's ground-breaking series of 19th Century studies, and will again appear in hardback as a strictly limited edition printing of 500 copies, each individually numbered and signed by the author on a decorative title page.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Helion & Company; 1st Edition edition (15 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908916575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908916570
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15.3 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 517,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Ralph Weaver has made a life-long study of military history, particularly of Europe in the 19th Century. He began his military career with the Sealed Knot before giving up the sword for the pen. He has been the editor of the journal of the Continental Wars Society for the past twenty-five years and has written and illustrated books and magazine articles on military history. He trained as a land surveyor in the Civil Service and has used his map-making skills in battlefield walking and table top wargaming. He has been collecting books, pictures, photographs and reference material on uniforms with a view to writing a definitive history on the subject. As well as conducting research on military topics, his latest interests include cooking and looking after grandchildren.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very civil war indeed 1 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another addition in the notable Helion&Company books about XIX century conflicts, this one covers another very obscure subject: the short (3 weeks as the title says) campaign in 1847 to bring back some rebellious cantons. And i say bring back, for the swiss tried to avoid any unnecesary violence that could degenerate into a civil war. I would say that they did a fine job of it, for there is not any acrimony nowadays and the event has dissapeared into obscurity. One wishes healing civil strife was always this easy...

This is a very short campaign with only a major battle, the rest being mere skirmishes and posturing. Most of the troops being amateurs the tone of the book is quite light, even humorous at times. The narrative flows very easily, and the maps and illustrations are numerous and very helpful. There are colour plates in the centre pages showing different uniforms, plus paintings and photos of the era. At the end of the book you find tables with manpower figures, orders of battle and a biography.

This book contains a lot of information in it's pages, and it's a worthy addition for anyone interested in this era.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swiss History 5 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was interesting,I had never heard of this particular conflict.The military campaign was fast moving it did not last long
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars An unknown war which was fought without hate 27 Jan 2013
By Nicholas L. Faller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a war that I never heard of and despite some loses on both sides there seems to be a lack of hate . If you want a civilized war ,if there is such a thing this book covers it. This is the only War of Switzerland since the end of The Napoleonic Wars
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