For God and King

A History of the Damas Legion (1793–1798): A Case Study of the Military Emigration during the French Revolution

Hughes de Bazouges, Alistair Nichols

The story of the Légion de Damas from its roots in the upheavals of Revolutionary France to disbanding in Ukraine in 1798, through Dutch, British, and Russian service as well as alongside the Austrians.
Date Published :
July 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
From Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
4 b/w illustrations, 17 color illustrations, 11 b/w maps, 19 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781913336608
Pages : 348
Dimensions : 9.2 X 6.1 inches
Stock Status : Available


The émigrés who left, or were driven from, Revolutionary France included a large part of the officer corps of the former royal army. Joined by others who wished to fight for the restitution of the monarchy in their homeland, these officers soon served this cause in the pay of countries facing the common enemy. With its origins at the 1793 Siege of Maastricht, one unit of such men, and one woman, was raised by Etienne de Damas-Crux for the service of the United Provinces and was to comprise of both infantry and cavalry. After the United Provinces were defeated and invaded in 1795, the unit transferred to the service of Britain. Its infantry companies were destroyed in the ill-fated Quiberon expedition while the cavalry, which grew to a regiment, joined in early 1796 the last émigré army, that of the Prince de Condé, and served alongside the Austrians in Southern Germany. Finally, the Damas Hussars disappeared when the Armée de Condé   was reorganised in Russian service.

This is a comprehensive and detailed history of the Légion de Damas which provides a case study of the French military emigration and thus an alternative viewpoint of the Revolution that caused it and the wars that followed. By drawing in particular on memoirs of members of the unit and contemporary material in archives across Europe, from Britain to Russia, the story is told of those who remained steadfast to God and their King.

About The Author

Hughes de Bazouges is a retired colonel in the French Army. His interest in military history and modelling became centred around the history of the French military emigration in which a direct ancestor took part during the Revolution and passion he pursued when studying for his MA at La Sorbonne, Paris, and in several articles dedicated to the émigrés at arms. Along with research and his activity with La Sabretache, he currently teaches geo-politics and the history of Africa at ICES (Vendée) and the Military Academy of St Cyr (Brittany).

Alistair Nichols is a retired police officer. His interest in military history emerged after the realisation that he was not very good at painting models. He has studied in particular the history of the foreign units in the British Army during the era of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. His published works include histories of the Chasseurs Britanniques and the Watteville Regiment and his most recent is They Turned Out So Ill! The Independent Companies of Foreigners 1812–1814.


"[T]his case study of the Damas Legion [is] an excellent regimental history but also a great introduction to the experience of France’s Royalist regiments during the French Revolutionary Wars."

- The Napoleon Series

More from this publisher