The Wild Goose and the Eagle

A Life of Marshal von Browne 1705-1757

Christopher Duffy

This book explores one of the finest soldiers of the old Imperial Austrian Army, Maximilian von Browne, based on a thorough investigation of the Viennese archives and of the terrain of the Marshal's battles.
Date Published :
October 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
21 b/w maps, 9 b/w ills
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781912390946
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Maximilian von Browne is counted among the finest soldiers of the old Imperial Austrian Army. As the present biography sets out to show, he was outstanding in his time for his vigorous conduct of war, and his extremely advanced idea of leadership and responsibility. Few commanders have taken so literally the phrase ‘to share the hardships of his men’.

A son of that generation of Irishmen who fled from a penal regime to take service in Catholic Europe, Browne rose in the Army of the Empress Maria Theresa. In 1746, he could take the greater part of the credit for driving the French and Spanish forces from Italy, and in the next year he carried the war onto French soil by a celebrated invasion of Provence. Following an interval of peacetime, though far from uneventful, administration in the Imperial provinces, Browne checked and outwitted Frederick of Prussia in the first campaign of the Seven Years War. Already in the grip of a mortal illness, Browne was taken unawares when the Prussians resumed the attack in 1757, and of May 6 of that year he received a last wound, among his grenadiers on the field of Prague.

The Wild Goose and the Eagle is founded on a thorough investigation of the Viennese archives and of the terrain of the Marshal’s battles. It explores not just the life of a single commander, but the warfare of an age which holds many lessons for the present century.

About The Author

Christopher Duffy is the ‘acclaimed and highly-regarded doyen of eighteenth-century military history’ (The Herald). His works are grounded on unpublished sources and physical realities, and are characterised by the attention that is given to the visual presentation - and not least the maps, which he draws himself. Dr Duffy was born in 1936. He was a contemporary and friend of John Keegan at Balliol College, Oxford - gaining a first-class degree in Modern History in 1958 and his doctorate in 1961. In that year he joined the Department of Military History at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and retired from there in 1996 as Senior Lecturer in War Studies. After a research professorship at De Monfort University (1996–2001), he became involved in a variety of voluntary work - taking in historical advice and fundraising for the National Trust for Scotland’s centre at Culloden. As such, he is heavily engaged in the effort to save this and other ‘Jacobite’ battlefields from the threat of development, which has now become acute. He was a founder member of the British Commission for Military History and the Scottish Battlefields Trust, and is currently a Vice-President of the Military History Society of Ireland and Chairman of the 1745 Association.

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