France had a population of between 22 and 25 million at this time, and maintained the largest standing army in Europe. In peacetime it might have amounted to about 200,000 men; in times of war, it could be anything up to half a million. A substantial part of Louis XV's army consisted of numerous regiments of guard cavalry, heavy cavalry and dragoon regiments, which were considered the best and blest part. These many units form the subject matter in this first of five fascinating volumes [Men-at-Arms 296, 302, 304, 308 & 313] by Rene Chartrand covering the army of Louis XV's.
Rene Chartrand was born in Montral and educated in Canada, the United States and the Bahamas. A senior curator with Canada's National Historic Sites for nearly three decades, he is now a freelance writer and historical consultant for cinema and historic sites restorations. He has written numerous articles and books including almost 20 Osprey titles and the first two volumes of Canadian Military Heritage. Also a student of wines, he currently lives in Hull, Quebec, with his wife and two sons.