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.
Publication date:
August 2021
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Reason to Revolution
Illustration :
10 b/w ills, 10 maps, 16pp colour plates
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781913336608

Dimensions : 234 X 156 mm
This book is temporarily out of stock.


• Co-written by a British and a French author, the latter a direct descendent of one of the unit's officers
• Eyewitness accounts and use of a wide range of archival material collected from across Europe
• The French Revolution as seen through the counter-revolution and the experience of émigrés resisting it
• Extensive study and reconstruction of the units' uniforms including original artwork

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 view point 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.