Don Troiani's: Breymann's Redoubt Battle of Saratoga, Oct 7th 1777

Dear reader,

This is it! You have finally spent enough time on the internet to discover a blog written about warfare in early modern Europe and America. Whether you are a reenactor, wargamer, enthusiast, or historian, I welcome you. I am dedicating this blog to discovering more about warfare during the Kabinettskriege period. In Europe, this period of warfare lasted (roughly) between 1648-1789. Kabinettskriege is a German word, which loosely translated, means "warfare waged by a ministry." If you wish to hear tales of these dark times: read on. 

Historians generally argue that limited warfare reigned supreme in this period. While recent historians such as Franz Szabo (Sah-bow) have challenged this thesis, the vast majority of scholars still agree that this period was a trough between to crests of violence. (The Thirty Years War on the one side, the French Revolutionary Wars on the other.)  

Before I proceed any further, let me answer the most important historical question: why? Why should you, Blog Reader, waste another moment of your life reading about warfare which occurred 300 years ago? The ability to connect historical events to historical significance is what separates enthusiasts from historians.  

Here's why: The Kabinettskriege period gives us the world we live in today. Canada provides a perfect example. On September 13th, 1759, the British army under General James Wolfe defeated the French army under Louis-Joseph de Montecalm at the Plains of Abraham outside the city of Quebec. The resulting shift in political allegiance created a discontented French Catholic majority, which are still trying to be recognized over two hundred and fifty years later.  Last year, on September 5th, a man attempted to assassinate the leader of the current Quebec successionist party.  

Another example is the battle of Breymann's Redoubt, beautifully depicted at the top of the page by military artist Don Tronani. The painting is available for purchase here. This beautiful painting shows the moment when the American rebels overran the Breymann Redoubt at the battle of Bemis Heights on Oct. 7th 1777. This single action spelled disaster for the hopes of Burgoyne's army during the American War of Independence, and would go great lengths to securing the eventual independence of the American people. 

Thus, far from being the exclusive domain of hobbyists and enthusiasts, warfare in this period remains a vital part of understanding our past. In this blog, which will be written in conjunction with my post-graduate education, I will examine the major people, events, cultures and ideas in this pivotal period in world history. 

Thanks for reading, 

Alexander Burns 
Muncie IN, 

If you enjoyed this post, or like the blog, please become a follower! Let me know what you think in the comments below.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This was an interesting article it was clear to me that you have a passion for history in general because your passion was shown through your blog. I haven't herd much about the battle of Breymann's Redoubt so it was nice to learn something new that I haven't learned yet.

  4. I really enjoyed that you showed why this topic is not just events that happened over 300 years ago, but rather an issue of connecting historical events to historical significance. I know next to nothing about the battles that you brought up, and I would enjoy learning about events that would later reveal just how significant they are during the Revolutionary War.

  5. I liked this post because it described a period of history that I did not know about before. It's interesting to read about past events that play a critical role in our current events. I can't believe that something that happened over 400 years ago and is still influencing our world today. I also appreciate both in class and on this post that it is called the American War of Independence instead of the Revolutionary War or the American Revolution. I think that is significant, important and a better name for it. Appreciate your work here!

  6. I really appreciated this post. Not only does it explain the difference between an enthusiast and a historian, but also points out the accurate name for the American War of Independence. The American Revolution was the ideas and the mindset of the people in America which is what led to the American War of Independence. The American Revolution started before the war, which is why it is important to clarify between the two.

  7. I enjoyed reading this blog post, thanks for sharing. It explained well a point of history I never really hear about much. I also like how you explained the difference between a enthusiast and a historian, I found it intriguing. I noticed you referenced the war as the American War of Independence instead of the typically used term, Revolutionary War or American Revolution. Also like when you said "warfare in this period remains a vital part of understanding our past." I can tell you are passionate about this topic, as well as history in general (both through the course of taking your class, and through reading your blogs). I appreciate that!

  8. The word "Kabinettskriege" alone is something I find interesting, and that you use it to open your writings about war and how war was (perhaps still is) waged in ministry. I know that, for myself, reading about war isn't something that I am very enthusiastic about and so to understand why I should continue to read or be interested was really helpful. I agree that what we live in today is a result of the past wars fought, I just never thought about it within those terms until now. Thank you for the post and for introducing me to such a lovely portrait.

    -Megan Sanders

  9. This blog post was intriguing to me! I enjoyed how you presented history as more than simply facts and dates. Many times, when I think about history, I just think of memorizing the dates or important people. In this blog post, you commented on why history is important to study, specifically warfare which happened many years ago. When I sit through history classes, I tend to wonder why this is worth my knowing. You pointed out how learning about history can connect and have significance even to life today. For a person who is not interested in history, especially not warfare, I am compelled to look into the topic more.

  10. Hi, is there an email address you can be reached? I had some questions I didn't want to do over the comment section. Feel free to delete this comment to :)