The Compagnies Franches de la Marine of Canada

Dominance Of Raid Warfare

Both Rewards and Condemnation

Senior authorities recognized the exceptional contributions of Le Moyne and Hertel. The former was given a seigneury and was held in very high esteem for the rest of his days. However, if his family's feats of arms played a large part in his being awarded letters patent of nobility by Louis XIV, the wealth he had accumulated as a merchant certainly was not immaterial to this honour. This was demonstrated by the difficulties encountered by Frontenac in 1689 when he attempted to obtain similar recognition for Hertel de La Fresnière. The French authorities agreed in principle to his ennoblement, but were concerned about whether he had enough wealth to maintain such a rank. Assistance was given in the form of a seigneury granted in 1694, but it was not until 1716 that this exceptional officer, the first genuine tactician in Canadian military history, was fully rewarded for his contributions.

One of the most dismal aspects of the development of these extremely innovative war tactics was the indifference if not outright condemnation with which they met among army officers in France. When they deigned to pay any attention at all, it was to emphasize the lack of discipline of Canadian soldiers and militiamen - in the sense of not acting like "robots" - and to conclude that these sorts of tactics were only suitable for "savages." 59 In the eyes of many Frenchmen, this went without saying because, after all, Canadian officers were nothing but commoners, or people very recently elevated to the nobility. This attitude began to disappear in the mid-eighteenth century when light infantry made its appearance in the German and Austrian armies and - irony of ironies - in the British army in America, in order to counter, with relative success, the tactics of the Canadians.