I've been watching a lot Historia Civilis and Kings and Generals on YouTube, and am currently watching Susanne Desan's Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon on the Great Courses. I keep hearing about "foraging". Out of context, this brings to mind searching forests for edible nuts, fungi, etc… Or the first few hours of a new game in Minecraft. But what does this mean in the context of a military campaign?

This comes up a lot when learning about Ceaser and just moments ago, Desan mentioned it when explaining what made Napoleon's Italian campaign so successful. I understand that foraging allows an army to move quickly as they aren't slowed down by a supply train, for which both Napoleon and Ceaser have legendary reputations.

But what does this actually entail? Gathering nuts, herbs, and fungi? Hunting? Pillaging locals? Is this just lipstick on a pig for robbing locals of food and supplies? What are the practicalities of "foraging"?

Source: reddit post


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