Napoleon Series Discussion Forum

“Gueules cassées” of the Grande Armée

The “Gueules cassées” (broken faces) and Napoleon’s "Grande Armée”
Xavier Riaud

There is few information about maxillofacial surgery during Napoleon’s epic. The most essential part is the precepts provided by Dominique Larrey.

“One must remember that during Napoleon’s period, the critically wounded were killed on the battle field to end their suffering and to avoid palliative and curative treatments which would have delayed the troops’ progression. Whatever the nature of the injuries was, the wounded were more highly likely to die from epidemics. Napoleon advocated for vaccine prevention. The former was particularly sensitive to the treatment aimed at protecting more the combatant than the man (Long, 2002).”

There was no dentist within Napoleon’s army. The military surgeons were in charge of dental surgery on the front (Lecomte & Tristan, 2010). They treated the ailing soldiers’ dental diseases with shoemaker pliers (Sandeau (a) and (b), 2004).

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“Gueules cassées” of the Grande Armée
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