|Napoleonic French Infantry Uniforms|
The Emperor never expected to avoid war, but for sake of teh French peace party the gesture had to be made. Once the intentions of the Allies were made manifest and they could be castigated as aggressors by French propaganda, the mask could be dropped with safety. On April 8 mobilization was ordered, but the Emperor still hesitated to reintroduce the hated conscription for a further three weeks. In the meantime a torrent of edicts poured from Paris to make the most of available resources, for speed was vital if the Allied retribution was to be forestalled. Every military commodity was in short supply - horses, harness, ammunition, clothing, weapons - but by tremendous efforts the deficiencies were slowly made good. Every week a million and a half cartridges were manufactured; every day Paris workshops produced 1,250 uniforms. Arsenals and depots were ransacked for firearms, however ancient, and teams of ordnance experts worked night and day to adapt the old weapons and refurbish them.
~ D. Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, p. 1014