Gouvernement du Canada - Commission des champs de batails nationaux Gouvernement du Canada - Canada

The National Battlefields Commission

Plains of Abraham




Opposing Forces

French Army, Canadians and Amerindians

It is rather difficult to assess accurately the number of men who were available to defend Québec in 1759. However, according to available data it can probably be estimated at somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 men. Considering that the entire population of New France was 60,000, this was a very high mobilization rate.

Montcalm's army was superior to Wolfe's in numbers. The problem for the French General was that his army was clearly inferior in quality, at least for European style battles. Wolfe's men were all well-trained professional soldiers or sailors, whereas Montcalm had to make do mostly with militiamen. There were only 3,685 regular troops distributed among several fronts; added to this number were approximately one thousand soldiers belonging to the Troupes de la Marine.

Besides the Navy, the French army could count on four distinct classes of soldiers: the land troops or regular troops, the Troupes de la Marine, the militiamen and the Amerindians.