Best battles to start with Napoleonic Wars?

Dec 2016
111
Spain
I want to start reading about Napoleonic Wars battles. I've only read about the naval Battle of the Nile (1798) or Aboukir Bay and Trafalgar. I purchased two books, one of them about the Battle of Austerlitz and another one about the Battle of Waterloo, but the latest seems to be like an introduction. Both are translations into spanish, the titles are:

- Austerlitz. La Bataille des Trois Empereurs. Pierre Miquel. Translated into spanish
-
Waterloo. Andrew Roberts. Translated into spanish *(I know this one is just an introduction but I would be pleased if at least I can understand the basics of this battle)

I am thinking about purchasing a book about Battle of Borodino, 400 pages, but probably is way too complex for me. I've seen a documentary about this battle, and I barely understood some details, so I have to see it again. You know I enjoy big and complex battles because of the strategic and organization aspects, but I swear if Borodino is too much for somebody without a background in History and Military History. The thing is that there are by far more books published about Napoleonic Wars than the Age of Reason in terms of warfare and also about specific battles, and I also enjoy reading all the details about specific battles.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,957
Iowa USA
There is not so much written about Marengo (2nd coalition War) in recent decades, yet during the Civil War era it was studied. I think for complexity that would be a manageable example while it demonstrates some of the early-era strengths of the French.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,477
Borodino there is massive discrepancies between the accounts about much of the timing of the Battle. leading to a less than clear picture about the much of the battle. I donlt think it;s an easy battle to start with and the available information is lacking to a degree, I do not recommned it as a good battle to start with.

Which Borodino book ? I've read quite a few.
 
Apr 2014
395
Istanbul Turkey
I definetely recommend "Forgotten War Against Napoleon" written by Gareth Glover. It focuses French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars between 1793 - 1814 in Mediterranean.
 
Feb 2019
846
Serbia
What books on the Nile have you read? I have not been able to find many good ones. I recommend Chandler's Jena or Gareth Glover's Waterloo, they are good books and the former is short. Jena is easy to understand and there is not too much going on so you won't get overwhelmed, I think that the same can be said about Waterloo. Naval battles might take some time to wrap your head around due to ship names and rates, but once you get a hang of that most of them are easy to follow.

Borodino is a bit tricky due to many disagreements on the numbers and the timing of the battle in different accounts, I wouldn't recommend reading a battle book before you have read on the Russian campaign as a whole.

If you want a military history Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon are an excellent overview that goes into battles at some depth, but not so much as to overwhelm you and is readable.
 
Feb 2019
846
Serbia
I definetely recommend "Forgotten War Against Napoleon" written by Gareth Glover. It focuses French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars between 1793 - 1814 in Mediterranean.
That book doesn't go into battles much, except for Maida and some minor engagements through the Mediterranean as well as some others such as Britain's attack on Constantinople, but it doesn't really go in-depth on anything. At some battles such as the ones in Naples it provides some pretty obscure information on some minor events though. It isn't a battle book, it's a somewhat short (280 or so pages for 22 years of warfare.) overview of the war in the Mediterranean.
 
Dec 2016
111
Spain
"If you want a military history Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon are an excellent overview that goes into battles at some depth, but not so much as to overwhelm you and is readable."

This book is translated into spanish! I found it on Amazon under 30€!. Convince me to purchase this one over the book of the battle of Borodino which is the following:

The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov (Campaign Chronicles). By Alexander Mikaberidze. (translated into spanish at a slightly higher price of about 26€).

Both are translated into spanish so there is more than enough material for an "easy" reading. It's not I am a coward but these topics can be difficult so I rather prefer to start with a book in my native language. Didn't know that there was a translation of the first one so it is very welcome.

PS. I don't know how to quote so sorry...
 
Feb 2019
846
Serbia
This book is translated into spanish! I found it on Amazon under 30€!. Convince me to purchase this one over the book of the battle of Borodino which is the following:

The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov (Campaign Chronicles). By Alexander Mikaberidze. (translated into spanish at a slightly higher price of about 26€).
That's actually a good price for Chandler's book, it's usually more expensive. Anyway, I've not read Mikaberidze's book but it only focuses on 1 battle and that battle is fairly hard to understand due to contradictory sources. Chandler focuses on all of Napoleon's campaigns and covers pretty much all major battles, so you will get much more info and context from it than from Mikaberidze. If you want an overview of Napoleon's campaigns and learn about more than 1 battle then get Chandler, if you want to learn just about Borodino specifically in more detail get Mikaberidze.
 
Dec 2016
111
Spain
I'll go with David Chandler's book since they are both almost at the same price and looks more promising. Moreover, Chandler is a great historian of the Napoleonic era.