Pugsville Napoleonic Military History Book review

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#1
1. The Campaigns of Napoleon - David G Chandler

https://www.amazon.com/Campaigns-Napoleon-David-G-Chandler/dp/0025236601
David Chandler

A Good readable overview of the Military Campaign of Napoleon, a hefty volume but covering a lot of ground, so not what I would call in depth. Definitely a good starting point, though it really just covers napoleon rather than all the wars and campaigns.

Chandler does not give detailed analysis of numbers, and i think readily accepts some numbers a little too easily (the second Mamlulk force at the battle for the pyramids being given at 100,000 seems very excessive)

Chandler is damming of Napoleon diplomatically but almost uncritical at times in his praise of his militarily so bias wise a bit either way.

7/10. Good readable overview.

2. On the Napoleonic Wars :Collected essays.

https://www.amazon.com/Napoleonic-W...r_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485500684&sr=1-14

Also by David Chandler a small collection of essays, most ramble a bit and are light weight, for my tastes. with a breezy introduction between essays that give a good insight into David Chandler the nan for those interested.

The best for mine is a Marengo revisited which looks at Napoleon and the very edited legend of Marengo Napoleon created with no less than 4 'offical' versions of the battle, appointing a commission to review offical records and being sent to do again when not appreiciatative enough of Napoleon's genius , quite Stalinesquse.


6/10 a bit hit and miss.,but some very good essays
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#3
The Burning of Moscow: Napoleon's Trail By Fire 1812
Alexander Mikaberidze

https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Mosc...2HI_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485501676&sr=1-8

While interesting i think the book is a bit stretched for the topic, much of it is a rehash of events before and after without a lot of detail. Better when on the central topic which s covered in great depth and there is much detail about the French occupation of Moscow.While presenting much evidence the Book really does not come down with any real firm conclusions, while bringing much that throws into doubt Rostopchin as the culprit, in the end Book makes no real firm calls. The disorderly , lack of discipline of the Grand Arrmee in moscow is discussed in depth and the lack of - about food the continual looting, despite endless orders not to.


4/10 Good when on core topic, but perhaps needed more for a book this size topic wise.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#4
The army of the French Revolution : from citizen-soldiers to instrument of power
Jean Paul. Bertaud | c1988

https://www.amazon.com/Army-French-...-Instrument/dp/0691055378/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Just focused on the French army from 1792 up until Napoleon's coup.And primary focus was the political/social factors within the French army. A lot of detail of the about the recruitment,origin of recruits and the political currents within the various classes within the revolutionary french army, royalist army , volunteers, conscripts and how the mix interacted.

Minor quibble a lot of stats appear in the book, would have liked a appendix with the data in tables (i like statistics)


7/10
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#5
Napoleon's Integration of Europe
by Stuart Woolf

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0415755530/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

A look at the Napoleonic empire and how the empire was ruled, governed, liberated and exploited. An interesting readable book, that doesn't quite get there for mine, prefer something with a bit more depth (not enough stats ) Feels more like a collection related but not quite connected essays.

6/10
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#6
Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia 1806
by Francis Lorraine Petre

https://www.amazon.com/Napoleons-Co...NVA_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485503017&sr=1-2

A good Moderate depth analysis of the 1806 Campaign (the 1807 campaigning poland is covered in a seperate volume) I'm a fan of Petre, but I prefer his other campaigns works to this one, perhaps the fighting was over so quickly much of the book is anti climatic. I like a book that discussed it troops numbers, and analyses army performance which Petre does in rather than just pronounce the conclusions of his thinking, I prefer tihs style others may not.

6.5 / 10

( i was taken camping by the GF last week, not being the outdoors type I packed a bit of reading which is why there's a glut to start with, knocked over this lot and a couple of light novels.)
 
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Nov 2011
4,657
Ohio, USA
#7
Excellent Pugsville!

Of those mentioned, I've only read Chandler's Campaigns. I did like it quite a bit, and it's a great introduction to Napoleon's career before deciding to go more in-depth.

Though I must say that I think he tends to be a bit too traditionalist, so to speak, in his portrayal of many of the Allies or, in fact, about anyone besides the British or French (this comes across in his Napoleonic Wars dictionary as well, which is one of the nerdiest titles for the nerdiest types btw:lol:). To be fair in this regard, it is dated, and so therefore understandable, but I prefer the portrayals found in Lieven and Leggiere's works more. In other words, like Elting's works, it is very Franco-centric, and possibly with a pro-Anglo bias as well.

Of Petre, I've only read his accounts of 1813 and 1814. He is informative and objective, but his terrible illustrations, as well as dry and somewhat sloppy writing style (a lot of it just looks like poor editing), really grate on me.
 
Dec 2016
144
India
#9
Scott bowden's austerlitz?
Or goetz's austerlitz?
Nafziger 1812 russian campaign?
Road to rivoli - martin brown?
Napoleon's apogee 'Saalfield,jena and auerstadt' - S.bowden
Napoleon and the struggle for germany 1813 (2vol) -Michael Leggiere
End of Empire -Napoleon's 1814 campaign -Nafziger
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,497
#10
I've got Goetz's Austerlitz and First of Paul Britten Austen's trilogy and read both, I'll perhaps reread them shortly and post a review when things are fresh, I've just reviewed what I read last week. Bowden's Austerlitz and the rest of Paul Britten Austen in the library, Nafziger I've use his OB stuff but yet read any of his.

What I've got on the reading table now.

Swords Around A Throne - Napoloen's Grand Armee (Elting)
Europe and the French Imperium 1799-1815 (bruno)
Blundering to Glory - Napoloen's Military Campaigns (connelly) i suspect he's trolling a bit with the title but i couldn't resist, but only 200 pages, we'll see when we get to it)
The War of the Two Emperors (Curtis)
Napoleon's Satellite Kingdoms (Connelly)
Napoleon and Russia (Adams)
The bayonets of the Republic (Lynn)
Collaboration and Resistance in Napoleonic Europe (Rowe)
Napoleon and his Collaborators (Woloch)
The Fiscal-Military State in Eighteenth Century Europe (Storrs)

I expect a rate of about 2 a week.

the Thunder in the Danube trilogy is highly recommended to me, and I lobe in depth so hopefully one day.
 
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