In the summer of 1812 Napoleon gathered his fearsome Grande Arm e, more than half a million strong, on the banks of the Niemen River. He was about to undertake the most daring of all his many campaigns: the invasion of Russia. Meeting only sporadic opposition and defeating it easily along the way, the huge army moved forward, advancing ineluctably on Moscow through the long hot days of summer. On September 14, Napoleon entered the Russian capital, fully anticipating the Czar's surrender. Instead he encountered an eerily deserted city--and silence. The French army sacked the city, and by October, with Moscow in ruins and his supply lines overextended, and with the Russian winter upon him, Napoleon had no choice but to turn back. One of the greatest military debacles of all time had only just begun.In this famous memoir, Philippe-Paul de S gur, a young aide-de-camp to Napoleon, tells the story of the unfolding disaster with the keen eye of a crack reporter and an astute grasp of human character. His book, a fundamental inspiration for Tolstoy's War and Peace, is a masterpiece of military history that teaches an all-too-timely lesson about imperial hubris and its risks.
A reference work on the Napoleonic Wars which covers all the important soldiers, sailors, strategies, armaments and battles that shaped Napoleon's career. Includes information on the campaigns led by Napoleon as well as related events such as the Peninsular War.
In this monumental account and brilliant new analysis of the Napoleonic era in Europe, Frederick W. Kagan, distinguished historian and military policy expert, reveals the complex interaction of continental politics and war that dominated Europe in the early nineteenth century. Using hitherto untapped archival materials from Austria, Prussia, France, and Russia, Kagan tells the story of Napoleon and Europe that is vastly different from previous histories. He presents these crucial years from the perspective of all the major players of Europe, as well as countless others. With clear and lively prose, Kagan deftly guides the reader through the intriguing and complex web of international politics and war. The End of the Old Order is the first in a new and comprehensive series of studies of Napoleon and Europe.
The twentieth century is usually seen as "the century of total war." But as the historian David Bell argues in this landmark work, the phenomenon actually began much earlier, in the era of muskets, cannons, and sailing ships--in the age of Napoleon.In a sweeping, evocative narrative, Bell takes us from campaigns of "extermination" in the blood-soaked fields of western France to savage street fighting in ruined Spanish cities to central European battlefields where tens of thousands died in a single day. Between 1792 and 1815, Europe plunged into an abyss of destruction. It was during this time, Bell argues, that our modern attitudes toward war were born. In the eighteenth century, educated Europeans thought war was disappearing from the civilized world. So when large-scale conflict broke out during the French Revolution, they could not resist treating it as "the last war" -- a final, terrible spasm of redemptive violence that would usher in a reign of perpetual peace. As this brilliant interpretive history shows, a war for such stakes could only be apocalyptic, fought without restraint or mercy. Ever since, the dream of perpetual peace and the nightmare of total war have been bound tightly together in the Western world--right down to the present day, in which the hopes for an "end to history" after the cold war quickly gave way to renewed fears of full-scale slaughter. With a historian's keen insight and a journalist's flair for detail, Bell exposes the surprising parallels between Napoleon's day and our own--including the way that ambition "wars of liberation," such as the one in Iraq, can degenerate into a gruesome guerrilla conflict. The result is a book that is as timely and important as it is unforgettable.
This volume covers the last horse troops of the French Imperial Guard: gendarmes, honor guards and horse artillery, not forgetting the Lithuanian tartars, last proof of Napoleon's will to make out of his Guard a model of a Greater Europe.
Rehabilitates the British cavalry's reputation in the Peninsula and at Waterloo by demonstrating the greater number of cavalry successes, many of which have long been forgotten.
Like volume one of Michael Broers's magnificent biography, The Spirit of the Age is based on the new version of Napoleon's correspondence, made available by the Fondation Napol on in Paris. It is the story of Napoleon's conquest of Europe--and that of his magnificent Grande Arm e--as they sweep through the length and breadth of Europe. This narrative opens with Napoleon's as yet untested army making its way through the Bavarian Alps in the early winter of 1805 to fall upon the unsuspecting Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. This was only the beginning of a series of spectacular victories over the Prussians and Russians over the next two years. The chronicle then follows the army into Spain, in 1808, the most ill-considered step in Napoleon's career as ruler, and then through the most daunting triumph of all, the final defeat of Austria at Wagram, in 1809, the bloodiest battle in European history up to that time.
- The Washington Post
Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.Andrew Roberts's Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century. An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon's sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.