The author traces the period from 1804 to 1815, and Napoleon's final exile, in a ground breaking study of Napoleon's errors. Strongly Recommended.
NAME: Decline and Fall of Napoleon's Empire, How The Emperor Self-destructed FILE: R2389 AUTHOR: Digby Smith PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline BINDING: hard back PAGES: 239 PRICE: £19.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Napoleon, French Empire, Napoleonic Wars, reverses, decline, destruction, surrender, mistakes, errors, poor intelligence ISBN: 1-84832-818-1 IMAGE: B2389.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/hxyyxcs LINKS: Current Discount Offers http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/sale DESCRIPTION: The author traces the period from 1804 to 1815, and Napoleon's final exile, in a ground breaking study of Napoleon's errors. Strongly Recommended. The frontline imprint has built an unparalleled collection of classic works on the Napoleonic wars. This addition to the collection is the first book to provide a detailed study of Napoleon's many errors. Authors thus far have tended to concentrate on Napoleon's good decisions, achievements and victories. By 1804, Napoleon was beginning to make more bad judgements than good. Inevitably the bad judgements would mount up, end the flow of victories and see an increasing number of defeats. The French had been consistently and decisively defeated by the Royal Navy at sea, from the start of the Revolutionary War. These defeats really reinforced the dominance of the Royal Navy that had been achieved almost half a Century before during the Seven Years War. When Napoleon took over the stewardship of France, he simply continued the naval failures and that was the start of his critical mistakes. As long as Britain ruled at sea, the French were limited in what they could achieve outside the European mainland. They would also be increasingly hampered by the British naval blockade which denied them trade outside the Napoleonic dominance on land. As long as he continued to confront Britain, Napoleon was only going to perpetuate this area of French weakness. Eventually, the British blockade could have weakened the French ability to resist, but Napoleon began to make a series of critical mistakes on land. The first error was to select members of his family to rule conquered European States. These new kings may have owed allegiance to Napoleon but they were ineffective and unloved by their new subjects. The Spanish were unenthusiastic about the prospects of having a new royal family imposed on them and the French armies in Spain operated independently of each other. This began the series of reverses in the one area that Napoleon had clearly triumphed, namely the land battles. Wellington was sent to Portugal and played a brilliant hand in keeping the French armies divided. He prevented their expansion into Portugal and then fought a series of battles into Spain. Had Napoleon appointed a single overall French commander, he might have been able to defeat Wellington, who was always short of men and equipment. As long as he could keep the French divided, he avoided facing an enemy that was significantly superior in numbers and equipment. As the Peninsular War continued, Wellington was able to advance on France. This not only imposed a cost to Napoleon, but it exposed the myth of his invincibility and encouraged subjugated countries to consider rebellion. The author has made a comprehensive study of all of Napoleon's many errors, but his critical mistake was to advance on Russia with inadequate intelligence. This led the French armies into the Russian Winter and inevitable defeat. As the Russians harried the French advance and then began to beat them back, the Prussians and the other defeated countries began to prepare to join Britain against France. As this process unfolded, Napoleon's Marshalls began to question their loyalty to him. Having made the errors that led to his defeat and first exile, Napoleon made his final mistake of thinking he could escape exile, return to France, raise new armies and once more become Emperor of Europe. Waterloo ended those dreams and resulted in his exile far from any prospect of escape. A fascinating study with fresh insight.