Napoleon 1814, The Defence of France

B2273

The author has made great use of eyewitness accounts and original source material. He provides a commentary on a set of events that receive far less coverage in English-language publications. Perhaps it is natural for English interest in the wars with the French and Napoleon to concentrate on those aspects with a strong British involvement. The Royal Navy was the principle British military asset that was consistently successful and beyond Napoleon’s capability to counter. On land, the fight was primarily confined to Iberia and the successes of Wellington. Then there was the final victory at Waterloo which was again a fight where Wellington demonstrated his abilities. What happened elsewhere is often overlooked by English-speakers. This book provides an account of the fighting withdrawal from the error of invasion of Russia and the final attempts to defend the homeland of France.Strongly recommended.

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NAME: Napoleon 1814, The Defence of France
FILE: R2273
AUTHOR: Andrew Uffindell
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 324
PRICE: £16.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Napoleon, invasion of Russia, Moscow, retreat, defence, weather, supply lines, attrition
ISBN: 978-1-47384256-4
IMAGE: B2273.jpg
BUYNOW:
LINKS: http://tinyurl.com/jzvcdww
DESCRIPTION: The author has made great use of eyewitness accounts and original source material. He provides a commentary on a set of events that receive far less coverage in English-language publications. Perhaps it is natural for English interest in the wars with the French and Napoleon to concentrate on those aspects with a strong British involvement. The Royal Navy was the principle British military asset that was consistently successful and beyond Napoleon’s capability to counter. On land, the fight was primarily confined to Iberia and the successes of Wellington. Then there was the final victory at Waterloo which was again a fight where Wellington demonstrated his abilities. What happened elsewhere is often overlooked by English-speakers. This book provides an account of the fighting withdrawal from the error of invasion of Russia and the final attempts to defend the homeland of France. Strongly recommended.

The point at which Napoleon overstretched himself can be debated. Looking back from today’s perspectives, coloured in part by a broadly similar experience for Hitler’s German Armies fighting in the East, its easy to see Austerlitz as the high point from which Napoleon could only go down. His next victory in defeating the Prussians was less consequential. As von Hohenlau had demonstrated in extracting his division successfully and getting it back to Koenigsberg, the Prussian will was not broken. The course of events and the weakness of the Russian Allies meant that Prussia had little option but to surrender, but they smouldered on, waiting for an opportunity strike back. As Napoleon was forced back towards France, after two painful years of trying to defeat the Russians, or extricate his French Armies, Prussia was freed to join the chase towards Paris. When Napoleon returned in 1815 to attempt to re-establish himself, it was the Prussians who played an important part in the victory at Waterloo.

This is an excellent book that tells the story very well. The style is most readable and the supporting images complement the text very effectively. The photo-plate section combines reproduced paintings and drawings with modern photographs. Through the body of the book there are also some excellent maps that present the positions taken in key engagements. This is an essential book for anyone who wishes to learn how Napoleon’s Empire grew and collapsed in just a few years.

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