With a brief chronological account of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars to act as a quick reference, the remaining volume provides in sharp detail a survey of the basic capabilities and use of the weaponry of the era, a review of each state's participation in those ongoing conflicts, brief biographical notices of some of the leading military leaders, an update on the development of Napoleonic literature, a glossary of military terms, and a section devoted to miscellaneous facts and figures.
Philip J. Haythornthwaite
Brand: Arms Armour
Used Book in Good Condition
Arms & Armour
Arms & Armour
Arms & Armour
Arms & Armour
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I recently discovered this author's excellent "source book" on World War I, which was published two years after this one, so this is obviously the model for the series. (Or it would be a "series" if he would do any more of them -- which I wish he would.) While my knowledge of the history of the Great War was rather thin, however, I know a good deal about the war between France and the Allies between 1792 and 1815, so I feel better able to judge in this case. And I'm pleased to say the author has again brought together a huge amount of information on a very large subject, and in which he is an acknowledged authority -- though he tends to run the details of military uniform into the ground. As with the World War I book, there are seven major sections. "The Campaigns" is a straightforward chronological survey of events, principal players, diplomacy, and changing grand strategy. The section on weapons and "minor tactics" (familiar to officers in the field from every participating nation)...
I found this 'Napoleonic Source Book' to be a good and useful overview of the Napoleonic Wars. Haythornthwaite has divided the book into 7 sections. The first 60 pages are a brief descriptions of all the campaigns from the French Revolution to the end of Waterloo. And brief is the operative word - there isn't much space to go into explanatory detail here. I find it useful - my interest is predominantly in the Peninsular War but I know very littleof the other French campaigns. The second chapter is on the weapons and practice of War. I know this is a somewhat controversial issue. I did find Rory Muir's book a lot more convincing on this subject - but then he was a lot longer. Haythornthwaite then tries to do a very difficult thing, he has a chapter on the nations involved in the war, dozens of them from grand countries like Prussia and Russia to tiny backwaters like Piedmont and Reuss. You can see the potential problems when everything from uniforms to structure is...
It is not a definitive end all book, it is however an excellent summary intro book with some depth. It will give you an understanding of the periods/phases of the war, the armies involved, some politics and some unit descriptions. All in all this has been the most useful book to give a general understanding of the period and the dynamics that existed at that time.
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