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Books: Best Books/Links on The Napoleonic Era

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    I see that Gareth Glover is still at it with his Waterloo archive series.

    https://kentrotman.co.uk/featured/th...hive-volume-1/

    And this one looks interesting too, again by Gareth Glover.

    https://kentrotman.co.uk/featured/th...ion-1809-1815/

    Paul

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    This may be of interest.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Key-Lisbon-...+Revolution%29

    And this:

    https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/fil...715/470165.pdf

    https://www.pagesofpages.com/pwar/pwmemoirs.html


    Courtesy of Tango 01 on the TMP Napoleonic website.

    Paul
    Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 08 Feb 19, 16:58.

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  • Laudon
    replied
    I have seen only three works by Donald Horward : Bussaco, the Twin Sieges and Pelet Papers. Are there any others put together books ?
    If not could anybody point me towards the journals where his individual papers could be found ?

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  • Massena
    replied
    The book covers the campaigns of 1813 and 1814. It does not cover the Peninsular War. For an Atlas for that I would highly recommend Nick Lipscomb's Peninsular War Atlas

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  • Laudon
    replied
    Originally posted by Massena View Post
    The Esposito/Elting Atlas covers all of Napoleon's campaigns and the maps for the campaigns, as well as the battles, are excellent. I have found this volume to be the best operational study, both maps and text, of Napoleon's campaigns.
    But could it be used for maps from War of the Sixth Coalition in general ? I have taken up some books but none of them have maps.
    Most academic works don't seem to have any, and without maps I cannot make sense of anything in 1813 Germany.

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  • Massena
    replied
    The Esposito/Elting Atlas covers all of Napoleon's campaigns and the maps for the campaigns, as well as the battles, are excellent. I have found this volume to be the best operational study, both maps and text, of Napoleon's campaigns.

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  • Laudon
    replied
    On a similar note as before, does Esposito and Elting's Atlas covers N and his battles only, or the entire French Army ?
    None of the books I have ever show good maps for Napoleon's invasion of Russia, his retreat and War of the Six Coalition.
    I hope movements of his marshals are covered somewhere in maps if not in this book.
    Massena

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  • OttoHarkaman
    replied
    Hard to find anything on Suvorov, only book I was able to find

    Eagles Over the Alps: Suvorov in Italy and Switzerland, 1799 By Christopher Duffy

    0024ba5c.jpg

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  • OttoHarkaman
    replied
    The Forgotten War Against Napoleon Conflict in the Mediterranean by Gareth Glover

    00488535.jpg

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    It's a comprehensive Atlas of all the events from July 1807 through to April 1814. It covers all the main belligerent forces of Portugal, Spain, France and Britain. The small actions as well as the major engagements. if you have the Gates Spanish Ulcer, or specifically Oman's 7 volume Peninsular War tomes, it will complement them in a grand style. The only setback in reading the maps is the military unit Icons where the dark blue of the French is almost indistinguishable from those of the Spanish, which is black. I don't know if this has been remedied in later editions of the book.
    Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 22 Jan 19, 18:00.

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  • Laudon
    replied
    Lipscombe's Peninsular War Atlas has received good reviews but I was wondering whether it covers the entirety of the war or follows only the British ?
    I wanted something full of maps to complement The Spanish Ulcer by David Gates.

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  • Massena
    replied
    Walcheren to Waterloo is a new volume on the British campaigns in the Low Countries.

    The subtitle of this volume is The British Army in the Low Countries during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815. The author is Andrew Limm.

    I received it last week in the mail and while going through it (quickly and not thoroughly yet) found a few interesting passages:

    'Indeed, such is the proliferation of books on Wellington that students new to the subject might be forgiven for thinking that he, rather than York, was Commander-in-
    chief of the Army and that the forces he commanded, in the Iberian Peninsula and at Waterloo, constituted 'the' British army. On the contrary, Wellington did not become Commander-in-Chief until 1842 and neither did he command 'the' British army in the Iberian Peninsula or at Waterloo-these armies were in fact expeditionary forces which were despatched for specific purposes.'


    'Moreover, in focusing so much attention on Wellington's Iberian victories, historians have largely ignored the poor recored of the army in other theatres of war over the course of the wider period 1793 to 1815. Unlike their victorious record in Spain and Portugal, the British struggled to achieve success in the Low Countries and were defeated on several occasions over the course of the period. Characteristic failings made by the British in the Low Countries in 1793-1814 included: lack of coherent strategic thinking regarding aims and means; poor military planning; over reliance on unreliable intelligence reports; lack of accurate maps; breakdowns in civil-military relations; disrespect on the part of the British army for the actions and fighting qualities of Allied forces; and the inability of the British officer corps to identify, analyse and learn from past mistakes.' 4-5.

    The author brings up a point that I disagree with in that he does not believe that the British army changed during the period. That is an incorrect statement and perhaps he missed the development of British light infantry and the introduction of rifle armed battalions in the British army of the period.

    But, the bottom line is that when Wellington wasn't commanding, the British usually lost.

    And the book is well-sourced from a variety of source material-archival, primary, and credible secondary sources.

    And Limm's study and overall conclusions coincide with the conclusion of John Elting in Swords Around a Throne, Chapter XXV, page 507:


    'Wellington's triumphs in Spain were all the more dear to his countrymen because earlier British campaigns-Flanders in 1793-1795; Holland in 1799; Spain and Italy in 1800; Naples and Hanover in 1805; Buenos Aires, the Dardenelles, and Egypt in 1806-1807; Spain and Sweden in 1808; and Holland again in 1809;-were a series of disasters, hasty scuttles, and pratfalls. The only real successes had been the 1801 Anglo-Turkish overwhelming of the isolated French in Egypt and the extrication of the almost equally isolated Junot from Portugal in 1808. And even in those two cases, the French had secured terms that allowed them to go home with some swagger. Add that until 1813 Wellington's position in Spain was frequently precarious, with as many retreats as advances, and that Suchet beat off all British attempts against Eastern Spain, and there is evidence enough why so many Frenchmen still had hope of victory in 1814 and 1815.'


    And when the British should have been winning in North America in 1814, they came off badly, losing one battle and fighting to a draw in the two battles on the Niagara peninsula and being badly defeated in the siege of Fort Erie and being forced to withdraw northward. They were also defeated at Plattsburg and were slaughtered at New Orleans.

    There is new scholarship besides this volume on the British army of the period and their operations which are all valuable to understand the problems the British faced in Spain and Portugal, as well as Holland. Some of them are:


    -Wellington's Guns by Nick Lipscombe.

    -Triumphs and Disasters: Eyewitness Accounts of the Netherlands Campaign 1813-1814 by Andrew Bamford.

    -The British Invasion of the River Plate 1806-1807 by Ben Hughes.

    -Wellington's Eastern Front: The Campaigns on the East Coast of Spain 1810-1814 by Nick Lipscombe

    -A Bold and Ambitious Enterprise: The British Army in the Low Countries, 1813-1814 by Andrew Bamford.

    -Wellington's Engineers by Mark Thompson.

    -Wellington's Worst Scrape: The Burgos Campaign 1812 by Carole Divall.

    -Wellington and the Siege of San Sebastian 1813 by Bruce Collins.

    -The Lines of Torres Vedras by John Grehan.

    I have all of these, and more on the British army of the period, in my personal library and I would highly recommend all of them for study and reflection.


    This looks to be an interesting volume and a valuable addition to the material on the period.
    Last edited by Massena; 11 Dec 18, 18:36.

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    I have the book and have had it since its release in 2015, but I haven't read it yet. His Horse Guards book is very good so I suppose Of Living Valour should be at least well written.

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  • RoseofSharon
    replied
    Phew... 44 pages over a couple of days. I now have a very extensive reading list to go through. Thank you for this thread.

    I'm currently reading "Of Living Valour" By Barney White-Spunner. I was wondering if anyone had read it? If so what are your thoughts on it?

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  • Dibble201Bty
    replied
    Originally posted by Compans View Post
    I hadn't heard of Clayton's new book, but it sounds like it may be a good read. I think his prose is elegant and to the point. I liked his Waterloo book for concentrating much on Quatre Bras and Ligny. I didn't sense any French bias at all.

    One of the common characteristics of recent histories has been to follow the general trend we see everywhere at the moment from politics to the History Channel, in focusing on conspiracy theories. I guess Waterloo's always had its fair share but to suppose some definitive 'truth' can be arrived at is naive at best.

    I firmly believe that each age reinvents history to suit its own aspirations. As such history more often than not reflects the age it was written in more so than the age it purports to be about.

    Regarding Dawson, I got a very self published feel from the book I bought too. Another double edged sword of our age is that, although it's good in theory that anyone with a will and enough enthusiasm can publish, you wonder if an editor would pass much of this. He seems to have a degree in history but it doesn't make him necessarily a sound researcher or historical thinker. Judging from his writing (and I noticed repeated paragraphs and sentences that mad e little sense) one wonders how good his research is from French documents in a second language? This was one of the main questions I had with Andrew Fields, though speaking as someone who got a very poor grade CSE in French I admired his tenacity in trying to learn and translate the language despite his similar shortcomings.
    I have no 'bias' issues 'yet' with Clayton's works but I do his Napoleon fixation.

    Of course almost all of Dawson's books have 'issues' and smack of cheapness in their production but like I say, they do hold some good information in them, which as far as I'm concerned, was worth the money.

    I notice that the font size is all over the place in my last posting....how strange!

    Paul

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