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Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 10:32:42 AM   
Delaware

 

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I am much more familiar with the American Civil War than I am with Napoleonic stuff. What books would you recommend for general reading for context of the time? I see Andrew Roberts "Napoleon: A Life" gets great reviews. I also have Zamoyski's books on 1812 invasion of Russia and the Congress of Vienna. Any other suggestions?
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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 10:37:11 AM   
76mm


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I'm no Napoleonic expert, but I thought that The Campaigns of Napoleon by Chandler was very good, and is considered a classic.

(in reply to Delaware)
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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 11:56:15 AM   
typhoon

 

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The War of wars by Robert Harvey is one of my favs and of course there is always War and Peace to get you into the right frame of mind to begin a campaign as Russian.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 3:36:52 PM   
kosmoface

 

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1812: Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow - Adam Zamoyski

Absolute page turner.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 3:50:59 PM   
Ironclad

 

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delete

< Message edited by Ironclad -- 12/10/2015 4:51:47 PM >

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 3:53:07 PM   
Ironclad

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 76mm

I'm no Napoleonic expert, but I thought that The Campaigns of Napoleon by Chandler was very good, and is considered a classic.


True. Nearly 50 years old but still the best book on Napoleon I have ever read and reread regularly. An outstanding account of Napoleon's practice, military genius and campaigns with superb battle maps.


< Message edited by Ironclad -- 12/10/2015 4:55:49 PM >

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 5:38:06 PM   
Arsan

 

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+1 for Chandler's The Campaigns of Napoleon. Awesome

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 6:30:34 PM   
Steelers708

 

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Swords Around a Throne by John R. Elting is an excellent book on Napoleons Grande Armee.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 7:31:11 PM   
Kai

 

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Chandler's book is the best overall history.

For a really fun read, I can recommend Seven Men of Gascony, by Delderfield. It's historical fiction, and gives a good flavor of what it was like to be a soldier in Napoleon's army.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 8:27:17 PM   
Arsan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Steelers708

Swords Around a Throne by John R. Elting is an excellent book on Napoleons Grande Armee.

That is very nice too! But maybe it's better for someone who already knows and likes the napoleonic period.
I read it after having read Chandlers book.

Another excellent entry level book would be The Battle by Alessandro Barbiero. It's about Waterloo, but it's a great book to understand how battles, campaigns and armies were back then. Very readable and objective.

Regards

< Message edited by Arsan -- 12/10/2015 9:33:01 PM >

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/10/2015 10:14:42 PM   
Delaware

 

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Wanted to throw out there "The Spanish Ulcer" and "Wellington's Rifles" by Mark Urban.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/11/2015 1:19:03 AM   
76mm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Steelers708
Swords Around a Throne by John R. Elting is an excellent book on Napoleons Grande Armee.

I agree that this is a great book, but IIRC it is organized thematically (ie, each chapter covers a topic such as infantry, cavalry, engineers) so not the best book looking for an overview of the campaigns. But a great source for someone looking for detailed info about the Napolean's armies!

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/11/2015 11:32:17 AM   
typhoon

 

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This post also made me delve deep into the book cupboard and dig out Bruce Quarries excellent Napoleonic Wargames in Miniature whilst some of it does not apply some of the chapters offer a real good beginning to the Napoleonic Wars I especially enjoy the Generals and their summaries. Also glad of the nostalgia been years since I looked at it.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/11/2015 5:53:41 PM   
Crimguy


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Campaigns of Napoleon - US $65 on Amazon . . . for the Kindle version!

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/11/2015 6:11:24 PM   
Uxbridge


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David Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon was a bible for me 30 years ago. If you can get the real book -- get it! If ever you get tired of reading it, you can always use it knocking out burglars.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/14/2015 3:01:14 PM   
Citizen Emperor


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The most comprehensive study of a major Napoleonic campaign ever published in English...

1809: Thunder On the Danube by John H. Gill
Three Volumes:
I. Politics, Strategies and the Road to Abensberg-Eggmuhl
II. The Fall of Vienna and the Battle of Aspern
III. Wagram and Znaim

Absolutely EVERY aspect of Napoleon's 1809 campaign is covered in detail, from the insignificant small-unit actions to the decisive battles. Scores of OB tables and charts, and over 100+ maps!


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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/14/2015 3:25:30 PM   
a_gonatas

 

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The book below is currently 1.99 on Amazon (for Kindle).


quote:

ORIGINAL: Citizen Emperor

The most comprehensive study of a major Napoleonic campaign ever published in English...

1809: Thunder On the Danube by John H. Gill
Three Volumes:
I. Politics, Strategies and the Road to Abensberg-Eggmuhl
II. The Fall of Vienna and the Battle of Aspern
III. Wagram and Znaim

Absolutely EVERY aspect of Napoleon's 1809 campaign is covered in detail, from the insignificant small-unit actions to the decisive battles. Scores of OB tables and charts, and over 100+ maps!



(in reply to Citizen Emperor)
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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 12:57:50 AM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: a_gonatas

The book below is currently 1.99 on Amazon (for Kindle).


quote:

ORIGINAL: Citizen Emperor

The most comprehensive study of a major Napoleonic campaign ever published in English...

1809: Thunder On the Danube by John H. Gill
Three Volumes:
I. Politics, Strategies and the Road to Abensberg-Eggmuhl
II. The Fall of Vienna and the Battle of Aspern
III. Wagram and Znaim

Absolutely EVERY aspect of Napoleon's 1809 campaign is covered in detail, from the insignificant small-unit actions to the decisive battles. Scores of OB tables and charts, and over 100+ maps!





The first volume is.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 6:15:37 AM   
Ironclad

 

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Excellent value. Not sure how kindle will handle the maps though. Its a while since I read the trilogy even though its on my bookshelves, but I can remember some of the great maps needed the magnifier.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 11:07:28 AM   
Delaware

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ironclad

Excellent value. Not sure how kindle will handle the maps though. Its a while since I read the trilogy even though its on my bookshelves, but I can remember some of the great maps needed the magnifier.

a reviewer of the Kindle version stated the maps are not included, though listed on the table of contents

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 1:30:38 PM   
Citizen Emperor


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Personally, I wouldn't read 1809: THUNDER ON THE DANUBE without the maps... They're somewhat essential.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 2:29:54 PM   
Lord_Stanley

 

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Swords Around A Throne has already been mentioned several times, and for good reason.
Another to consider is 1805: Austerlitz: Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 3:40:47 PM   
Recognition


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A lot of good books mentioned here and I have a lot of them myself. I've just purchased 1809: THUNDER ON THE DANUBE all 3 vol from pen and sword uk online as a ebook ( not Kindle ) as I've just acquired a Windows Tablet

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 4:53:14 PM   
Ironclad

 

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You're in for a treat. One of my favourite Napoleon's campaigns - his counter-offensive was a real work of genius and sustained energy. Amongst other things it demonstrates Lannes' great qualities and how highly Napoleon regarded him as a commander and friend.

Btw I don't know if the publishers have changed this but in my editions they included a map in volume 2 which was introduced to help readers better understand some of the Austrian movements in volume 1. If so its well worth having that available for reference when reading the first volume.

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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 9:56:21 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Citizen Emperor

Personally, I wouldn't read 1809: THUNDER ON THE DANUBE without the maps... They're somewhat essential.






Not the best pic, but there it is. And you can zoom in.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 12/15/2015 10:57:39 PM >


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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/15/2015 9:58:18 PM   
Aurelian

 

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Zoomed in. Dang phone camera.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 12/15/2015 10:59:04 PM >


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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/16/2015 9:03:53 PM   
warspite1


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Five books I would recommend - the former and the latter in particular:

Waterloo - A Near Run Thing - David Howarth
La Grande Armee - Georges Blond
The Peninsular War - Charles Esdaile
The Napoleonic source Book - Philip J Haythornthwaite
The Waterloo Companion - Mark Adkin


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 12/16/2015 10:07:21 PM >


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RE: Napoleonic book suggstions - 12/31/2015 2:50:44 PM   
Walloc

 

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Another name to go by is: James R Arnold.

Having read most of the books that has been listed here, i can safely say that IMHO in some 100+ campaign books read on the napolonic subjects that his is the best written and best/fullest explaination of the campaigns in question.

His 1809 and 1807 series are superb, as is his Marengo and Hohenlinden book. His latest on the 1813 spring campaign isnt quite at the same level, but still a very good book.


Also as it isnt usually the country written most about in the periode. Dominic Lieven's Russia against Napoleon is great for understanding what goes on in Russia and why different decisions about post 1805 era is made. Politically and militarily.

Kind regards,
Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 12/31/2015 3:51:11 PM >

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