Napoleonic Armies

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Napoleonic Armies

Postby Poldark » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:03 pm


You may want to take a look at the following information on a book that breaks down the various armies of the Napoleonic wars by country including their strenghts and weaknesses.

Good Reading:

Cost: Approximately $25


Osprey Publishing has put out more than 100 books on the Na­pole­onic Wars. Although most are slim volumes—the company's trademark—its Armies of the Napoleonic Wars ($25), edited by Chris McNab and now out in paperback, runs a hefty 438 pages. But find room for it on your bookshelf. This country-by-country tour of the seven major armies of the Napoleonic era (plus a roundup of significant smaller forces) offers an excellent overview of the period, with a chapter devoted to each of the major state's infantry, artillery, cavalry, arms, organization, tactics, ordnance, and, of course, uniforms. Typical of Osprey, lavish illustrations make turning each page a delight.

McNab's Armies bears more than a passing resemblance to Philip J. Haythornthwaite's superb The Napo­leonic Source Book, which furnishes a closer look at minor countries and details of mobilization for war. Yet it shines in its portrayals of national tactics. And the text of Armies is regularly punctuated with battle maps and frank assessments of the differing armies—from the baroque and hobbling drill procedures of the Prussian cavalry to the close integration of artillery within the Austrian army. The examination is varied but fit; while Spanish infantry is dismissed as "little short of a liability," McNab judiciously includes a feature on "Distinguished Units."

Atop this all, lively prose—atypical for a guidebook—should secure this book a spot in an enthusiast's collection.
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Re: Napoleonic Armies

Postby Sir Arthur Wellesley » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:11 pm

Got this book on the weekend, was reading it at work today. I think I saw the other title you mentioned at the library but this was something to read at work and the other book was sizeable to say the least. Not a book to read at the office haha.

I got through the French/British sections and half the Austrian section today. I'm pleased with it so far. Plenty of facts, figures and great illustrations for the Napoleonic enthusiast that fill in gaps in knowledge and serves as an excellent reference for a variety of purposes.
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Re: Napoleonic Armies

Postby Chuckman » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:50 pm

I also just picked up this book. I love the Osprey sources but they are many this combined them nicely. Thanks for pointing this one out. Great information on organization and tactics for each factions infantry, cavalry and artillery.

There is an unrealistic strong British bias in the British section, as with many of our sources, but the overwhelming rich information overpowers it. I know I have mentioned this before, but I am not anti British, I am over half English, Scot and Irish myself. I wish newer sources would be unbaised, if you read the different sections it is very noticeable. British sources on the Napoleonic Wars are most available so you get tired of hearing how great the British were in the Napoleonic Wars. They did have an excellent tiny army of infantry and their money did fuel the fires of Europe. Napoleon could only have been beaten militarily though, and the Russians, Prussians and Austrians played a bigger hand and bled much much more than the Brits to this end (british money of course helped)

Total Napoleonic War Deaths
French Empire371,000 killed in action[1]
800,000 killed by disease, primarily in the disastrous invasion of Russia[2]
600,000 civilians[2]
65,000 French allies (mainly Poles fighting for independence lost in 1795)[2]
Total: 1,800,000 French and allies (mostly Germans and Poles) dead in action, disease and missing[1]
Taine: 1,700,000 Frenchmen from "pre-1792 borders" David Gates: At least 916,000 Frenchmen. [3]

[edit] Allies120,000 Italian dead or missing
289,000 Russian dead or missing
134,000 Prussian dead or missing
376,000 Austrian dead or missing
300,000 Spanish dead or missing
311,806 British dead or missing[4]
Total: 1,531,000

British navy, 1804–15
killed in action: 6,663
shipwrecks, drownings, fire: 13,621
disease: 72,102
total: 92,386
British army, 1804–15
killed in action: 25,569
disease: 193,851
total: 219,420
Taine: 2,000,000 total.

The British army only lost 25 569 in combat in the Napoleonic Wars (many many more to disease). This is probably 1/4 to 1/8 of the number for other major opponents of Napoleon if disease was seperated out. Add up any of the kills in the coalitions campaigns and they lost in each of those probably around this number of 25 000, and there were many coalitions. At Borodino alone the Russians had 39000 to 45000 dead. At Leipzig the allies suffered 54 000 dead (the Brits were not there).
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