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Subject: Interested in Napoleonics - What is THE book to read? rss

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Kyle Seely
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Bill Lawson
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Sluggonics wrote:


This is the book you want.
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milhouse x
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I have La Grande Armee (I don't know how to embed a picture of the book) by Georges Blond. I would be curious how that stacks up to Chandler- I cannot imagine it is nearly comparable (I think it lacks something in the discussions of specific battles) but I am curious how well it does on the discussion of the overall campaigns.
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Eric Brosius
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kenosha_kid wrote:
I just found out that my local library has a copy of Chandler. w00t!

Yay, libraries! And yay, Inter-Library Loan!

(Though it does irk me a bit when I go to the library to request a book on ILL and they say, "you know, this does cost us money." And all this time I had no idea what my taxes were for!)



I just checked, by the way, and the iPad version costs $64.99.
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Kyle Seely
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kenosha_kid wrote:
I just found out that my local library has a copy of Chandler. w00t!

Thanks guys.

Any other suggestions would also be most welcome.


My local library has a copy in excellent condition. I've checked it out from there several times. I'm probably the only person who has done so in the past 10 years.
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Chris Shockey
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I really enjoyed 'War of Wars' by Robert Harvey. Mr Harvey puts the war into the perspective it should be viewed in: as the REAL First World War. The explanations of the early causes of the war are concise and presented in a very enjoyable format. One of the best volumes in print covering the Napoleonic Wars.
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Dan Joyce
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Really the Chandler book is a great investment. I have read it twice (mine is actually signed by the man himself)
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Karl Rainer
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danjay1 wrote:
Really the Chandler book is a great investment. I have read it twice (mine is actually signed by the man himself)
Dan


Signed by Napoleon! Well, that will be worth a pretty penny someday... ;-)
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Paul Procyk
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I agree with everyone else that posted favourably on the Chandler book.

Before you read it I would consider picking up the West Point Atlas series for the Wars of Napoleon. I am pleasantly surprised that it is still in print. Mine is from the eighties.

Makes reading the book much more enjoyable.

http://www.amazon.ca/West-Point-Atlas-Wars-Napoleon/dp/07570...

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roger miller
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Would suggest "The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon by Gunther E. Rothenberg. After Chandler my second most read book.
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Roger Hobden
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rmiller1093 wrote:
Would suggest "The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon by Gunther E. Rothenberg. After Chandler my second most read book.


Both of these books are very good.
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M St
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I would also recommend Chandler. However, he does come with a caveat. First, he does have some minor axes to grind (but who doesn't). But also, be aware that this is literally "the campaigns of Napoleon". You are not going to read about any campaigns that he wasn't in except as a sidenote for why he had to send troops of elsewhere etc.
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Steven Goodknecht
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After Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon, I would highly recommend A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars by Esposito and Elting.

You may want to get it through an inter-library loan if your library doesn't have a copy. I bought my copy decades ago when it was in print but it's very pricey now.
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Martin McCleary
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Amazon has used copies in hardcover of Chandler starting at 39 bucks.

Funny that I've had this book new since high school when it was offered thru the military book club - a long time ago - and have only read portions of it.
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Iain K
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brozo wrote:
I agree with everyone else that posted favourably on the Chandler book.

Before you read it I would consider picking up the West Point Atlas series for the Wars of Napoleon. I am pleasantly surprised that it is still in print. Mine is from the eighties.

Makes reading the book much more enjoyable.

http://www.amazon.ca/West-Point-Atlas-Wars-Napoleon/dp/07570...



Agreed, maybe it's fond memories of his goaltending in the 70's but Esposito's work is excellent, and for my money a better introduction to Napoleon than Chandler. The maps ... simply the best on Napoleon's campaigns in the world.

PS - the older the edition, the better.



A review is here:

http://www.napoleon-series.org/reviews/military/c_elting2.ht...


Again, it's not cheap. But watch eBay and you can eventually get a copy for about $50US
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David
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I've read a least 150 books and counting on this subject. Just go to the the library and grab what ever appeals. The The choice is colossal.
Heres what I'm reading at at the moment:

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Michael Sommers
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kenosha_kid wrote:
Another Elting book that I've come across on Amazon is 'Swords Around a Throne'



I assume this is also worth a look?

Definitely.
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Justus Pendleton
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You've got a lot of replies suggesting The Campaigns of Napoleon. However, you mentioned you are looking for something like Battle Cry of Freedom.

I wonder about anyone who has actually read the two because there is no way I would recommend The Campaigns of Napoleon to someone who is looking for the Napoleonic equivalent of Battle Cry of Freedom

MacPherson's book is as famous as it is because it weaves two decades worth of military, political, social, and economic history into a tale about a war that lasted one-quarter that length of time. It covers voting data, party affiliations, and so on.

The Campaigns of Napoleon is many things but it is not the same type of book as Battle Cry of Freedom. Ellis' The Napoleonic Empire is a closer (but still imperfect) match, IMHO.
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Alan Sutton
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Try "The Dictionary of the Napoleonic Wars" by Chandler. It's obviously not as deep as "The Campaigns...." but will provide heaps of cross referenced reading. It contains an overview of everything important in the period and is a one volume purchase so cheaper than the other title. After this you will have a good idea of what period or personality or campaign or battle within the period you want to read further about.
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Alan Sutton
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Peso Pete wrote:
M St wrote:
I would also recommend Chandler. However, he does come with a caveat. First, he does have some minor axes to grind (but who doesn't). But also, be aware that this is literally "the campaigns of Napoleon". You are not going to read about any campaigns that he wasn't in except as a sidenote for why he had to send troops of elsewhere etc.


This is true. For example, Chandler has nothing on the Peninsular Campaign. For that, you have to go to Charles Oman and "A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809".


Oman is a bit deep for a beginner. I'd recommend Years of Victory by Arthur Bryant. This has a good précis of the war in Spain and more besides.
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Paul Aceto
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This book has an excellent section on Napoleonic warfare. Plus, you get all the history leading up to it! You can find a used copies at cheap prices. This book is a wonderful resource.



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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Peso Pete wrote:
M St wrote:
I would also recommend Chandler. However, he does come with a caveat. First, he does have some minor axes to grind (but who doesn't). But also, be aware that this is literally "the campaigns of Napoleon". You are not going to read about any campaigns that he wasn't in except as a sidenote for why he had to send troops of elsewhere etc.


This is true. For example, Chandler has nothing on the Peninsular Campaign. For that, you have to go to Charles Oman and "A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809".


Actually it does, in the section titled "Peninsular Intrigues". However, as per Markus' comment, the focus is on the period of Napoleon's own participation. It thus fails to cover much of the Peninsular Campaign, during which Napoleon was, of course, absent.
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rexbinary
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Anyone have any opinions of this book?

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Arjan Schuthof
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I recommend David Gates' Spanish Ulcer on the Peninsular War.
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Nicola Ciabatti
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rexbinary wrote:
Anyone have any opinions of this book?


It's a short narration of the Napoleonic wars with some insights on strategies and maybe tactics (I don't remember for sure) of the period. A good first read, IMHO.
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