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Subject: Need help to find a good book on the napoleonic wars rss

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jens blixt
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Hi!
Do anyone got any good recomendations on books to read to get a better understanding of this time in history?

I got a few books but now I need help to extend my littel library in this period! =P
 
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Stuart Holttum
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When you say "this time", were you after military history, general political, or what?
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Mark McG
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try this search
https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=napoleonic%...

one I found useful was
http://www.bookdepository.com/Fighting-Techniques-of-the-Nap...

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jens blixt
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Well to be honest I would like something like what Antony Bevor did on the second world war. He combined both the military history and politics in one
book. Hope that helped.. and thanks for helping! =)
 
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jens blixt
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Minedog3 wrote:


I have "the figthing techniques of the Napoleonic age" Exelent book!
Will look some of them up! =)
 
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Minot
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Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon was is the best my military history of the era, though it is somewhat light on politics. However, I never felt Bevor spent much time on politics either, so in that respect they are comparable.
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jens blixt
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NimitsTexan wrote:
Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon was is the best my military history of the era, though it is somewhat light on politics. However, I never felt Bevor spent much time on politics either, so in that respect they are comparable.


Thank you! Will check it up! =)
 
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Stefan Koller
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Chandler is definitely the number one choice for the military campaigns. It's a very long work, however, and it will leave you largely ignorant of the geopolitical and diplomatic context of the wars. It's very well written, however, and no library on Napoleon, however small, should be without it.

To supplement this, may I suggest the following readings (obtainable in decent public libraries, or via interloan library services run by those libraries):

1. Robin Gildea, "Borders and Barricades", chapter 2 entitled "Napoleonic Europe" is very good - and very brief - on the economic and international background. It's good on Napoleon's "Continental System", and similar staples.
2. Dominic Lieven, "Russia against Napoleon", chapter 2, provides the imperialist background of all the major powers (not just Russia and Britain) to explain the key dynamics of the period.
3. Paul Schroeder on Napoleon's foreign policy in his 1990 article entitled "A Criminal Enterprise", which you (or any friend of yours matriculated in, or working at, a university) can obtain through digital archives like JSTOR. The article explains the gist behind his long monograph "The Transformation of European Politics", which is to Napoleonic diplomacy what Chandler is to Napoleonic warfare: it's the standard work, extremely thorough, and unlikely to be superceded in our own life time.

In general, I'd say try to avoid any one volume 'overview' or 'biography' volumes if you can. They are rarely written by military historians, consequently botch the fundamentals of the era, and contain gross moral simplifications of Napoleon's actions at an international stage. A good example is Andrew Roberts' "Napoleon: A life" (or, as it was gratutiously entitled in the UK print run, "Napoleon the Great"), which is really a farce.

A better, if equally controversial, distillation of the above literature in one volume that avoids the biographical slant, is Charles Esdaile's "The Napoleonic Wars. An International History", which leans heavily on Schroeder, but is rather obscure in its structure and language. Still, if you were to buy only one book to complement Chandler, I'd go with this one. It's much shorter than Schroeder, and 15 years more up to date regarding sources and literature.

My own take on buying and reading books to supplement CC:N games has been to focus on one Expansion at a time, and then just buy 'the book' to go with it. For Russia, that's obviously Lieven (cited above), for Spain (and the base set), that's Esdaile (different title, "The Peninsular Wars" I think), and for Austria it's "Thunder on the Danube" (3 vols.) by John Gill. Prussia I haven't done yet, so can't make solid recommendations. Waterloo is a literature in its own right, and Tim Clayton's book is probably the most up to date.

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Windjammer wrote:
Chandler is definitely the number one choice for the military campaigns. It's a very long work, however, and it will leave you largely ignorant of the geopolitical and diplomatic context of the wars. It's very well written, however, and no library on Napoleon, however small, should be without it.

To supplement this, may I suggest the following readings (obtainable in decent public libraries, or via interloan library services run by those libraries):

1. Robin Gildea, "Borders and Barricades", chapter 2 entitled "Napoleonic Europe" is very good - and very brief - on the economic and international background. It's good on Napoleon's "Continental System", and similar staples.
2. Dominic Lieven, "Russia against Napoleon", chapter 2, provides the imperialist background of all the major powers (not just Russia and Britain) to explain the key dynamics of the period.
3. Paul Schroeder on Napoleon's foreign policy in his 1990 article entitled "A Criminal Enterprise", which you (or any friend of yours matriculated in, or working at, a university) can obtain through digital archives like JSTOR. The article explains the gist behind his long monograph "The Transformation of European Politics", which is to Napoleonic diplomacy what Chandler is to Napoleonic warfare: it's the standard work, extremely thorough, and unlikely to be superceded in our own life time.

In general, I'd say try to avoid any one volume 'overview' or 'biography' volumes if you can. They are rarely written by military historians, consequently botch the fundamentals of the era, and contain gross moral simplifications of Napoleon's actions at an international stage. A good example is Andrew Roberts' "Napoleon: A life" (or, as it was gratutiously entitled in the UK print run, "Napoleon the Great"), which is really a farce.

A better, if equally controversial, distillation of the above literature in one volume that avoids the biographical slant, is Charles Esdaile's "The Napoleonic Wars. An International History", which leans heavily on Schroeder, but is rather obscure in its structure and language. Still, if you were to buy only one book to complement Chandler, I'd go with this one. It's much shorter than Schroeder, and 15 years more up to date regarding sources and literature.

My own take on buying and reading books to supplement CC:N games has been to focus on one Expansion at a time, and then just buy 'the book' to go with it. For Russia, that's obviously Lieven (cited above), for Spain (and the base set), that's Esdaile (different title, "The Peninsular Wars" I think), and for Austria it's "Thunder on the Danube" (3 vols.) by John Gill. Prussia I haven't done yet, so can't make solid recommendations. Waterloo is a literature in its own right, and Tim Clayton's book is probably the most up to date.


Thanks allot!
I will defenetly check them out! And thanks for the reading tactics! I am playing the austrian expantion at the moment so I think I will start whit Thunder at the Danube!
 
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mark motley
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This is not military history and geopolitics, but if you also may have any interest in Napoleonic tactics, "With Musket, Cannon, and Sword; Battle Tactics of Napoleon and His Enemies" by Brent Nosworthy is quite good.
 
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Roland Arbour
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1. Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon is a classic.

2. Philip Haythornthwaite's Napoleonic Source Book, while written mostly for miniaturists, nevertheless has lots of interesting stuff on all of the armies of the era.

3. Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon by Rory Muir.

4. Battle tactics of Napoleon and his Enemies by Brent Nosworthy.

5. The chapter on Waterloo in John Keegan's Face of Battle.

6. If you feel like wading into the political history, Vol. IX of the old edition of the Cambridge Modern History gives you a scholarly treatment of the Napoleonic period, published at a time far enough from events to be objective about many things, but much closer to the events than today. I think it's out of copyright. At any rate, the full text is available online at the Internet Archive:

https://archive.org/stream/cambridgemodern09actouoft/cambrid...

7. The third volume of Clausewitz On War contains the least famous parts of that work, dealing with more technical matters of tactics and doctrine. But from a wargamer's perspective, that's all the good stuff! Again, you can get full text at the Internet Archive:

https://ia802703.us.archive.org/24/items/onwar00maudgoog/onw...
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david Gorman
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If you like the sharpe novels or tv show

Mark Urbans Rifles is very good
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