The Wars of Napoleon Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace Napoleon na Dunaji - Napoleon on the Danube. The Campaigns of Napoleon [David G. Chandler] on ruthenpress.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Napoleonic war was nothing if not complex—an. Napoleonic war was nothing if not complex--an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of moves and intentions, which by themselves went a long way towards baffling and .
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The Campaigns of Napoleon book. Read 60 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The Napoleonic Wars were nothing if not complex -- an eve. Book digitized by Google and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. The Campaigns of Napoleon by David G. Chandler - Napoleonic war was nothing if not complex—an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of moves and intentions, which.
The result is a work that, despite its age, remains the standard by which histories of Napoleonic warfare are judged. I've owned this book since it was newly-published When I got it I was 13 and determined to become a Napoleonic marshal.
No one has ever accused me of being practical or realistic. I'm sure I started it at some point but got bogged down like the French army between Quatre Bras and Waterloo, with page after page of place-names inadequately supported by cartography churning up a muddy prose. Th Reading this book was part of a long-term project to read all the books I own but have never read.
This time I persevered. So now I've added this finished book to my stock of knowledge, but it was more exercise than fun.
The blame is not altogether Chandler's. Military campaigns are after all a bit like death-dealing vacations, and I don't think anybody'd like me to recount the stops along the way that time I drove from Tennessee to Idaho by way of South Dakota. It's pretty dry stuff although it did rain in the Badlands. A bigger map budget would've helped--for more and for contemporary maps.
As atmospheric as those period maps are, their small-scale, dark reproduction in this edition do not allow them to function as a reader's aide, especially when the place names vary from those used by Chandler due either to language or to lack of coordination between author and whichever editor was responsible for this kind of consistency. For some reason the biggest battles Borodino and Leipzig get the antiquarian map treatment, which was very frustrating.
Enough complaining, though. The other professors, in whose classes he was not distinguished, took little notice of him. Height five feet three inches. Constitution: excellent health, docile expression, mild, straight-forward, thoughtful.
Conduct most satisfactory; has always been distinguished for his application in mathematics. He is fairly well acquainted with history and geography.
He is weak in all accomplishments -- drawing, dancing, music and the like. This boy would make an excellent sailor; deserves to be admitted to the school in Paris. Passing through the final examinations at Brienne, he announced his choice of the artillery as the arm of the service he wished to join.
It was a wise decision. Not only would the artillery service suit his mathematical talents; it was also the one part of the services apart from the engineers where talent as opposed to wealth and breeding could earn advancement. He was now a little over fifteen years old. Napoleon continued his studies of mathematics, geography and history and added to his attainments a fair knowledge of German, dancing, fencing and fortification, though it appears he did not take up the opportunity for riding instruction.
He made a friend in one Des Mazis, and the time seems to have passed pleasantly enough at first. However, in the spring of his father died, and, besides being a bitter personal loss, this placed a great strain on the already stretched family finances. Joseph and Lucien both abandoned their studies in France and returned to Corsica to help their mother support their brothers and sisters, but Napoleon stayed on in Paris under conditions of real poverty.
He read much, ate little and gradually acquired that lean and hungry look which stares out of a dozen portraits painted in the early years of his fame. Perhaps the school authorities deliberately shortened his course to allow him to alleviate his utter destitution with the princely pay of four dollars forty-five a week 1, livres a year , which would be his entitlement as a newly commissioned sous-lieutenant. In any case, in August Buonaparte was put up for examination and passed out forty-second -- a place of little distinction, though it proved higher than that of his friend Des Mazis, who was fifty-sixth.
It is interesting to note that they finished the journey on foot after enjoying a costly if entertaining dissipation at Lyons; newly commissioned officers are the same the world over, heedless of generation. The French army was not at the peak of its efficiency in the years immediately preceding the Revolution, although there was a leavening of talent and significant new ideas in the process of formation amid the dust of decay. A military career was not, however, regarded as the most promising one available -- certainly not for the rank and file -- and every regiment found difficulty in maintaining its recruiting figures.
Pleasures reign, every man has the highest pay and all are well treated. A young officer without private means or important friends faced a bleak enough prospect: livres of his pay were deducted for board and lodging and this left little over seven dollars a month for everything else -- including, in Buonaparte's case, sending a little financial aid to his mother and family.
Nor were promotion prospects exactly alluring. He could expect to serve fifteen years as a lieutenant, as many more as a captain, if he was lucky secure a majority at the end of his service, and then retire in his early fifties with a decoration and the penury of half pay for the rest of his life.
Nevertheless, Buonaparte threw himself with enthusiasm into the task of learning his new duties. At the time the sensible procedure in the French artillery was to make all newly joined subalterns undergo a three-month probationary period of basic training. Part of this was served as an ordinary gunner, learning the profession from the bottom; part was spent as an acting noncommissioned officer.
This experience was very important. He learned how to talk to the men in the ranks and to appreciate the matters they considered to be of importance. Throughout the halcyon days of the Consulate and Empire, and right to the end of his career, Napoleon never lost "the common touch"; he was always able to make himself the idol of the rank and file when he felt so disposed.
Part of this knack of man-management was learned in the early months at Valence, as di Buonaparte went through the mill with the rest. But at length the chrysallis period came to an end, and on January 10, , he received the confirmation of his commission.
In all, nine months were spent at Valence. It was generally a pleasant, if impecunious, time. The idea that Lieutenant di Buonaparte was a solitary, withdrawn character is erroneous.
There is evidence that he entered fully into the social life of the garrison town, such as it was, taking dancing lessons, attending balls and routs with a fair degree of gusto. If he saw comparatively little of his brother officers at this time, this was due to the fact that they all habitually scattered in pursuit of their various pleasures.
However, there are indications that homesickness for Corsica -- still very much his spiritual home -- caused him to go through a period of acute melancholy. Peacetime garrison life held little excitement for the serious-minded young officer, but in August he was sent with his company to help quell a local disturbance at Lyons occasioned by an unpopular wine tax. Then his regiment was ordered to quit Valence and march to Douai in the normal course of unit rotation , and from October to February di Buonaparte continued his professional and private studies under the darker northern skies.
Then at last the appointed time for his first leave came around. On February 1, , he set out for Corsica, and after a quick journey by way of Marseilles he at last set foot in Ajaccio again after an absence of over eight years. Much of his furlough was spent in trying to sort out his family affairs, but in between visits to lawyers and notaries he continued his reading and began to collect material for a projected history of Corsica.
It is uncertain whether our hero was "swinging the lead" and pleading ill health as an excuse to escape from the dull routine of regimental peacetime duty, but he was certainly recovered enough to be able to travel to Paris in November on family business.
There he again had the audacity to solicit a further extension of leave -- and almost unbelievably was granted a further six months on compassionate grounds.
Basking in the sun of Corsica, our absentee lieutenant started to write his History of Corsica. At length, in early June , there was no excuse for any further postponement of his return to military duties, and accordingly di Buonaparte traveled to Auxonne to rejoin his regiment.
There followed the most formative fifteen months of his military career. At this time Auxonne was the best artillery training school in France, under the command of the experienced Baron du Teil, whose reputation as a great lover did not prevent him from being a great artilleryist at one and the same time.
Under the paternal supervision of the old soldier, di Buonaparte's studies took on a new meaning and depth; besides a fragment of an unfinished novel, thirty-six manuscript notebooks in his precise handwriting have survived from this period, three of them relating to artillery matters, the rest to subjects of history and philosophy.
Du Teil's beneficent influence was supplemented by that of the Professor of Mathematics, Lombard, and between them these two men exercised a profound influence on the impressionable young Corsican. Di Buonaparte was soon singled out for special tasks. In August he was appointed commander of the Demonstration Company with responsibility for trying out experiments suggested by his superiors, who were busy trying to devise ways of firing mortar shells from ordinary cannon.
This somewhat hazardous occupation had its compensations, for it brought Napoleon into contact with the best gunner brains of the day. Lombard was assisted by a board of experienced officers, including a brigadier, several captains and three first lieutenants.
So engrossed did the young officer become in the practical problem under consideration that he wrote a special memoir on the subject to the Baron in March It is indicative of the helpful attitude of the old gentleman that he encouraged such efforts from lowly subalterns.
During this period Napoleon also took part in his first tactical exercises without troops. Du Teil was in the habit of taking his officers out into the countryside, dividing them into teams for the defense and the attack of a certain selected village or hill, and then setting them loose to devise individual solutions which were afterward discussed and compared. This practical and theoretical experience in handling tactical situations stood di Buonaparte in good stead and complemented his voracious reading of the works of Guibert and du Teil's brother and the many more sources of military lore drawn from the well-stocked shelves of the library.
During these months he almost certainly devised the first outlines of the strategical and tactical concepts which were to form the basis of the great campaigns and battles of future years. Also proceeding apace at this time was his gradual spiritual and moral acclimatization to France as a whole and to French service life in particular. Di Buonaparte was still first and foremost an ardent Corsican nationalist, but he was slowly losing the bitterness against all things French learned at Brienne.
There was also a darker side to life at Auxonne; the affairs of his family continued to be bad, and consequently Lieutenant di Buonaparte's frugal pay had to go a long way. His health almost broke down under the enforced penury of his life, but he eventually recovered from a long illness that laid him low throughout the last months of Writing to his mother early in , he revealed the extent of the poverty under which he was laboring: "I have no other resource but work.
I dress but once in eight days; I sleep but little since my illness; it is incredible; I retire at ten [to save candles] and rise at four in the morning. I take but one meal a day, at three; that is good for my health. On August 8, , he accordingly applied for six months' furlough; this was his entitlement under the regulations, but he wished it to start at once and not in October when it became due.
He pleaded the difficulties of a winter sea passage in justification, but really he was determined to share in the revolutionary ferment that had recently broken out in his beloved Corsica. As usual, his request received favorable attention, and on September 16 he left Auxonne for Corsica. Once returned to the land of his birth, it was not long before di Buonaparte was in the thick of the local revolution.
Within four weeks he was an accepted revolutionary leader and he promptly sent off an appeal to the French National Assembly for aid; a week later he was in Bastia, organizing an attack on the arsenal there in search for arms. Then the National Assembly formally pronounced that Corsica was part of the new France, and requested the veteran patriot Paoli -- Napoleon's hero -- to head the new local government. Our Corsican was ecstatic, but his hopes of preferment received an abrupt douche of cold water when Paoli, newly returned from exile, made a point of ignoring the young fanatic.
This was a golden chance for some promotion, and newly appointed First Lieutenant Buonaparte lost no time in sending in a request for transfer to Corsica. It came as a rude shock to him when his application was refused perhaps the authorities considered that he had been sufficiently absent from regular duty of late; indeed, over the six years of his commissioned service, no less than thirty-two months had been spent on leave of one sort or another.
However, it was not Napoleon's way to be daunted by a single setback. He promptly made his way to visit his old commanding officer, du Teil now Inspector General of Artillery at Grenoble , and after spending a pleasant few days at the latter's estate at Pommiers, he returned triumphantly with the required permission for three months' absence on full pay. Back in Corsica for the third time September 6 , he soon managed to secure the post of adjutant major in the Ajaccio Volunteer Battalion.
But then, with typical political inconsistency, the National Assembly decreed that officers serving with volunteer battalions must forfeit their regular rank -- although the posts of commanding officer and second-in-command of each unit both carrying the rank of lieutenant colonel were permitted to be filled by serving regular officers without detriment to their careers, providing they were freely elected to these positions.
This forced Napoleon's hand; he was determined to remain both a regular lieutenant of artillery and an officer of Corsican volunteers, and so he set out to secure the requisite election as second-in-command of the Ajaccio Volunteers.
His election campaign was carried out with a cunning and unscrupulous thoroughness which surprised and shocked his family, but it had the desired effect.