Napoleon Bonaparte
"Napoleon dominated the period from 1800 to 1815 so completely
that the era has become known as the Napoleonic Age."

- Colonel John Elting, US Army

Bponaparte's sighting a cannon. Young Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte, a lowly citizen from Corsica, rose up to the greatest heights based on personal merit and not on birth. Napoleon was born in 1769 in Corsica just 3 months after this island had been defeated by France. Bonaparte would spend his childhood hating France. His parents had 8 children (Bonaparte was the 2nd child). Napoleon's height was recorded as 5 feet 2 inches in French feet, making him slightly taller than an average man of the 19th century. After the battle of Lodi Napoleon's troops gave him the affectionate nickname Le Petit Corporal "The Little Corporal" (he sighted a cannon, usually it was job for an corporal).

Bonaparte at his desk. Young Bonaparte would spend his childhood hating France. "I was born when [Corsica] was perishing. Thirty thousand Frenchmen spewed on to our shores, drowning the throne of liberty in waves of blood... The cries of the dying, the groans of the oppressed and tears of despair surrounded my cradle from the hour of my birth." After the French victory, many Corsican rebels fled to the mountains, where they continued to fight on.

At age nine, Napoleon was admitted to a French military school at Brienne-le-Chateau. He had to learn to speak French before entering the school, but he spoke with a marked Italian accent throughout his life and never learned to spell properly. He earned high marks in mathematics and geography, and passable grades in other subjects. Upon graduation from Brienne in 1784, Bonaparte was admitted to the elite Ecole Royale Militaire in Paris, where he completed the two year course of study in only one year. Although he had initially sought a naval assignment, he studied artillery at the École Militaire. (source:

When Bonaparte was 15 years old he moved to Paris for advanced training. In 1785 Bonaparte passed the artillery examination and was commissioned a second lieutenat in artillery. The young Bonaparte was described during military academy's evaluation as "well versed in mathematics and geography; was taciturn, loved solitude, was obstinate, proud, and exceptionally inclined to egotism; spoke little, was energetic in his answers, ready and severe in his refutations."

In the age of 22 Bonaparte became first lieutenant and the next year he got himself elected to an auxiliary post of a Corsican volunteer infantry. His name was removed from the French Army rolls for absence without leave. Bonaparte returned and went straight to Paris where he vigorously protested. He obtained not only his reinstatement but advanced to captain ! Bonaparte's Corsican battalion participated in unsuccessful expedition against Sardinia. He then decided to seek his fortunes in the French Army and joined his artillery regiment, which was engaged in the siege of Tulon.

Bonaparte by Lalauze. Through the help of fellow Corsican Saliceti, he was appointed as artillery commander of troops besieging Toulon, which had risen in revolt against the Republic and was occupied by British troops. The 24-years old Bonaparte with his artillery destroyed 10 English ships anchored in Toulon's harbor and bravely led his men in the assault on the fort guarding the city. He seized several earthworks and bombarded the British warships and troops, forcing them to sail away.

In 1796 he wasted no time puting Austrians to the sword in Italy (see picture). After series of quick victories at Montenotte, Mondovi, Arcola and Rivoli he became a force to be reckoned with. He had delivered glory beyond expectation to France and enemy's generals got a cold sweat over his presence in battles.

"Russia has Suvorov, England has Nelson
Prussia has Frederick the Great.
The World has Napoleon."

Not Russia, Britain, Austria could defeat him alone. It required combined forces of all the countries, many bloody campaigns and numerous coalitions to remove him from power. The Allies got their ears beaten down over their socks many times. In 1805 Napoleon made a mug of Austrian general Mack, in 1807 he dummied Russian commander Bennigsen, in 1809 the British under general Moore fled before him to the sea. In the flight the Brits lost their shoes. Ox-carts full of wounded and dying were abandoned by the roadside. "The track was littered for mile after mile with discarded equipment and knapsacks, and the forlorn dead and dying." (Haythorntwaite - "Wellington's Infantry (1)" p 36)

Napoleon's tactic blew off the doors, boot, roof and bonnet, the whole bloody lot. During 1805-1811 Allies commanders were left sprawling on the floor as Napoleon jigged away in celebration. He created new countries and made kings, and would have brought the house down if the Russians and harsh winter had not finished his half-million strong Grand Army. Napoleon's tactics and strategies are studied in many military schools and academies around the World. This is the best testimony to his military and political greatness and his genius.

Napoleon by W. Kossak. Napoleon was a charismatic commander and a great battle captain, he imposed his genius and personality on his army and inspired his troops, veterans and recruits, Frenchmen and foreign alike, with fierce pride, loyalty and devotion. The impression which he made by his presence, can be described by no other term that that of grandeur. When a French band serenaded the Emperor, they vested their patriotic air with the essence of their hearts and souls - for this man seemed the very embodiment of the cause for which they happily risked their lives. As the Emperor on horseback reviewed the regiments, the troops greeted him with mounting enthusiasm. The shouts of the soldiers, thousands upon thousands of them even drowned out the music of the regimental bands, whose members were playing their hearts out, sounding the glorious marches of the Empire. Everyone made an effort to get close enough to see HIM. The infantry raised their shakos aloft on the points of their bayonets, the cavalry brandished their sabers and lances. From every section of the battlefield arose a mighty roar: "Vive l'Empereur !"
The troops were practically delirious.

Even the enemies were fascinated with him. Captain Mercer of the British Royal Artillery admitted that deep down he "had often longed to see Napoleon, that mighty man of war - that astonishing genius who had filled the world with his renown." "Anyone who was not alive in the time of Napoleon cannot imagine the extent of the moral ascendency he exerted over the minds of his contemporaries.," wrote a Russian officer, adding that every soldier, whatever side he was on, instinctively conjured a sense of limitless power at the very mention of his name..." German officer von Wedel agreed, "The aura of his greatness subjugated me as well, and giving way to enthusiasm and admiration, I like the others, shouted Vive l'Empereur !" (Zamoyski - "Moscow 1812" p 85, publ. by HarperCollins, UK)

"Bonaparte's reception by the troops
was nothing short of rapturous.
It was well worth seeing how
he talked to the soldiers..."
- de Rémusat

Napoleon, by Meissonier "He knew how 'to speak to the soul' of his officers and men. Partly he used material rewards and incentives - titles, medals, awards; partly he resorted to deliberate theatrical meausures to bend men to his will; but above all there was the sheer power of personality or charisma that emanated from his large, grey eyes which so many of his contemporaries described.
He was a master of man-management. The least word of praise was treasured unto death by the recipient; the slightest rebuke could reduce a hardened grenadier to tears. Ministers and marshals wondered at the breadth of his intellect; ordinary citizens and soldierly became willing propagators of his legend. "He had been a soldier all his life, climbing from sous-lieutenant to emperor, so the professional bond with his troops was profound. To his veterans 'emperor' was a military rank above 'general' or 'marshal'. Soldiers never addressed him as 'Your Majesty' or 'Sire' but always 'Mon Empereur'. He seldom forgot a face, never a kindness." (Adkin - "The Waterloo Companion" p 77)

In 1812 Napoleon stopped in front of Italian Officer Calosso, and said few words to him. The brave Colosso wrote about that special day: "Before that, I admired Napoleon as the whole army admired him. From that day on, I devoted my life to him with a fanaticism which time has not weakened. I had only one regret, which was that I only had one life to place at his service."

All feared his rages; all admired his abilities and application, for no subject seemed beyond his powers. His memory appeared limitless, as did his capacity for applied hard work. This combination of qualities set him apart from other men, and accounts in large measure for their willingness to accept his will, and even die in execution of his orders. 'So it is', recalled the war-hardened General Vandamme, 'that I, who fear neither God nor devil, tremble like a child at his approach." (Chandler: "Waterloo - the hundred days" pp 39-40)

Napoleon scared the living daylights out of the European rulers. When in 1809 Spanish victory over a French general at Baylen sent shockwaves across Europe, and had battered French prestige, infuriated Napoleon acted swiftly. He activated all his troops in Germany and called up conscripts from the classes of 1806-1810. These actions produced sober second thoughts all around Europe. Austria moderated her language and her armament, Prussia signed a peace treaty on French terms, Russia was happy to renew her treaty of alliance and mutual defence with Napoleon.

"The main thing about Napoleon,
is that he thought big....
He was outthinking his opponents
at any given level."
- British author Christopher Duffy

The emperors, kings and princes were shaken, their armies and best generals were defeated, their countries were conquered, their capitols were captured. Within just few years he ruled the entire France and half of the European Continent as no other man in history. France became the first world power, in 1812 it had 134 Deparetments. Among them the department of Leman, with Geneva as capital, the department of Rome, capital Rome, the department of the Zuyder-Zee, capital Amsterdam, and the department of the Lower Elbe, capital Hamburg. She had counted as vassals states the kingdoms and duchies of Italy, Spain, majority of Germany and Poland.

France had become the cynosure of Europe in terms of culture and political thought. The French political and military classes saw themselves as La Grande Nation, the first nation in Europe to have emancipated itself, and considered themselves to be armed with a mission to carry the benefits of what they had achieved to other peoples. They began to see France as the next Rome, from which the new ideological civilisation radiated, the capital of the modern world. "The French Empire shall become the metropolis of all other sovereignties," Napoleon once said to a friend. In 1812 France's position was one of unprecedented power.

Napoleon wrote: "We need a European code, a European court of appeals, a universal currency, a uniform system of weights and measeres, a code of laws. I must forge the peoples of Europe into one people."

Tzar and Buonaparte. The aristocratic Europe kept an anxious eye on the new and very strong France. The priviledged classes rallied round the kings and emperors who felt their thrones menaced. England had no army but plenty of money, Russia had a huge army and no money. Both hated Napoleon and the powerful, in good order and well governed France.

The kings and Emperors of Europe were quick to see the danger to their thrones. Feudalism, system of financial and judicial privileges for the aristocracy, was common in Europe at the beginning of Napoleon's reign, and was practically non-existent at the end. Napoleon also:
- improved educational system
- improved administartion
- granted freedom of worship for all denominations
- encouraged industrialization
- encouraged and sponsored the sciences and arts
- brought the smallpox vaccination to the continent
- encouraged the use of gas lighting
- serfdom was abolished even in countries allied with Napoleon, like Duchy of Warsaw
- opened careers to talented people, not caring if they were peasant or noble
- instituted the metric system, which has had a profound influence on the world

Napoleon's attitude toward blacks is explained in Napoleon's secret instructions to General Leclerc. (October 31, 1801) "Instructions on internal policy relating to the blacks and their leader: The French nation will never give irons to men it had recognized as free. Therefore all the blacks will live in St. Domingue as they are today in Guadeloupe. "

Wellington when asked who he thought
was the greatest general answered:
"In this age, in past ages,
in any age, Napoleon."

On April 20, 1814 the Emperor of France bid farewell to the soldiers of his Old Guard. Tears trickled down their cheeks and they struggled to maintain composure (see picture) when he said :
"Soldiers of my Old Guard, I bid you farewell. For twenty years I have constantly accompanied you on the road to honor and glory. ... Don't regret my fate... Adieu, my friends. Would I could press you all to my heart."
At these words General Petit waved his sword in the air and cried Vive l'Empereur ! which was rapturously echoed by the whole Imperial Guard. But when Napoleon was leaving not one of the old warriors was able to utter a sound. They watched in mournful silence, some cried. On the way home they beat up some royalists and gendarmes and nailed to the bridge a placard inscribed 'Long live Napoleon the Great !'

After Napoleon' abdication in 1814 a congress met in Vienna. Its purpose was to redraw the map of Europe. When the eagle was silent, the parrots began to jabber.

Napoleon tomb in Paris When Napoleon died his body was brought from St. Helena to France and numerous veterans were waiting in the Hotel des Invalides. These lads dressed in the old uniforms came to receive him. "Amid the pomp and funeral splendor of that day, nothing moved the Parisians more than the appearance of these old soldiers as they stood on each side of the entrance of the church to receive the body of their old commander. The last time they saw him was on the field of battle. The past came back in such a sudden and overwhelming tide when they saw the coffin approach, that struck dumb with grief, they fell on their knees and stretched out their hands towards it, while tears rolled silently down their scarred visages." Henri Lachoque writes: "For this ceremony ... the surviving Grumblers [nicknamed of the Old Guard] took out of their wardrobes whatever the moths had spared of their old regimentals. ... Tottering, lame, shuffling their feet, the Grumblers took their places behind the hearse. The crowd saw them and saluted. ... Two marines in full dress, General Duchand, Loubers in his uniform ... and some Polish lancers were there. All wore in their buttonholes a spring of laurel from the wreaths on the Emperor's coffin. Veterans came from Belgium and the Rhineland."

"Never interrupt your enemy
when he is making a mistake."
- Napoleon

Emperor's hat To be able to rise to power in France, to build such a large army and empire over such a very very short amount of time and to have such an influence over such a wide area, is nothing short of brilliant ! Napoleon's meteoric rise shocked not only France but all of World. Even in countries such as Germany, Austria, Russia and Britain, which frequently were his adversaries, Napoleon has remained an admired figure, if sometimes grudgingly.

The very name, Napoleon still enthralls. Napoleon was an extraordinary man but a self-made man. Ever since this towering genius conquered Europe, he has been endlessly debated, compared, and made an icon. It was Napoleon himself who helped to create this legend, and of course, the legend lives on. The events of his life fired the imaginations of great writers (some 250,000 volumes in all since Napoleon's death !) and film makers, whose works have done much to create the Napoleonic legend. He has been the subject of more biographies to date than any other human being except Jesus Christ.

Napoleon's legacy is the modernising of Paris, the official promotion of religious tolerance, the current French legal and educational systems, and the European Union, to name but a few Napoleonic initiatives. After Napoleon there was no turning back: feudalism was dead, society was secularized, the modern nation state replaced the dynastic state, and the bourgeoisie became the new class of privilege and status.

Napoleon's selling Louisiana for USA has had a huge impact for our country (USA). In the countries he conquered or the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, created efficient governments and fostered education, science, literature and the arts. Napoleon, like Alexander the Great and Julius Ceaser, before him were men of ambition. But he also promoted ambition and merit among his soldiers and officers. Napoleon institutionalized the practice of rewarding an individual on the sole basis of his merit instead of his social origin. This was a policy inspired by the Revolution and solidified in the Marshallate and the Legion of Honor.

Bonaparte can be accused of failing to create a long lasting peace, but the study of his enemies and their policies prove there were other guilty parties: England, Russia, Prussia and Austria. Napoleon was not a modest individual, he was not a peacemaker and he was not morally clean. But all of the European powers sought expansion as an end in itself. History proves that although Britain declaimed so loudly against Napoleon's grasping spirit, she has since acquired more territory than she ever charged him with conquering. Russian monarch, Alexander, was implicated in the murder of his father. The presidents of USA, Washington and Jefferson owned slaves.

Did Napoleon secure the "triumph of the Revolution," as Thiers put it, or, on the contrary, "were the principles of the Revolution ... perfectly forgotten during his reign," as Michelet claimed. Historians who have attempted to make sense of the Napoleonic legacy are confronted with a regime whose actions often seem contradictory. Napoleon boasted of having ended the Revolution in France, even as he endeavored to spread it abroad. His rule was monarchical in all but name, but, master of the plebiscite, he invoked the national will as the source of his legitimacy. Through his famous Code, he consolidated the basic legal framework of the Revolution, even as he routinely violated the fundamental civil liberties proclaimed in 1789 - freedom from arbitrary detention, freedom of the press, and others. Given the ambiguous legacy, it is understandable that recent scholars of the regime have resorted to ambiguous formulations in attempting to characterize it.
According to Jean Tulard, Napoleonic society was a fragile compromise, wavering between "a return to the past, a continuation of the present, or a preparation for the future." For Martyn Lyons, the regime embodied a "contradictory mixture of the ancient and the modern." And Louis Bergeron concluded that, "paradoxically, Napoleon was both behind and ahead of his time, the last of the enlightened despots and a prophet of the modern state." (Blaufarb - "The French Army 1750-1820")

"Napoleon is like the great pyramid,
he stands alone in a desert
and jackals piss at his feet
and writers climb up on him."
- Gustave Flaubert


The multinational Grande Armee enters Russia in 1812. (Britten Austin - "The March on Moscow")
"The 'majestic migration' advanced eastward ..." In 1812 France's position was one of unprecedented power.
It was, in all probability, the highest point of Napoleon's glory.

The French Army
"It is not big armies that win battles, it is the good ones!"
- Marshal Maurice de Saxe
"... the most militarily successful nation, the French ..."
- B.H. Liddell Hart

Napoleonic troops, Musee l'Armee According to Julius Caesar, the nations and armies are like individuals, go through times of being more courageous or less so, according to circumstances and times. The Frenchman and the Hungarian, the Englishman and the Italian, the Russian and the German, under certain circumstances, may be equally good and efficient soldiers; but, in spite of a uniform system of drill, which appears to level all distinctions, every one will be good in his own way, by virtue of qualities different from those possessed by his rivals. This brings us to a question but too often mooted between the military patriots of different nationalities: which are the best soldiers ? Every people is jealous of its own fame; and, in the opinion of the general public, fed by narratives which, whatever they may lack in critical exactness, are amply adorned with high patriotic coloring.
The German Landsknechte of the later middle ages, the Swiss soldiers of the sixteenth century, were for a period as invincible as the splendid Spanish soldiers, who succeeded them to the rank of "the first infantry of the world;" the French of Louis XIV, and the Austrians of Eugene disputed, for a while, with each other this post of honor, until the Prussians of Frederick the Great settled the question by defeating both of them; these, again, were hurled down into utter disrepute by a single blow at Jena, and once more the French were universally acknowledged the first soldiers of Europe; at the same time, however, they could not prevent the English, in Spain, from proving themselves their superiors under certain circumstances and in certain moments of a battle.
No doubt, the legions which Napoleon led, in 1805, from the camp of Boulogne to Austerlitz, were the finest troops of their time; no doubt Wellington knew what he said, when he called his soldiers at the conclusion of the Peninsular war "an army with which he could go any where, and do any thing;" and yet the flower of this Peninsular British army was defeated at New Orleans, by mere militia men and volunteers, without either drill or organization. ("The Armies of Europe" publ. 1855)

General Delzons with infantry
in the Battle of Maloyaroslavetz, 
Russia 1812.
Picture by Avierianov. The Napoleonic soldiers: "... identified their own fortunes with those of Napoleon. To be in the service of Napoleon was a way of life for many young men. Their memoirs are not punctuated neither with the floggings which characterize the memoirs of British soldiers (Morris, Costello and many others) nor with running the gauntlet as it was in the Russian army." For example during British retreat to Coruna (1808) 2 stragglers were awarded with 100 lashes each, while a third man who grumbled at the punishment was awarded 300 lashes. Nightfall prevented the punishmant from being carried out, but the following day the grumbler was given his lashes.

The morale of the army grew by the second as the word of Napoleon's presence swept across the battlefield. In May 1813 at Lutzen Napoleon passed amongst his young troops, allowing them to see he had arrived and electryfying them with his presence. Cries of "Vive l'Empereur !" rang out in the ranks. Even the wounded cried "Vive l'Empereur !" as they lay awaiting the hour of their death. The 105th Line Regiment was noted for its fanaticism; during the Belgian Campaign, the soldiers had assaulted and demolished a newly constructed house decorated with paintings of the Bourbon lillies and the local authorities had been obliged to arrest the owner in order to calm the soldiers' fury. Under Napoleon the French had the burning, aggressive desire to be in the thick of the action, a desire which gave rise to an attitude which scorned as une tactique si peu brillante the refusal by Wellington or Kutuzov to give battle without the likelihood of victory.

The prolonged avoidance of the head-on clash was conduct alien to the temperament of the French troopers. When the Young Guard began its assault at Lutzen, the order was given by Marshal Mortier. His order was greeted by the roar of a thousand voices shouting "Vive l'Empereur !" They then marched on Gross Gorschen as irresistible as the ocean, sweeping everything before them. It was a costly victory. Some of the wounded had had their wounds dressed in those ambulances that happened to be close to the battlefield. While passing the village of Kaja they had seen the teams of peasants, escorted by soldiers, digging huge graves and long ditches in the fields. Wagons carried the corpses, which were thrown into the graves.
At Leipzig the marine infantry fought like lions. Every building in Schonefeld was defended like a strong point. "It was necessary to retire to the houses, the gardens and then the cemeterry where there were more corpses above than below ground." - Georges Blond

The men under Napoleon had the worthy desire to distinguish themselves in a violent action. De Rosnay joined the army in 1799 and within few months participated in several battles, could count 5 wounds and became captain. At Austerlitz he received his 8th wound, a shattered arm. In 1813, with 11 wounds, a musket ball lodged under his eye and citations for bravery he was promoted to general in the Young Guard ! In 1806 a sergeant of 5th Hussar Regiment, man of truly martial appearance had his arm shattered by a Prussian cannon-ball. His uniform was covered in blood but he didn't cease telling the cavalry "Come on ... the Prussians are not all that bad !" Another hussar, Guindey, received a frightful cut across his face before he killed the Prince of Prussia in an one-on-one fight with just one thrust to his chest.

When in 1807 at Eylau Russian cavalry and Cossacks surrounded the horse grenadiers of Napoleon's Guard and called for surrender, Gen. Lepic responded: "Take a look at these faces and see if they want to surrender !" Then he shouted to his lads "Follow me !" and set off at the gallop back through enemy lines. In March 1814 a major of horse grenadiers, battle hardened veteran, was wounded at the battle of Craonne. He had his foot carried away by a cannon-ball and the surgeon had to amputate his leg. During the extremely painful operation, "which he bore with great courage, the man called out "Vive l'Empereur!" and lost consciousness. In June 1812 the French engineers began to raise the pontoon bridge across the Niemen River. At the sight of the crossing, a small group of Polish uhlans spurred their mounts forward into the river, hoping to seize the honor of being the first to be on Russian soil. Unfortunately, the current proved too swift and they were quickly swept downstream , engulfed by the water. As the uhlans slipped beneath its waters they were clearly heard to cry: "Vive l'Empereur !"
Marshal Oudinot had 32 wounds, of which he only considered 19 to have been grave enough to be worth mentioning in his etats de service. General Houchard had been wounded 48 times (!), General Achard 28, Rapp 26 and Grouchy 25. Colonel Chipault of the 4th Cuirassiers had received 56 sabre cuts in 1807 at Heilsberg. The bravest men were awarded and/or promoted to higher rank.

Often on his name-day Napoleon gave a number of dowries to be distributed among marriageable girls whose fathers had died in battle leaving no inheritance. Napoleon's soldiers however were not angels. They got drunk (quite often), sometimes they robbed the civilians or raped the Spanish nuns. The chasseurs had a interesting way of obtaining alcohol when they wanted it. "There is no brandy left. Who's going to catch a goddam ?" -
and the chasseurs would take turns to capture an English soldier with his supply of alcohol "he always carried." Gen. Lasalle asked Emperor when he will get command of the Guard cavalry. Napoleon replied: "When Lasalle no longer drinks, no longer smokes and no longer swears..."

Dorsenne General Dorsenne (see picture) "could turm his back to the enemy under the heaviest fire and give his orders cooly, without concern for what went on behind him." When cannonballs killed his third horse and third time he picked himself up he spat out "Bunglers !" dusted himself off and mounted his forth horse. The Old Guard feared and adored him.

The wars ended and the veterans returned to their homes. They looked like some old ruffians grown gray in blood and violence and scowling on all the world. After Napoleonic Wars, one of the officers of the Old Guard, Noisot, had erected at his own expense a bronze monument to Napoleon. According to Mark Adkin he arranged to be buried standing up a few yards "so that he could continue to stand guard for eternity." When the Emperor died many refused to believe it. Rumours said Napoleon had landed at Ostend. "Where are you going ?" asked the wife of a veteran when he pulled on his grenadier uniform. "To him !" was the instant response. (Adkin - "The Waterloo Companion" p 415)

"The attack was the natural way for Frenchmen to fight.
British beef and German sausage might create specialists
in the art of standing still under fire but the mercurial
Frenchman could not be so inhibited."

- P. Griffith "Military Thought ..."

"Yes, the French soldier is everywhere acknowledged
to be the first for elan and movement"

- Lamartine in Chamber of Deputies

"My soldiers are as brave as it is possible to be,
but they argue too much. If they had the impassible
firmness and the docility of the Russians
the world not be great enough for me."

- Napoleon

The French Army.
1. The Royal Army of King Louis XIV, The Sun King.
2. The French Army in Wars in Europe, America and Asia.
3. Revolutionary Army.
4. The Imperial Army.
- - 1803-1807 The Glory Years.
- - 1808-11
- - 1812 The Turning Point.
- - 1813 - 1814 - 1815
5. The Royal Army is Back.
6. Army of 1850-1900.

French Infantry.
1. French Infantry Under Napoleon.
2. Differences Between Line and Light Infantry.
3. Generals:
- - Philippe-Guillaume Duhesme (1766-1815)
- - Louis-Charles Saint-Hilaire (1766-1809)
- - Dominique-Joseph Vandamme (1770-1830)
- - Jean-Dominique Compans (1769-1845)
4. Strength and Recruitment.
5. Organization and Weapons.
6. Drummers & Cornets.
7. Sappers.
8. Grenadiers & Carabiniers.
9. Fusiliers & Chasseurs.
10. Voltigeurs.
11. Eagles and Flags.
12. The Best Regiments of Light Infantry.

French Foreign Infantry.
1. Foreigners in French Service.
2. Tirailleurs du Pô.
3. Tirailleurs Corses.
4. Swiss Regiments.
5. Polish 'Vistula Legion'.
6. Croatian Regiments.
7. Regiments Etrangers.
8. The Irish Legion.

Artillery .

"... French gunners dominated Europe's battlefields
in the 19th Century because of their aggressive tactics,
imaginative leaders and their raw courage."
- Patrick Griffith, Military Academy in Sandhurst, England
1. French Artillery Under Napoleon.
2. System of Gribeauval.
3. System of Year XI.
4. Foot Artillery.
5. Horse Artillery.
6. Train.
7. General Drouot, the Monk-Soldier.
8. Sappers, Miners, Pontoniers and Pioneers.

French Cavalry
1. French Cavalry Under Napoleon.
2. Horses.
3. Organization.
4. Carabiniers [Carabiniers-à-Cheval]
5. Cuirassiers [Cuirassiers].
6. Dragoons [Dragons]
7. Lighthorse-Lancers [Chevau-Légers Lanciers]
8. Chasseurs [Chasseurs-à-Cheval]
9. Hussars [Husards]
10. The Best Cavalry Regiments

French Guard Infantry

"More dreadful-looking fellows I had never seen.
They had the look of thoroughbread, veteran,
disciplined banditti."
- Mr Hayden about the Old Guard
1. Introduction: Infantry of the Guard.
- - The Guard of the Directory.
- - The Consular Guard.
- - The Imperial Guard.
- - The Royal Guard.
2. Organization of the Imperial Guard.
3. Young Guard.
4. Middle Guard.
5. Old Guard.
6. Commanders of the Guard.

French Guard Cavalry
1. Introduction: Cavalry of the Imperial Guard.
2. Horse Grenadiers [Grenadiers-à-Cheval]
3. Élite Gendarmes [Gendarmerie d'Élite]
4. Dragoons
5. Horse Chasseurs [Chasseurs-à-Cheval] and Mamelukes.
6. Polish Lancers [Lanciers de la Garde Polonais]
7. Dutch 'Red Lancers' [Lanciers de la Garde]
8. Guard Scouts [Eclaireurs de la Garde]
9. Honor Guard [Gardes d'Honneur]

French Guard Artillery

"In most battles the Guard artillery
is the deciding factor ..."
- Napoleon
1. Introduction: Artillery of the Imperial Guard.
2. The Men.
3. Organization and Strength.
4. Uniforms.
5. Artillery Train.

Bonapartists in America

The return of the Bourbons to power after Napoleon's abdication in 1815,
provoked a wave of emigration from France. Hundreds of Bonapartist faithful
fled to the USA, Mexico and Latin America.

Napoleon during the retreat from Russia in 1812, picture by W. Kossak.
From left to right: drummer, grenadiers, eagle-bearer, Napoleon, Murat, marshals, Poniatowski,
senior French and German officers, and Guard dragoon.

Napoleon said -You are worthy of
my Old Guard. I proclaim you 
my bravest cavalry!
Forward ! Vive l'Empereur !
The Poles went out and f*****n showed what they got attitude.
For the charge at Somosierra they were admitted to Old Guard.
"From then on they were a legendary regiment."
- J. Elting "Swords Around a Throne"

Army of Duchy of Warsaw
"Poland is the only country in the world
to invoke Napoleon in its national anthem."

The Poles were "Napoleon's staunchest allies"
- George Nafziger, US military historian

Polish and French troops.
Reenactment of Napoleonic battle
in 2006 in Poland Napoleon entered Warsaw in Poland in 1807 and French eagles soared over the Vistula. The Emperor was hesitant about reenacting the Kingdom of Poland. In spite of the ovations given him by the Poles, he wrote: "Only God can arbitrate this vast political problem ... It would mean blood, more blood, and srtill more blood ..." But it was not long before the Duchy of Warsaw became a bastion of France in central and Eastern Europe, and Polish troops stood ready to fight for Napoleon and independence. French Marshal "Davout supervised the creation of the Polish army." (Esposito, Elting - "A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars.")
The Polish soldiers were well trained, brave and devoted to Napoleon. According to George Nafziger (USA) they were "Napoleon's staunchest ally." Why did they were so devoted to Napoleon ? Well, consider how hard a proud and ancient people fight when they have no homeland of their own, and they feel that following one man, is their best chance to get one. The Poles waited for the moment when Napoleon would pronounce the sacred words "independent Poland" but he never uttered these words.

The war in 1807 against Russia and Prussia (battles: Heilsberg, Friedland) was called by Napoleon the "First Polish War" and resulted in the formation of the Polish state. In 1812 Napoleon, in an attempt to gain increased support from Polish nationalists and patriots, termed the war against Russia the "Second Polish War." Approx. 100,000 Poles were part of Napoleon's famous expedition against Russia. In 1812 the Poles formed the largest of the contingents provided by any of the states allied with France. The dispersion, however, of the Polish regiments among the various French corps was strongly resented by the Poles. Richard Riehn writes: "The largest single national contingent among the foreign troops was the Poles. Against the promised reconstruction of their state, most Poles went to extraordinary lengths to accommodate the Grand Army passing through their territories. ... the march into and out of Russia cleaned the house, only the fittest survived. Thus, the decimated remnants [of the Grand Army], particularly those of the Polish cavalry, who were familiar with the country, climate, and language, became the safe-conduct of what was left of the main army group. They served with distinction at Smolensk and Borodino and played a major role in making the crossing of the Beresina possible." (Riehn - "1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign" pp 70-71)
In 1813, in contrast to some German troops the Poles and Italians fought for Napoleon to the end. At Leipzig, Prince Poniatowski, the commander-in-chief of Polish army, was killed while covering Napoleon's retreat and the "... Poles constituted the last formed body of French troops" (Digby-Smith)
In 1814 when many Frenchmen abandoned Napoleon and gave up fighting, "Gen. Krasinski who commanded the Polish lancers ... came forward with his officers. As he took his leave of the Emperor he uttered these words, which do the greatest credit to his nation: Sire, if you had mounted the throne of Poland, you would have been killed upon it; but the Poles would have died at your feet to a man." (- Charles Parquin).

Polish Army - Part 1.
1. Introduction: Brief History of Poland.
2. Polish Army of the Napoleonic Wars.
- - - - 1806-1808 Rebirth of the Polish Army.
- - - - 1809 - Campaign Against Austria and the Battle of Raszyn.
- - - - 1812 - Invasion of Russia.
- - - - 1813 - Campaign in Saxony and the Battle of Leipzig.
- - - - 1814 - Campaign in France.

Polish Army - Part 2

"For Poles and Frenchmen, in one breath,
Could put all men on earth to death !"
- French General Lasalle
1. Prince Poniatowski.
2. Generals.
3. Infantry: Uniforms, Strenght and Organization.
4. Artillery: Equipment, Uniforms and Organization.
5. Cavalry: Horses, Weapons, Uniforms, Organization and Best Regiments.

Lancers of the Old Guard.

"These people only know how to fight !"
... You are worthy of my Old Guard I proclaim you my bravest cavalry !"
- Napoleon, Emperor of France
1. Organization.
2. Battle Record.
3. Weapons, Horses and Uniforms.
4. 1808 Somosierra.
5. 1809-11, 1812, 1813, 1814, 1815.

"Picadors of the Hell".

"In 1808, fed up with Spanish sniping, the Lancers of the Vistula
climbed down from their saddles and stormed an entrenched Spanish
camp near Saragossa ... During the first phase of the siege they
charged a fortified city. They penetrated essentially right to
its center. Unsupported and alone the lancers had to charge back out."
- Colonel John Elting
1. Origins of the Vistula Uhlans
2. Organization
3. Uniforms
4. Battle Record
5. 1790s - 1815

Blucher with Napoleon's hat shortly after Waterloo.

The Prussian Army.
From the disaster at Jena and Auerstadt,
to glory at Katzbach, Leipzig and Waterloo.

It was through Frederick the Great military leadership that small Prussia became such a powerhouse, defeating the armies of Austria, Russia, and France in the true first world war, the Seven Years War. The small but aggressive Prussia influenced European history for decades to pass. In 1806 Napoleon crushed the fearsome Prussian military machine. But in 1813 Prussia rejoined the war against Napoleonic France. Her reward in 1815 at the Congress of Vienna was the recovery of her lost territories, as well as the whole of the Rhineland and Westphalia and some other territories. These territorial gains also meant the population of Prussia doubled. Prussia emerged from the Napoleonic Wars as the dominant power in Germany.

Prussian Army

US Army military staff service has its origins
in the Prussian army. In the the US Staff College
Publication 1 is stated that "The modern general staff
was developed in Prussia during the XIXth century."
1. Introduction: short history of Prussia.
2. Glory Years of the Prussian Army.
3. Prussian General Staff.
4. Decline of the Army.
5. Reforms of 1806-1813.
6. Prussian Army in 1812.
7. Prussian Army in 1813-1814.
8. Prussian Army in 1815.
- - - - - - - - - Pursuit After Waterloo.
- - - - - - - - - Race to Paris.

Prussian Infantry.
1. Organization, Strength and Tactics.
2. Infantry of Royal Guard.
3. Line Infantry.
4. Light Infantry.
5. Landwehr Infantry.
6. Uniforms.
7. Weapons.
8. Interview with Oliver Schmidt - "Prussian Infantry"
- - - - - - - - - Prussian Rifles
- - - - - - - - - Training of Jägers and Fusiliers
- - - - - - - - - Grenadiers' Uniforms
- - - - - - - - - Morale of Volunteer Jägers
- - - - - - - - - Organization of Regiment, Battalion and Company

Prussian Cavalry.
1. The Prussian Cavalry
2. Horses
3. Organization.
4. Cavalry of Royal Guard.
5. Cuirassiers.
6. Dragoons.
7. Uhlans.
8. Hussars.
9. Landwehr Cavalry.

Prussian Artillery.

"Against that fellow [Napoleon] you need cannons
and lots of them." - General Blücher
1. Prussian Artillery.
2. Strength and Organization.
3. Uniforms and Weapons.
4. Tactics.
5. Ammunition.
6. Engineers.
- - - - - - - - - Fortress War After Waterloo.

Interview with Peter Hoefschroer.
Prussian Troops and Commanders.
1. Differences between Prussians of 1813 (Leipzig) and 1815 (Waterloo)
2. Prussian staff vs French staff.
3. Blücher's strongest and weakest points.
4. Prussian defeats at Jena and Auerstedt.
5. Prussian victories over the French in 1813-1814.
6. Favorite Prussian general.
7. The biggest myth or false/wrong opinion about the Prussian army.
Waterloo - The German Victory.
1. What are the major myths British historians created about Waterloo ?
2. What would the Prussians do if the British had retreated to Dunkirk ?
3. What was your reasoning in naming Waterloo as the German victory ?
4. What were Wellington's biggest errors in 1815 ?
5. How would you describe Wellington as a person and as a politician ?
6. Who is/are the most reliable and unbiased English writer on 1815 ?

Just Don't Mention the Prussians !
Siborne's model of Waterloo with 70.000 tin soldiers.

The Austrian Army.
The most implacable
of Napoleon's continental enemies.

Austrian army was the third largest in the World. Austria's position in the center of Europe and her extensions imposed on the Latin, Slav and German world at the same time, have inevitably involved her army in the wars which have ravaged Europe. The artillery and the Hungarian hussars were excellent. "... the Austrian army was the largest force continually engaged against the French ... and carried most of the burden of the war on land. Though repeatedly defeated, it always rose again..." - Gunther Rothemberg
Austria at war with France - 108 months
Prussia at war with France - 58 months
Russia at war with France - 55 months

"Simonyi ... led his Hungarian hussars into Fontainbleu Palace
and, imitating Hadik, emptied his pipe on Napoleon's throne."
- Dave Hollins, British historian

The Austrian Army.
1. Austrian Empire and Army.
2. Rank and File.
3. Officers.
4. Generals.
High Command
- - - Erzherzog Karl von Österreich (Archduke Charles)
- - - Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg
- - - Joseph, Graf Radetzky de Radetz

Austrian Infantry.
1. Austrian Infantry.
2. Grenadiers.
3. Jägers.
4. Grenzers.
5. Organization.
6. Weapons.
7. Tactics.
8. Uniforms.

Austrian Cavalry.
1. Austrian Cavalry.
2. Tactics.
3. Organization.
4. Chefs and Colonels.
5. Weapons.
6. Horses.
7. Uniforms.
8. Nationalities.
9. The Hussars !

Austrian Artillery and Engineers.
1. Austrian Artillery.
2. Organization.
3. Equipment.
4. Austrian Engineers.

The Russian Army and Cossacks.
It was the largest army after the French.
Two of the three bloodiest Napoleonic battles
were fought between the Russians and the French.

The most famous Russian monarch, Tsar Peter the Great, modernized and reorganized the Russian army along European lines. Russian army defeated their Swedish counterparts, who were generally regarded as being the finest troops in Europe. In 1800 the Russian army was as vast as the territory from which it was drawn. It was calculated that the regular army amounted to 400,000-500,000 men, plus 100,000 irregular cavalry. Inspired by the icons paraded by their priests before battle, the Russians were capable of astonishing feats and total, blind obedience to orders. The invasion of Russia led by Napoleon in 1812 was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The campaign reduced the French and allied invasion forces to less than 2 % percent of their initial strength. One of Russian generals wrote : "The French fled in a manner in which no other army has ever fled in history." Russian victory in 1812 and Tsar's determination to continue the war in 1813 and 1814 "gave teeth to Britain's gold". Russia's military prestige was great. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then the Russians must have been most flattered when in 1815 the Prussian army adopted the style and design of Russian uniforms.

The Russian Army.

"...there is none more brave army,
and with which no other can march,
starve, or suffer physical privations"
- Sir Robert Wilson
1. Russian Empire and Army.
2. Supply System and Administration of the Army.
3. Medical Services.
4. Recruitment.
5. Discipline.
6. Officers.
7. Kutuzov: The Man Who Defeated Napoleon.

Russian Infantry.
1. Russian Infantry.
2. Equipment.
3. Training and Tactics.
4. Organization and Strength.
5. Uniforms.
6. Best Regiments.

Russian Cavalry.
1. The Russian Cavalry.
2. Uniforms.
3. Training / Tactics.
4. Raids / Combats.
5. Horses.
6. Weapons.
7. Mustaches and Hair Styles.
8. Best Regiments of Cavalry.

Cossacks !

The people in Germany prayed:
"Lord save us from the Cossacks !"
1. History of Cossacks.
2. Campaigns in Western Europe.
3. Tactics.
4. Weapons and Organization.

Russian Artillery.
1. Russian Artillery.
2. The Men.
3. Equipment.
4. Organization and Strength.
5. Rockets.

The Imperial Guard.
1. The Imperial Guard
2. Guard Infantry.
3. Guard Cavalry.
4. Guard Artillery.
5. Decline of the Guard After the Napoleonic Wars.

The British Royal Navy and Army.
The navy helped establish Britain as world power.
The army was small but professional.

If Prussia was the poorest 'Great Power' of the era, Great Britain was, without doubt, the richest and economically the most advanced. The Industrial Revolution, the British Empire and the Royal Navy's command of the sea meant that Britain could spend vast sums on the war against Napoleon. (- Robert Mantle) The Russian, Prussian and Austrian armies together with England's money and diplomatic efforts were the most decisive factors in defeating Napoleon. Naval victories established England's supremacy at sea for 150 years. All other countries were continental ones and were far more interested in strengthening rather their armies than navies.
The British army played a minor role and fought on secondary theaters of war, in Spain and Italy, often as a supporting force. Napoleon once said: "If only more English mothers could feel the horrors of war !" When Tsar of Russia asked Britain to send its army to Germany where was the heaviest and bloodiest fighting, the British refused.

The Royal Navy.

Admiral Nelson hated the French people
with volcanic passion, whom he variously described
as "pests" and "vermin".
Hayward - "For God and Glory"
Part One.
1. The Royal Navy.
2. Admiral Nelson.
3. Victories and Defeats.
Part Two: Enemies of Britain.
4. The Spanish Navy.
5. The French Navy.
6. The Russian Navy.

British Army and Infantry.

"The English ... whenever they march or travel,
they bear with them a haughty air of conscious superiority ..."
- Moyle Sherer
Part One:
1. Great Britain: Populace, Politics and Military Expenditure.
2. The British Army: Strength, Deployment, and Training.
3. Three Commanders-in-Chief.
4. Privates and Officers.
5. Discipline.
Part Two:
1. British Infantry - "The Redcoats".
2. Organization.
3. Uniforms.
4. Foot Guard.
5. Light Infantry.
6. The Scots.
7. The Irish.

British Cavalry.
1. British Cavalry.
2. King's German Legion.
3. Household Cavalry and Heavy Dragoons.
4. Light Dragoons and Hussars.
5. Uniforms.
6. Splendid Horses.
7. Tactics - Running Like a Headless Chicken.

British Artillery.
1. British Artillery.
2. Equipment.
3. Train.
4. The Rockets.
5. Wellington's Opinion About Rockets.




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“Sabers clashed, bullets flew by and the fun began."
The average casualties suffered by the French army during
the Invasion of Russian (1812) were 2,000-3,000 men per day.
In 1813 in Germany were 25,000 men per week (- Scotty Bowden), or approx. 3,570 per day !
"... the French forces in the Peninsula lost approx. 100 men per day ... " (- David Gates)
For comparison: in the American Civil War 1861-1865 ..... approx. 400 per day for the Union.

Napoleon's Strategy and Tactics.

"Why, in this age of nuclear weapons and guided missiles,
should the student of military affairs be concerned with
the campaigns of Napoleon ?" - John Elting (US Army)

Bonaparte's Campaign in Italy, 1796-1797.

Bonaparte's Italian campaign revolutionized the prevaling deliberate,
chessboard concepts of the art of war. Luck not favored Bonaparte,
the weather had clogged his operations, and the carelessness of his generals
and poor supplies invited disaster. Bonaparte's instinct for war had met
every challenge !

Deafeat of Bonaparte's Guard at Marengo 1800.

"This was the first baptism of the Guard,
and a more bloody one it could not well have had."
- J. T. Headley

Battle of Austerlitz, 1805 - Napoleon's Greatest Victory UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as The Battle of Three Emperors
was Napoleon's greatest victory and is compared to other great tactical battle, Cannae.
The French decimated two armies and profoundly altered the nature of European politics.

Battle of Heilsberg, 1807 - 20,000 Killed and Wounded in Few Hours

"Benigsen repelled all attacks, resulting in huge French casualities,
but had to withdraw towards Friedland the following day."
Order of Battle of Heilsberg, 1807: French - Russian

Battle of Friedland, 1807 - Napoleon's Great Victory UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...

The thorough destruction of the Russian army persuaded Tsar Alexander to seek peace terms.
This is the least known and researched battle of the three greatest Napoleonic victories.

Battle of Somosierra, 1808 - The battle for Madrid.

"... talk of the charge of Somosierra evoked the same reactions in Warsaw
as mention of the charge of the [British] Light Brigade in London.
The flower of the nation's youth was thought to have perished
in a distant land for the sake of a courageous gesture."
Gates - "God's Playground...."

Battle of Corunna, 1809 - The French Victory. Moore's British Army ran away.

Sir Moore " ... had been chased half way across Spain
ignoring every position of strength at which he might
have turned and fought back successfully.
Destroying the army by his wild, precipitate retreat
he had become obsessed by his overwhelming anxiety to reach the sea."

Battle of Raszyn, 1809 - Fighting Over a Long Dike.

"Outnumbered 3 to 1, Poniatowski fought an outstanding
defensive campaign ..." - Gunther E. Rothenberg

Battle of Wagram, 1809 - “Two days of competitive homicide.”

Napoleon's victory at Wagram brought the War of the Fifth Coalition to an end.
It forced Austria to sign an armistice and led eventually to the Treaty of Schönbrunn.

Battle of Fuengirola, 1810.

Approx. 300 Polish infantry defeated 1,200 British infantry.
They finished the affair by chasing the landing force into the sea
and bagging the British general and 5 guns.

Battle of Albuera, 1811 - Slaughter of the Redcoats

History will never know what the Vistula Uhlans
would have done to the British infantry and cavalry at Waterloo !

Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, 1812 - Russian victory N E W

"The Russian realm is so large that we may play at hide and seek with enemy's army,
and this fact must be the groundwork of its defence against a superior enemy.
A retreat into the interior draws an enemy after it, but leaves so much territory
behind him that he cannot occupy it." - Karl von Clausewitz

Battle of Borodino, 1812 - French Victory

"Of all my 50 battles, the most terrible was
the one I fought at Borodino."
- Emperor Napoleon
Marshal Ney complained bitterly about
being made to 'take the bull by the horns'.
Order of battle of Borodino 1812: French-Russian

Battle of Hagelberg 1813 - Prussian Victory

The Prussian Landwehr had been disdainfully portrayed
by Napoleon as scoundrels.

Battle of Dennewitz 1813 - Prussian Victory

"After the defeat Marshal Ney [nicknamed The Bravest of the Brave]
submitted his resignation asking to be a single grenadier rather than marshal."
- George Nafziger

Battle of Leipzig 1813 - "Battle of the Nations"

Order of Battle of Leipzig 1813: French [1] . [2] ~ Allies [1] . [2]

Leipzig is our favorite battle, and this is why:
Four monarchs participated in this epic conflict:
- Emperor of France
- Emperor of Russia
- Emperor of Austria
- King of Prussia
Leipzig was the biggest battle of the Napoleonic Wars:
1. Leipzig (1813) - 400.000-560.000 Combatants
2. Dresden (1813) - 300.000-350.000
3. Wagram (1809) - 300.000-320.000
4. Borodino (1812) - 250.000-260.000
Leipzig was the largest conflict until World War One:
1. Leipzig (1813) - 400.000-560.000 Combatants
2. Sedan (1870) - 310.000-33.000
3. Gravelotte (1870) - 290.000-310.000
4. Vienna (1683) - 250.000-290.000
5. Gaugamela (331 BC) - 230.000-270.000
Soldiers of more than twenty nationalities were present on the battlefield.
This battle also includes:
  • the biggest cavalry charge until War World One
  • the biggest artillery battery of the Napoleonic Wars.
  • Battle of Dresden, 1813 - Napoleon's great victory.

    "Heavy rains may have made the ground unsuitable for the use of cavalry,
    but then it doesn't seem to have bothered the French. ...
    as the day was marked by heavy rain and, as musketry was largely unavailable,
    the battle became one of cold steel (bayonets and sabers) and artillery."

    Battle of Vittoria, 1814 - Allies victory. UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...

    The battle to have a real impact on European diplomacy
    and where won Wellington was Vitoria. The other battle
    of importance was at Baylen, being won by the Spaniards.
    These were great victories for the Allies.

    Battle of La Rothiere, 1814 - Napoleon's First Defeat on French Soil.

    Napoleon faced growing in strength allied armies.
    Unwilling to risk battle in such disadvantage,
    he intended to withdraw, however Blücher forced him
    to deploy and fight.
    Order of Battle of La Rothiere: French ~ Allies

    Battle of Craonne, 1814 - the bloodiest battle of 1814 UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...

    Blucher had recovered from his earlier setbacks more quickly than Napoleon had hoped
    and so the Emperor switched his attention from Schwarzenberg back to Blucher.

    Battle of Paris, 1814 - No Hostile Army Had Reached Paris For 400 Years.

    "Tsar Alexander took the act of capitulation of Paris
    ran his eye over it, smiled ... and slipped it under his pillow.
    Then he closed his eyes and fell asleep."

    Battle of Ligny, 1815 - The Prussians Stand Alone.

    Blücher and Wellington intended to unite their armies.
    But they failed to do so and Blücher was defeated at Ligny.
    Order of battle of Ligny: French ~ Prussian

    Battle of Quatre Bras, 1815

    "Marshal Ney, outnumbered ... fought Wellington to a draw there,
    giving somewhat more punishmnet than he took."
    - John Elting

    Battle of Waterloo, 1815 - Two Armies vs One.

    "... if a true history [of Waterloo] is written, what will become of the reputation
    of half of those who have acquired reputation, and who deserve it
    for their gallantry, but who, if their mistakes and casual misconduct
    were made public, would not be so well thought of ?"
    - Wellington to the Earl of Mulgrave, 21st Dec 1815
    Article: French Guard in Waterloo.
    Article: Prussian Order of Battle
    Article: Allies Order of Battle

    The Cruel War in Spain.

    Battle of New Orleans 1815 - Americans vs British UNDER CONSTRUCTION ...

    Approx. 4,000 Americans routed 8,000 British redcoats
    Casualties: 90-101 Americans and 2,035-2,055 Brits.

    Infantry Tactics and Combat - 1
    1. Musket fire (methods and accuracy).
    2. Bayonet charges and bayonet fights.

    Infantry Tactics and Combat - 2
    1. Lines.
    2. Columns.
    3. Squares against cavalry.
    4. Skirmishers.

    Cavalry Tactics and Combat - 1
    1. Types of Cavalry, Organization.
    2. Weapons.
    3. Body Armor.
    4. Lancers.
    5. Tactical Formations.
    6. Charge, Mêlée, and Pursuit.
    7. The Best Cavalry.

    Cavalry Tactics and Combat - 2
    1. Cavalry Combat at Austerlitz (1805)
    2. Cavalry Combat at Friedland (1807)
    3. Cavalry Combat at Alt-Elgofsheim (1809)
    4. Cavalry Combat at Drouia (1812)
    5. Cavalry Combat at Liebertwolkwitz (1813)

    Artillery Tactics and Combat
    1. Cannons and Howitzers, Gun and Crew, Battery.
    2. The 10 Largest Batteries of Napoleonic Wars.
    3. Ammunition.
    4. Deployment of Guns.
    5. Accuracy of Artillery Fire.
    6. Redoubts.

    Uniforms of Napoleonic Troops.

    Uniforms of the Russian Army, 1801-1815

    Les Compagnies de Chasseurs des Regiments d'Infanterie

    Il Congresso di Vienna

    Belgians in the French army.

    The Cowards at Waterloo.

    Is Waterloo the most inportant battle in history ?

    120 Battles Between the French and British
    in the Age of Modern Bayonet and Musket.

    Fieldmarshal Wellington.

    Wellington's ferrous nickname (Iron Duke)
    had nothing to do with his behavior in battle.
    He got this nickname for iron shutters
    he placed over his house's windows against a mob in London.

    Fieldmarshal Suvorov.

    Alexander Suvorov was reckoned one of a few generals in history
    who never lost a single battle. He was the one man who,
    at the end of the 18th century, could have stopped Bonaparte.

    1. Orders of Battle:
    - - - - - - - - French Imperial Guard in Germany, 15th May 1813
    - - - - - - - - French armies in Spain, July 1811.
    - - - - - - - - Russian 'Army of the Danube', 1812.
    - - - - - - - - Russian 'Army of the Danube', Battle of Berezina 1812.
    2. Other Subjects:
    - - - - - - - - Letter from General Craddock to Lord Castlereagh, 30th January 1808
    - - - - - - - - Extract from a manuscript memoir by Cpt. Norton on Combat at Maya, 1813.
    - - - - - - - - Russian Casualties at Borodino, 1812.
    - - - - - - - - French Napoleonic General Officer Saber (First Empire 1804-1815).
    - - - - - - - - French military slang.
    3. The Saxon Army: Organization and Strength.
    - - - - - - - - Saxon Infantry.
    - - - - - - - - Saxon Cavalry.
    - - - - - - - - Saxon Artillery.
    - - - - - - - - Saxons vs Russians: Battle of Kalisz 1813 N E W !

    Web Polls and Napoleonic Books Sales Ranks

    Humor: Major Sharpe


    Parade of Russian, Prussian and Austrian troops in Paris, 10th April 1814.