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Leipzig 1813: The Battle of the Nations (Campaign) Kindle Edition

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The Liberator: One World War II Soldier's 500-Day Odyssey from the Beaches of Sicily to the Gates of Dachau by Alex Kershaw
World War II History
In "The Liberator," Alex Kershaw delivers an untold story of the bloodiest and most dramatic march to victory of the Second World War. Learn more | See related books

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Highly visual guides to history's greatest conflicts, detailing the command strategies, tactics, and experiences of the opposing forces throughout each campaign, and concluding with a guide to the battlefields today.

About the Author

Peter Hofschroer is a recognised expert on the German campaigns of the Napoleonic wars and the Prussian army in particular.

Product Details

  • File Size: 8788 KB
  • Print Length: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (March 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078XCVMC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,018,310 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The denouement to the disastrous Russian campaign and the harbinger of Waterloo. Leipzig was a victory by an Allied army against a rapidly recreated French army. Napoleon has lost a huge percentage of the army that entered Russia--as well as priceless horseflesh. His lack of cavalry at Leipzig was an issue.

First, it is almost incomprehensible how Napoleon created a new army so swiftly after the catastrophic invasion of Russia. But he did it. One problem? Not enough horses to maintain the cavalry as needed. This would be a factor in the Leipzig campaign. In 1813, the French Army under Napoleon had at its disposal about 440,000 troops in the field army. The opponents of the French included Russian troops (184,000 troops in the field army), Austrians ((127,000 troops), Prussian forces (162,000 in the field army), Sweden (23,000 troops--under the command of one of Napoleon's former corps commanders--Bernadotte), Ad up these and odds and ends of other allies? About 512,000 troops (page 27). A huge number of soldiers awaiting battle. The order of battle (listing all troops involved--and their units) is almost stupefying--from pages 28 to 36.

Second, the campaign is pretty well depicted, from its origins to the conclusion at Leipzig, in which Napoleon's fate was sealed (the book argues that it was Leipzig--and not Waterloo--that doomed Napoleon). The first map on the campaign is on pages 38-39, outlining the starting point of the maneuvering. Pages 41-63 discuss the series of battles leading up to Leipzig. Overall, the French did poorer than better i n the preliminary combat.

Then, the titanic battle itself. The text describes the different aspects of the combat. Sometimes, one gets lost in the welter of which unit did what.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yoda on April 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book starts off by giving an excellent perspective, in a few pages, of the what the diplomatic and military picture in Europe was just before this battle. Hence the necessary perspective for the battle is provided.

The book then goes on to discuss the many aspects of the armies involved including their leadership (both at the highest level and the quality of lower ranking officers), political and command structure strengths and problems (for Napoleon, for example, the lack of subordinate quality field marshals, considering the size of the battle, probably led to the loss of this battle), troops, and logistical problems and strenghts and weaknesses in various arms (i.e., Napoleon's lack of cavalry in terms of both quality and quantity caused seriuos intelligence problems that played important role in his defeat). The book also illustrates well how troops from each national army looked and different aspects/geography of battle, along with maps.

The one weakness of the book (and hence 4 instead of 5 stars) is that it is a little difficult to follow the battle because the author makes too extensive a use of the various field marshals movements and actions without mentioning which side they were on. Not much of an oversight but one, unless the reader is very knowledgeable regarding these commanders, that is enough to cause some confusion. This problem is such a shame considering how easily it could have been rectified.
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Format: Paperback
Osprey Publishing really is a godsend for historians and enthusiasts of Napoleon. The campaign series, and the men at arms series have been incredibly enlightening to me.

Having said that, some books in the series are a lot better than others. I would say this volume on Leipzig is, unfortunately one of the weaker ones. To be sure the author does a fantastic job of explaining the condition of the armies involved, the political situation, and the strategic position and options of all involved. That is the volume's incredible strength and why I recommended it. The iconography is also absolutely stunning and is worth buying just for that alone.

When it comes to the battle however, the text reads like this: the French went over here, then the Russians went over there, then the Prussians moved over here, and in the French went there. Then the Russians moved over here, and in the Prussians moved over there. Oh and by the way, the French moved over there. Does that sound like fun reading? I should also say that the battle of Grossbeeren is not explained very well at all, and neither is the battle of the Katzbach. Marshal MacDonald obviously screwed up somehow but the text does not really make that clear.

Sometimes I think that one really does have to be a West Point graduate in order to fully understand these books. The maps with the troop movements are often confusing and unintelligible. It would really be great if the history Channel, or the BBC, or public broadcasting, could turn some of these campaign series books into actual shows. They could use computer animation to show the various troop movements and also the effect of terrain on the battle, because it is really hard to understand all this from the printed page.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Battle of Leipzig in 1813 was the culmination of the allied campaign that finally broke Napoleon's military power. One French Grande Armee had died in the snows of the Russian winter of 1812-1813. Napoleon skillfully crafted an imperfect replacement and went looking for the decisive victory in Central Europe that would right his political and military fortunes. But time was against the French Emperor, along with the armies of Russia, Prussia, and Austria...

"Leipzig 1813" is an Osprey Campaign Series book, authored by the highly experienced historian Peter Hofschroer, who has strong opinions and a gift for good history. He reduces a complicated series of battle into a coherent campaign narrative, in which the weaknesses of Napoleon's command style will catch up with him. The narrative dissects the series of battles from August to October that led Napoleon's new army into a fateful confrontation against his enemies. The text is augmented with short biographies of his many battlefield opponents during the campaign, and a crisp analysis of what went wrong. The narrative is nicely supplemented with a series of excellent historical illustrations and some equally excellent battle diagrams. Highly recommended as an insightful introduction to a complicated campaign.
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