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Napoleon Bonaparte: The background, strategies, tactics and battlefield experiences of the greatest commanders of history Paperback – May 25, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“In all, it is a fascinating look at one of the world's most famous leaders and his campaigns. If you have no other books on the man, this would be an excellent choice.  A most interesting read and one that I am sure you will enjoy.” - Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com

"Plenty of books survey Napoleon's life: this provides a military account of his martial career and analyzes and assesses his roles." - The Midwest Book Review

"Napoleon Bonaparte is a prominent name among military figures due to his tactical genius. He was one of the greatest military commanders in history. This book contains details and analysis of the battles of Austerlitz and Waterloo; both are considered to be Napoleons greatest battles." - www.mataka.org (October 2010)

"Like France’s 'Little Corporal' himself, this informative 64-page book is a relatively
small package that wields a powerful influence that is out of all proportion to its relatively diminutive size." - Toy Soldier & Model Figure

About the Author

Gregory Fremont-Barnes holds a doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University. A visiting Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he has written on a wide range of military and naval subjects, including The French Revolutionary Wars, The Peninsular War, 1807-1814, The Fall of the French Empire, 1813-1815, The Boer War, 1899-1902, The Wars of the Barbary Pirates, Trafalgar 1805, Nelson's Sailors, The Indian Mutiny, 1857-58 and American Bomber Crewman in World War II, 1941-45. He is also editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815, the three-volume Encyclopedia of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and co-editor of the five-volume Encyclopedia of the American Revolutionary War.
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Product Details

  • Series: Command (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846034582
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846034589
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Yoda on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any review of this book would have to start with a brief discussion of what the book is and is not. As part of Osprey's new series on the background, strategies, tactics and battlefield experiences of the greatest commanders of history, it is intended only as an introduction to the subject that can get a reader up to speed on the subject in an hour or so, not an in-depth treatise. At 64 pages, about a third of which consist of illustration, this is all that can be expected of such a book. For those seeking more in-depth coverage other books are available. For those interested in an overall (i.e., covering more his life than military campaigns per se), this reviewer recommends Alan Schom's "Napoleon: A Life" (this book is almost 1,000 pages in length) or, for those with less time, Felix Markham's "Napoleon" (about 340 pages). For those more interested in Napoleon's military campaigns, this reviewer recommends one of the 20th century's leading scholars on Napoleon, Alfred Chandler's tome "The Campaigns of Napoleon" (at 1,200 pages quite a read) and his shorter more succinct "The Illustrated Napoleon". The former is an in-depth book on Napoleon's campaigns written primarily with the specialist in mind while the latter was written, more or less, as an introduction to his campaigns written with the non-specialist in mind.

The relevant question to ask with respect to this book is does it provide a good succinct introduction to Napoleon. The answer is yes. The book provides a brief introduction to Napoleon's life as well as a good introduction to his campaigns for the reader with only an hour or so to spend. In addition, the book is well illustrated with key points in his life as well as maps on his most important battles.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Solid addition to the Osprey series, "Leadership, Strategy, Conflict." Here, we read of Napoleon Bonaparte. The book is part biography and part military history. We learn of Napoleon's military training, his early career, his role with the Revolutionary forces, his advancement--and his eventual accession as emperor. Also told is the story of his campaigns and key battles. The author lays out his viewed of Napoleon early (Page 4): "With the possible exception of Alexander, Napoleon justifiably ranks as history's greatest commander." While I'm not so sure, given his poor performance in Egypt and in his foolish invasion of Russia, he clearly ranks highly in this arena.

Page 9 features a map that portrays his major campaigns--Italy; the Middle East; campaigns of 1805, 1806, 1807, and 1809; the Spanish Campaign; the Russian Campaign; the 1813 and 1814 campaigns; Waterloo. The book provides enough information about his early Italian campaigns to give a sense of why he rose so swiftly in the French military command structure. There is a good discussion of one of his masterpieces, Austerlitz. Here, we see Napoleon near the peak of his power, as he planned to destroy the forces arrayed against him by making them think that he was terribly vulnerable on his flank (which he had set up to entice an attack) so that he could pierce the Pratzen Heights in the center of the Allied line and then roll up those forces.

The book also provides a useful description of his ill-fated Russian campaign--leaving with a mighty horde and returning with but a fraction of his precious human resources. The book well describes Russian General Katusov's Fabian strategy, with the sanguinary battle at Borodino as an exception.
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Lots of glossy pictures but only three very small battle maps. Most people could pick up all the information in this very short (64 pp.) pamphlet just by watching historical movies.
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By AdMac on November 14, 2014
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Good job
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
Recommended for any collection analyzing leadership and strategy is Gregory Fermont-Barnes' NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, provides a survey of the background, strategies and tactics of one of the greatest commanders in history. Plenty of books survey Napoleon's life: this provides a military account of his martial career and analyzes and assesses his roles.
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