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A Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars Hardcover – May, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; Revised edition (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853673463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853673467
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 13.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,084,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For those of you who like minimal reading, but drool over maps, this book is a must. A massive book covering a classic subject, Esposito's Atlas has what the reader wants when needing a quick understanding of Napoleon's miliary exploits. The book itself is no picnic. As heavy as a cannonball, it measures 10 1/2" tall, 1 1/2" thick and 27" long when opened! However, its format (text & map at a single glance) is the best for study and research.
Twenty years and 12 campaigns are captured within 169 detailed maps. Some maps cover a time span of hours, others months. To lessen clutter and confusion, not every action described in the text is shown on the corresponding map. The 11-page Biographical Sketches section is revealing, and in the case of some unfortunate commanders, brash and humorous. The Recommended Reading List is 10 pages long with occasional comments on quality.
I have two minor complaints: first, it would have been most helpful if French units/commanders names could have been italicized. Being somewhat unfamiliar with European names and locations, I was confused several times when the text reference included French and enemy units and map locations. And second, the blue ink used to show French positions is much less transparent than the red ink of enemy units. Consequently, finding towns and landmark locations is difficult when French positions have overprinted map names. Other than that, I highly recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover
I can only echo previous reviews here. If you should get only one military atlas on this subject, this is the one. Along with the West Point Atlas of American Wars vols I & II (don't be deceived by the "American" in the title; volume II includes all the campaigns of WWI & WWII, not just the ones the U.S. participated in), this atlas is a must for the serious military historian. As previously stated, reading military history without maps is a frustrating and ultimately worthless enterprise--a downright stupid and rude thing for an author to do (and its done too often!). These maps are "clean" and easy to read--not cluttered with unnecessary junk. Esposito's prose is terse, yet highly undertanding of the essentials of the situation. He has a fluid understanding of the interrelations between the political, strategic, operational and tactical elements of a situation.
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Format: Hardcover
I had heard through sources that this was an indispensable book and I purchased it with eager though guarded optimism, considering the price.
I was thoroughly pleased with my purchase. The book is huge by any standards and the layout; with lucid, terse text to the left and clear, concise maps to the right; is an historical reader's dream come true. Another feature I loved was the fact that towns and places were referenced in the text with a co-ordinate system that made finding them on the map that much easier.
To be sure, the text is not as highly detailed as those of books dedicated to singular battles or campaigns but this book is intended as a quick reference and in this it excells. Having only recently delved into reading about the Napoleonic Wars in depth, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the vast history and the wealth of material available to go along with it. Now I can have a passing knowledge of the greater part of this period and use this book as a "jump-off" point for further reading.
If you are new to the Napoleonic Wars or if you are looking for a condensed version of them, this book is definitely for you. I have used it as a supplement when reading magazine articles or other books. The maps are THAT good. Indeed, Peter Hofschroer used some of the maps in his volume on the Battle of Waterloo.
You will not go wrong purchasing this book if you need a concise reference for the Wars or if you love good maps. An added bonus is the section on leader biographies which make for very interesting reading.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are tired of military history accounts that have you flipping pages back to poorly detailed maps to try to follow the action, this atlas and the authors' American Wars series is the answer. There is a map to each page of text that follows the pertinent campaigns from macro to micro scale, as needed. The text is very insightful and concise. The version I have read is from the 1960s, so I don't know if the graphics have been updated, but the old maps are just fine for the purpose of showing how the campaigns and battles unfolded.
A perfect book for the visually oriented person interested in military history and a good compliment for other Napoleonic campaign histories.
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Format: Hardcover
I first read a borrowed copy of this book in 1975 (the first printing was done by West Point publishers in the 1960's) and I have been trying to get a copy ever since.
It is without doubt the best grahical illustration of Napoleons campaigns ever published and if combined with David Chandlers book on the wars of Napoleon gives a vivid and definatice account of this period of military history.
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Format: Hardcover
You expect Esposito's "West Point Atlas" series (Napoleonic Wars, American Wars, Civil War) to be wonderful tools for the serious amateur to understand the combat and movements of opposing forces -- and they are. However, what I found particularly striking in this work is the way Esposito, in just a few paragraphs, captures how the campaigns relate and the geo-political ramifications of the campaigns. If I could only own one book as my source of information concerning the Napoleonic Wars, it would be this one. -- Bernie Lambe, Washington, DC
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