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Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon Paperback – April 1, 2000
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Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Napoleonic Warfare has been a fascination for from the time I read John Keegan's account of Waterloo in "The Face of Battle" - and that is the point of Muir, taking up the Challenge that Keegan posed - this is a book of action and battle order rather than general army life. I found Muir's style suited very readable. He interlaces his arguments with supporting information from quotes out of contemporary diaries and biographies. I liked this because it made the information more than a dry recounting of a structure, but it also gave you a chance to test Muir's theories for yourself based on his supposed supporting information. It is also pretty easy to track down the source of his quotes if you wish to find its context in further detail. I did find the section Part III which dealt with Command and Control the most difficult to read. It overlaid the roles of a number of different armies and men which I found a little confusing. I am not sure how to do it better - but maybe it would have been easier splitting that section up by country rather than by military rank.Read more ›
To be certain, this book is not about Napoleonic tactics. If this is your interest you'll find Haythornethwaite, Noseworthy, and Nafziger far better sources.
The predominant focus of this book is on the (British) experience of battle during the Napoleonic wars. In this strict regard, it is a very worthwhile source -- certainly a great starting point for further research in this area.
Obviously, next to being there, or participating in re-enactments that emphasize authenticity, the only source for us to understand the experience of a Napoleonic battle is from those who were there. Given this type of source (i.e., individuals), and realizing the limited perspective any one individual has on an entire battle, the value of this book is in the author's attempt to extract accounts of battle experience from a variety of documents.
Please keep this information in mind as you consider purchasing this book and as you read this book.
The book's strong point is the writing style; Muir manages the fine trick of explaining Napoleonic tactics in everyday language, without being condescending to the reader. His approach is a good example for other writers on this subject, who sometimes sacrifice plain language in their quest for detail.
His objectivity is another strong point. He plays no favorites; Wellington and Napoleon are both praised and chastised for their genius and, at times, blundering.
I do wish he used more examples outside of the British army to lessen the Anglo flavor of the book. However, the experience of Napoleonic battle is universal enough, no matter what color soldiers' tunics were, that this does not detract seriously from the book.
This makes a good companion to John Keegan's "The Face of Battle," for those interested in the experience of war.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book fulfils the title. Not only are there clear accounts of the manner of war in the Napoleonic era, these are enhanced by personal accounts of life and battle, word... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bruce Buchanan
Amazing book! I purchased this book to try to understand more about battle during the napoleonic wars and this book was not a disappointment. Read morePublished 5 months ago by nicole
Great book!!! That was a different time and I'm glad I wasn't there. Tons of first-hand reports from letters and military reports.Published 24 months ago by Tim Proeber
A very good book to complete the study of Napoleonic Tactics with those of Nosworthy and Nafziger. Easy and agreeable in its reading.Published on December 16, 2013 by Iñigo Alix
There is not much about the tactics.
I was very disapointed. George Nafziger's book "Imperial Bayonets" is so much better (it includes drills, manuals, DIAGRAMS, and... Read more
It's great book who's looking for a more in-depth description on how Napoleonic combat worked, individual tactics of infantry, artillery, cavalry, as well as many interesting,... Read morePublished on February 22, 2013 by Luka
The book presents mostly the British side of battle, but the writing is vivid, compelling, even moving at times. Read morePublished on December 26, 2012 by John M. Danielski
Excellent guide on describing how Soldiers fought during the time of the French Revolution. Excellent companion to the wargamer especially in small scale unit evolutions.Published on December 15, 2012 by Gregory F. Yevtich