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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:29 pm 
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Hi all - I've been undertaking a course of reading about all of Napoleon's campaigns, seeking an overview from Chandler and Petrie, then a deep dive by other authors who specialize in a given campaign.

I've now reached 1813, and am reading Michael Leggiere's two volumes on the campaign in Germany. Vol I, the Franco-Prussian War of 1813, and Vol II, The Defeat of Napoleon. Vol I covers Lutzen, Bautzen and ends at the summer armistice; Vol II ends at the end of the armistice and covers battles including Grossbeeren, Katzbach and concludes with Leipzig. He also wrote a volume on 1814, which I have added to the stack.

Thus far (about a third of a way into Vol II) I'm incredibly impressed. Leggiere tells the story largely from the perspective of the Prussians (he has done a bio of Blucher). Great use of sources and a first-rate writer with an eye for the key detail and a great sense of drama. The only criticism is that the maps aren't that great, but easily to supplement his work with books by Nafziger and the Esposito atlas. Highly recommended for Prussians, I think, and well worth your time.

(Also, I read Gill's three volumes on 1809 and was a bit disappointed. While he has certainly read everything there is to read about 1809, the writing was tedious. He covered every single skirmish as well as the great battles, but gave all of them equal weight in his narrative, which I found a bit of a drawback. His obvious worship of Bonaparte and disdain for Charles was a bit annoying after a while. He could have been slightly more subtle, in my opinion. And his insistence on calling France and the Rheinbund states "allies" was a weird affectation. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it's hard to imagine that the Confederation states were willing accomplices in Bonaparte's schemes, witness how quickly they fled the Imperial cause in 1813.)

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Lieutenant James Holloway
20th East Devonshire Regiment of Foot
XI British Brigade
VI Division
III Peninsular Corps


We have always been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.
-- Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2023 6:26 pm 
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James,
I agree, these are fantastic books focused on the operational moves. They are on my list to read again soon.
I recommend his Napoleon and Berlin.
It is an earlier book focused, as the name implies, the battles in the Berlin theater during 1813.
He has promised a 4th book, focusing on the operations of the Army of Bohemia, to complete his examination of 1813.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2023 8:19 am 
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Agree - I picked up Napoleon and Berlin, and that's next on my list. Really looking forward to it -- Dennewitz has always fascinated me. Poor Marshal Ney! I also have his volume on 1814, which I'll get to this summer.

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Lieutenant James Holloway
20th East Devonshire Regiment of Foot
XI British Brigade
VI Division
III Peninsular Corps


We have always been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.
-- Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2023 10:17 am 
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I agree. Dennewitz is one of my favorite, if not #1 scenario in the whole series.
The 1814 book is interesting. Very much focused on operational manouver and actually not a lot of fighting. One thing I really like about it is that it contains excerpts of tons of letters and reports from the Marshalls. Ney was certainly not the big dummy he sometimes is portrayed as..

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2023 10:46 am 
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Yes - I've always had a fondness for Ney. His leadership of the rear guard in the retreat from Moscow was nothing short of superhuman. And I think Leggiere makes the point in the volumes about the Bonaparte vs the Silesian army that a lot of the orders sent to Ney were less than clear. Something of a reflection of Bonaparte's exhaustion and general diminished abilities (Berthier's too, I suspect).

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Lieutenant James Holloway
20th East Devonshire Regiment of Foot
XI British Brigade
VI Division
III Peninsular Corps


We have always been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.
-- Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington


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