Befreiungskriege 1813-14

Painting and modelling 28mm Napoleonic wargaming miniatures

One for the wishlist

Posted by Martin on March 18, 2007

One of my favourite English-language Befreiungskreige books of recent years has been Michael Leggiere’s Napoleon and Berlin. It’s a fascinating account of the Prussian commanders’ (especially Bulow) attempts to to defend Berlin from the threats of Napoleon’s marshals during 1813.

It took me ages to track down my own copy (Amazon always seemed unable to supply it) and it’s one of life’s ironies that the place I finally laid hands on this book was the Zinnfiguren shop in Berlin itself. I don’t think I’ll have any such trouble obtaining a copy of Leggiere’s next book. Amazon is listing The Fall of Napoleon (Cambridge Military Histories)as due for publication by Cambridge University Press on 31st July 2007.

The synopsis reads:

“Crushing defeats in Russia (1812) and Germany (1813) caused the collapse of Napoleon’s empire and brought his enemies to the Rhine River at the close of 1813. With a depleted and exhausted army, from Paris Napoleon attempted to direct the defense of his frontier from the Alps to the North Sea, while he mobilized France. The new Prometheus watched helplessly as his marshals conducted a headlong retreat from the Rhine to the Marne in less than one month. The breakdown of the French command structure and overwhelming Allied superiority placed the French marshals charged with defending the Rhine in an impossible situation. Although Napoleon needed them to use their scant forces to make a desperate stand on the Rhine and away from the administrative apparatus that fed his war machine, the marshals believed they had to trade land for time – the exact opposite of what Napoleon needed to maintain his crown.”

So I’m hopeful that this will be a valuable addition to the limited number of books that focus on the 1814 campaign in France. mind you, a good one about Eugene’s 1814 Italian campaign wouldn’t go amiss either.

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2 Responses to “One for the wishlist”

  1. Peter H. said

    Hi Martin … me again!!!

    I also thought that the Napoleon and Berlin book was great and have sporadically searched for a follow up book by Michael Leggiere. Many thanks for the heads up.

    Peter H.

  2. Bart said

    I don’t know that it’s the “best” English-language book on the subject, but Nafziger’s “The Defense of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Northern Italy, 1813-1814” is one available option. I bought the book shortly after its release and hated paying the USD $74 for it at the time, but I see it’s now $120!.

    As is typical for Nafziger’s books, the information is very solid but the text doesn’t necessarily flow all that easily.

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