Read How Far from Austerlitz? Napoleon 1805-1815 by Alistair Horne Free Online
Book Title: How Far from Austerlitz? Napoleon 1805-1815|
The author of the book: Alistair Horne
Edition: St. Martin's Griffin
Date of issue: July 15th 1998
Loaded: 2374 times
Reader ratings: 4.5
ISBN 13: 9780312187248
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 928 KB
City - Country: No data
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Mr. Horne has given the reader an excellent introduction to Napoleon and his campaigns. While giving the reader a brief overview on how Napoleon got to 1805, the main storyline begins with a discussion of the strategic situation in 1805. Napoleon is in northwest France with his Army waiting for his Navy to secure the English Channel long enough to get his army across. Even before Trafalgar make his invasion impossible, he moves his army east where enemies are gathering. With remarkable speed he his moves his army from France to what is now the Czech Republic and defeats a much larger force of Russians and Austrians at Austerlitz. This battle is considered Napoleon’s masterpiece and has become a textbook example of how to beat a coalition army.
In discussing Napoleon’s army, Mr. Horne does a good job of illuminating some to the advances he made to the organization of his army, mainly organizing into self-contained Corps. This increased its flexibility and eased some of the supply and movement problems inherent in large armies of that era. After his victory at Austerlitz and the next year an Jena, Mr. Horne states that Napoleon never again gained such overwhelming victories. Napoleon’s battles became near run things and eventually starting with victories and eventually his defeats at Leipzig and Waterloo. Mr. Horne also looks at the disaster that was Russia. The author also comments about the ablily of Napoleon to raise large armies, 100,000 to 300,000 men, even after defeats.
In addition to the battles, the author also looks and Napoleon’s diplomacy and it failures. These failures include harsh peace terms with Austria, which almost invited Austria to rebuild her armies and fight him again. Another failure Mr. Horne looks at is his European Economic system that attempted to starve Britain into submission by denying her European markets.
Mr. Horne gives us a glimpse of his personal life. His relationship with his first wife is discussed, both his infatuation/love for her and his distress when he finds out she has not been faithful. The author discusses the decision to divorce Josephine and his marriage to Marie Louise, in hopes of fathering an heir. His mistresses are also discussed esp Marie Walewska.
I had a couple of quibbles with the narrative. Mr. Horne is constantly comparing Napoleon to Hitler; both in his decision to invade Russia and his desire of dominate Contental Europe. For me at least it got to be a little much. Also in discussing Austerlitz and the Invasion of Russia, Mr. Horne often quotes from Tolstoy’s War and Peace. While beautifully written, I’m not sure it belongs in a history.
All in all this a very readable, fascinating look at Napoleon and his battles – a definite 4+ star read.
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Read information about the authorSir Alistair Allan Horne was a British journalist, biographer and historian of Europe, especially of 19th and 20th century France. He wrote more than 20 books on travel, history, and biography. He won the following awards: Hawthornden Prize, 1963, for The Price of Glory; Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Prize and Wolfson Literary Award, both 1978, both for A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962; French Légion d'Honneur, 1993, for work on French history;and Commander of the British Empire (CBE), 2003.
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