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Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon


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About the Author

Rory Muir is a visiting research fellow at the University of Adelaide. He is the author of Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, 1807-1815 (ISBN 0 300 06443 8, #35.00), also published by Yale University Press.


Quite a few books deal with the military aspects of the Napoleonic era, especially campaigns, battles, and tactics, but very few focus on the nature of battle or what actually goes on during battle with any serious analysis. Research fellow Muir (Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, Yale Univ., 1996) has filled a significant gap in the study of the period with this engaging study of the mechanics of a Napoleonic battle. Muir uses a tremendous number of firsthand accounts to discuss battlefield events, breaking down each into its component parts. A brief discussion of battles and battlefields is followed by a detailed treatment of each army component: artillery, infantry, and cavalry and the nature of their combat roles as reflected in contemporary accounts. In a separate section, the author considers the role played by the generals and their subordinate commanders, rounding out a well-ordered analysis. Strongly recommended for all good history collections.ÄDavid Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L.

"A stunning evocation of campaigning and battle, presented largely in the words of the participants, and enhanced by Muir's huge...knowledge of his subject." Toby Buchan, Literary Review "A major work." David Seymour, Military Illustrated "An important and useful study." Jeremy Black, Archives "Muir has filled an important gap in the study of the Napoleonic era with this engaging study of the mechanics of a Napoleonic battle." Library Journal

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