1809 Thunder on the Danube. Volume 3: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs: Wagram and Znaim

1809 Thunder on the Danube. Volume 3: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs: Wagram and Znaim

by John H. Gill


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With this third volume John Gill brings to a close his magisterial study of the war between Napoleonic France and Habsburg Austria. The account begins with both armies recuperating on the banks of the Danube. As they rest, important action was taking place elsewhere: Eugene won a crucial victory over Johann on the anniversary of Marengo, Prince Poniatowski’s Poles outflanked another Austrian archduke along the Vistula, and Marmont drove an Austrian force out of Dalmatia to join Napoleon at Vienna. These campaigns set the stage for the titanic Battle of Wagram.

Second only in scale to the slaughter at Leipzig in 1813, Wagram saw more than 320,000 men and 900 guns locked in two days of fury that ended with an Austrian retreat. The defeat, however, was not complete: Napoleon had to force another engagement before Charles would accept a ceasefire. The battle at Znaim, its true importance often not acknowledged, brought an extended armistice that ended with a peace treaty signed in Vienna.

Gill uses an impressive array of sources in an engaging narrative covering both the politics of emperors and the privations and hardship common soldiers suffered in battle. Enriched with unique illustrations, forty maps, and extraordinary order-of-battle detail, this work concludes an unrivalled English-language study of Napoleon’s last victory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848327597
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 05/19/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 945,713
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

John H. Gill (Jack), a military historian specializing in the Napoleonic era, is the author of With Eagles to Glory and the editor of A Soldier for Napoleon. He has contributed numerous papers to the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era and other academic forums. His latest work is 1809: Thunder on the Danube, just published in March 2008, which is to be the first of three volumes.

An associate professor at the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC, he has also published on military history and contemporary security issues relating to India, Pakistan, and other South Asian countries.

A retired US Army colonel, he lives in Virginia, USA with his wife, and their two teenage sons.

Customer Reviews

1809 Thunder on the Danube. Volume 3: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs: Wagram and Znaim 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jack Gill finally completed his outstanding study of the 1809 campaign in Austria. 200 pages of appendices and notes help wargamers, students and researchers to understand this campaign that knocked Austria out of the war for four years. Wargamers will love the detailed orders of battle with unit strengths. The detailed bibliography is a tremendous help to any researcher (Its in-between publication date shortly after the 200th anniversary makes it miss some of the most recent titles.).His emphasis on the side-shows is both a strength and a weakness. It is a strength because a general reader will be unlikely to read about the Polish or Dalmatian campaign theater. Gill's account fills gaps that are only covered by rather obscure sources. It is a weakness because these side-shows detract from the main events. The battle of Wagram is described in only eighty pages (the Znaim skirmish merits thirty pages), which results in a staccato treatment of the first day, the main casualties are the Saxons and an aggregated presentation of the Austrian actions. There is still room for a comprehensive battle study of Wagram.A time line of the events and chapters would have been very helpful to the reader as would have been an overall campaign map which situated the different actions and theaters. Map 9 which comes closest to an overall campagin map does not include Germany or Poland (partially represented in Map 29). The content of the maps is fine, their presentation could have been improved. The half page design is an unfortunate choice which is further constricted by in-line legends and captions.The discussion of the campaign does not mention the fact that Napoleon used the Austrian's own defensive network and roads against them. Austria's defenses are laid out to defend against Eastern invaders. By pushing the Austrians across the Danube, Napoleon used the old Roman road systems while his opponents were reduced to secondary roads (which remain terrible to this day).Austrian dispositions were directed not only against the French and Allied forces but also to protect the home front against insurgencies (as did Saddam Hussein during the American invasion). The Austrians' greatest fear was not a defeat but an independent Bohemia similar to the Rheinbund. The need to control Bohemia fixed Charles' Hauptarmee. This strategic inflexibility was the main cause of his defeat.Overall, a great read and a tremendous achievement. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I take back my 1 star review. This is available as a Nook book. It just doesn't show with this entry. Search "napoleon danube" and you will find it. Get this series!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would Vol. Iand II be offered as a Nook version, but not Vol III?