Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon

Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon

by Rory Muir
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Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon by Rory Muir

What was it like to be a soldier on a Napoleonic battlefield? What happened when cavalry regiments charged directly at one another? What did the generals do during battle? Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and letters of the time, this dramatic book explores what actually happened in battle and how the participants’ feelings and reactions influenced the outcome. Rory Muir focuses on the dynamics of combat in the age of Napoleon, enhancing his analysis with vivid accounts of those who were there—the frightened foot soldier, the general in command, the young cavalry officer whose boils made it impossible to ride, and the smartly dressed aide-de-camp, tripped up by his voluminous pantaloons.

This book sheds new light on how military tactics worked by concentrating on the experience of soldiers in the firing line. Muir considers the interaction of artillery, infantry, and cavalry; the role of the general, subordinate commanders, staff officers, and aides; morale, esprit de corps, and the role of regimental officers; soldiers’ attitudes toward death and feelings about the enemy; the plight of the wounded; the difficulty of surrendering; and the way victories were finally decided. He discusses the mechanics of musketry, artillery, and cavalry charges and shows how they influenced the morale, discipline, and resolution of the opposing armies. This is a volume that will fascinate all readers with an interest in military history, European history, or the psychology of combat.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300082708
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 03/28/2000
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,194,501
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

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, published by Yale University Press.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Part I Introduction
The Eve of Battle
Battles and Battlefields
Part II The Elements of Combat
Light Infantry
Infantry Combat
Cavalry Combat
Part III Command and Control
The Role of the General
Subordinate Commanders, Staff Officers and ADCs
Regimental Officers
Morale and Cohesion
Attitudes and Feelings
Part IV The End of the Day
Victory or Defeat?
After the Fighting
Epilogue 266(9)
Notes 275(26)
Bibliographical Essay 301(12)
Bibliography 313(16)
Index 329

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Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Here comes the typical British boasting. Author relies heavily on British sources, while ignoring and ridiculing other. This book is one-sided and nationally biased. Author goes orgasmic whenever describing the British troops. Thus from historical point of view this book has little value.