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Osprey Essential Histories 39 : The Napoleonic Wars (4) : The Fall of the French Empire 1813-1815

Despite having lost over half a million men in the disastrous Russian campaign in 1812, Napoleon prepared to face Russia and Prussia in the coming spring. Quickly raising new armies composed of young, inexperienced conscripts and invalided veterans, and with a critical shortage of cavalry, Napoleon resolved to preserve his empire in Germany, where the rising forces of nationalism rapidly spawned a 'War of Liberation'. The Emperor achieved hard-fought victories at Lutzen and Bautzen, but in late summer Austria finally threw in her lot with the Allies, thereby creating the most formidable military alliance Europe had ever seen. Further epic struggles were to follow: Dresden and, above all, Leipzig -- the famous 'Battle of the Nations' - where three days of intense fighting between half a million combatants drawn from every corner of Europe forced Napoleon's shattered army to retreat across the Rhine, marking the end of French control over central Europe. When operations shifted to home soil in 1814 the beleaguered Emperor found himself outnumbered by more than three to one, yet in a series of brilliant actions he managed to hold the Allies at bay, displaying a military genius reminiscent of his earlier years. Yet with Paris threatened, his army overwhelmed by vastly superior numbers and his marshals refusing to fight on, Napoleon was ultimately forced to abdicate, only to return the following year to fight his last and one of history's most decisive campaigns: Waterloo. Text by Gregory Fremont-Barnes.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Background to War : Origins of Prussian and Russian Hostility
  • Warring Sides : Opposing Forces
  • Outbreak : A Bid for Revenge
  • The Fighting : The 'War of German Liberation' and the Invasion of France
  • Portrait of a Soldier : Captain Cavalie Mercer, Royal Horse Artillery
  • The World around War : London : Splendour and Squalor
  • Portrait of a Civilian : Lord Castlereagh, British Foreign Secretary
  • How the War Ended : Denouement at Waterloo
  • Conclusion and Consequences : Europe Restored and the Napoleonic Legacy


The books in this series are;
Essential Histories Compellation 4 : The Napoleonic Wars : The Rise and Fall of an Empire
Essential Histories 3 : The Napoleonic Wars (1) : The Rise of the Emperor 1805-1807
Essential Histories 9 : The Napoleonic Wars (2) : The Empires Fight Back 1808-1812
Essential Histories 17 : The Napoleonic Wars (3) : The Peninsular War 1807-1814
Essential Histories 39 : The Napoleonic Wars (4) : The Fall of the French Empire 1813-1815

 

Osprey Essential Histories


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