Osprey Warrior 57 : French Napoleonic Infantryman 1803-1815
Following on from Men-at-Arms 141 Napoleon's Line Infantry and Men-at-Arms 146 Napoleon's Light Infantry which give a good introduction into the basic organisation, tactics and uniforms of Napoleon's infantrymen, this book gives an insight into the lifestyle of these soldiers and their experiences of warfare. The most rewarding way of learning about these topics is to read the soldier's adventures in their own words, as recorded in their memoirs, letters and even songs. Unfortunately for the English speaking world, most of the memoirs are both out of print and written in French. This book makes available some 25 contemporary testimonies of life in Napoleon's army, including one completely unpublished account - a hand-written manuscript found in the French Army's archives at Vincennes, Paris. By following the career of a typical soldier, from enlistment to the day of battle and beyond, an enlightened view of the common reality of training, daily life and combat is developed: conflicting and contrasting views are also given to demonstrate the breadth of each topic. In contrast to most works on the Napoleonic French Army, this book demolishes the propagandist views expounded by Bonapartists - the romantic notion of La Gloire is very much tempered by some hard-hitting recollections of the horror and misery of military life 200 years ago. Packed with prints taken from contemporary sources and superb artwork, this book provides a concise, revealing and authentic portrait of life in the Grand Armée. Text by Terry Crowdy with illustrations by Christa Hook.
- Appearance and Equipment
- Everyday Life
- Experience of Battle
- Colour Plate Commentary