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Napoleon at Dresden: The Battles of August 1813 by George Nafziger   The 1813 campaign in Germany is probabl...

Napoleon at Dresden: The Battles of August 1813 by George Nafziger Napoleon at Dresden: The Battles of August 1813 by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

George Nafziger



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 The 1813 campaign in Germany is probably my favorite campaign to read about or wargame. I am also a big fan of the author George Nafziger. This is the second of a three volume series by him about the 1813 campaign. The first book is 'Lutzen and Bautzen: Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813'. You can see my review of the first book here:

 The book goes through four major battles of Dennewitz, Gross-Beeren, Dresden, and the Battle of the Katzbach. The smaller, but incredibly important Battle of Kulm is also described. Dr. Nafziger shows us how the Allies completely changed their strategy after the armistice that divided the two parts of the campaign. The Allies decided to swallow their pride and retreat if Napoleon himself was in command of the French troops in front of them. The Allies would then attack the other French Armies under one of Napoleon's Marshals. They neglected to follow this strategy at Dresden, and came close to losing the war along with that battle. 

 The author has added a large amount of paintings, portraits, and a plethora of maps. There are nineteen colored maps alone. There are two appendices, and the Order of Battle breakdown is a full sixty-six pages! The book itself is 258 pages long. The information inside is invaluable for a student of the campaign.

 The 1813 Campaign in Germany is full of missed chances on both sides, but especially on the French side. Dr. Nafziger fills his books with facts, figures, and deep insights into the moment of history he is describing. If you are looking for a book that is filled with personal accounts of the campaign, then look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want a sweeping view of the campaign from strategic to tactical, this is your book. Thank you, Casemate Publishers, for letting me review this excellent book.

Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Imperial Bayonets Tactics of the Napoleonic Battery, Battalion, and Brigade as Found in Contemporary Regulations George Nafziger ...

Imperial Bayonets by George Nafziger Imperial Bayonets by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

George Nafziger


Tactics of the Napoleonic Battery, Battalion, and Brigade as Found in Contemporary Regulations









 You would expect from the title that this book would just be a boring rehashing of some 18th and 19th century works. In this you would be totally mistaken. It is filled with many little known facts and surprising tidbits. Marshal Ney's, who is rarely represented as thoughtful, writings on grand tactical maneuvers is gone over in one part of the book. Under the chapter 'Operation of Combined Arms' you will find these three definitions by the author:

1) Moral ascendancy over the enemy and cause him to collapse
2) Hold him in place and punish him until he collapses
3) Maneuver the enemy into such a position where he has no chance of success and collapses 

 The book abounds with information This is not limited to the French, but also their allies and enemies.

 I have to say that I normally like my history dry, and without too much of the personal added to it. That being said, even I was a little hesitant to read this book. I have tried to read a few other books that have like sounding titles. Even I was forced to finally accept that they were too dry even for me. So, I had steeled myself for a trek through a desert before starting this book. I was extremely and pleasantly surprised once I started reading the book. This book by its very nature will appeal to only a subset of wargamers and history readers. The other point I would like to point out is that the title is a bit of a misnomer. It does include everything from the title, but also includes a lot more. These two chapters will illustrate this:

Operation of Combined Arms
Grand Tactical and Strategic Operations 

 The book is filled with illustrations to accompany the text. These are extremely helpful for we dolts to follow the sometimes intricate maneuvers. The book also has a large amount of tables in it. These range from musket accuracy to the different armies' marching speed, and the rate of fire of artillery. Most board wargamers are a bit oblivious to the information in this book, even if we can name all of the battles Napoleon fought and commanded in. Almost all of our games already have this information calculated for us. Not so for our table top brethren. To them this book should become their bible. If not that, at least it will give them a lifetime of arguments over their beautiful reproductions of battles.

 The information in this book is invaluable to anyone who wants to try and understand battle during the Napoleonic age. More than that, it is a reference material for wargamers and designers of those also.

 Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company 
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Lützen and Bautzen Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger   This book is about a man ma...

Lützen and Bautzen: Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger Lützen and Bautzen: Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813 by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

George Nafziger



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 This book is about a man made miracle. Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 with roughly 600,000 men all total. By early 1813 he was back in Paris, and the Grande Armee probably had only 60,000 soldiers, and half of those should have been in a hospital bed. Napoleon had slunk back across Europe, and was back in Paris. Napoleon was now to add another title to the long list of monikers he was given. Along with Emperor and Ogre, you could now use the word magician. He was able, like a stage magician, to pull something from his hat. In this case it was a new army. When he took the field in April 1813, he actually had more soldiers in his army than the Allies had in theirs. This campaign and book is about those young soldiers, the Marie-Louises (named after Napoleon's second wife). These men/boys were able to march and fight almost as well as the few grizzled veterans still with the colors.

 Dr. Nafziger has put another feather in his cap with this book. He is able to move seamlessly from the political to the military sphere. He also effortlessly goes from the strategic to the tactical without missing a beat or losing the reader. 

 The book itself is filled with black and white illustrations of the generals and other players. It also comes with a twenty-one page color section of maps. To top it off, in true Nafziger style there is an Order Of Battle that is almost 100 pages long.

 The book shows how Napoleon appeared among his enemies like a thunderclap. If it wasn't for some extremely bad luck and some very bad judgements of some of his Marshals, along with a lack of cavalry (Napoleon, for all his work, could not produce horses out of his hat). Napoleon should have scattered this group of enemies just as he had the earlier ones. 

 Unfortunately for Napoleon, and possibly Europe, the wheel of fate had turned. Even more than the 1814 Campaign, this one is adrift in what ifs. No matter how brave the young Marie-Louises were, they still died in droves. Napoleon was able to win both of the battles of Lützen and Bautzen, but due to his lack of cavalry he could defeat them but not crush them.

 The book goes from the back drop of the 1812 Campaign to the armistice in early June 1813. The author is able to take the reader to the battles and councils of both sides of the conflict and bring them both to life for the reader. Thank you for giving us another great book on Napoleon's campaigns, and especially for a book on the Campaign of 1813. I eagerly await the next one on the Battle of Dresden, and the second half of the campaign.


Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 campaign by George Nafziger       I first heard about the author through war...

The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 Campaign by George Nafziger The End of Empire Napoleon's 1814 Campaign by George Nafziger

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

George Nafziger



by




   

 I first heard about the author through wargaming circles. His absolutely immense compendium of 'Orders Of Battle' (OOBs) were always discussed in gaming forums etc. I am not sure exactly when, but he released his magisterial list free for all to use. This was and is an absolute godsend to wargamers.

 The book, End of Empire, is a tome on the subject. It is so well written that at times it is frustrating. Let me explain. Mr. Nafziger writes so clearly about the events that it is hard to remain calm and non-committal while reading the book. You can easily follow the campaign, so the frustration comes when Marmont, Macdonald, or some other marshal of France, do not do what obviously needs to be done. Time and again, Blucher is on the ropes with Napoleon ready to deliver the knockout blow, when one of his Marshals lets him off the hook. You find yourself, at least I do, imagining what Massena or Davout could have done in the other Marshals' shoes. Do not even get me started with the allies. Their attempts to get to Paris are as embarrassing as watching Bumble Bees in slow motion trying to get back into the hive. The book shows exactly what transpired during Marmont's treachery. Ragusa (Marmont was the Duke of Ragusa) became as widely used in the 19th century for traitor as Quisling was in the 20th.

 The book delves deeply into the different generals and their thinking and reasoning, or lack there of. To me, the writing transports the reader to 1814 and keeps the reader in the grip of the story as well as any non-fiction work can. 

 The book is also liberally supplied with black and white images of the different generals and battles. It is also well supplied with maps so that the reader can follow along with the campaign easily.

 I am waiting, albeit impatiently I might add, for the rest of Mr. Nafziger's Napoleonic books to be released by Helion&Company.


Robert

Publisher: Helion&Company
Distributor: Casemate Publishers
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