Battle of Maida,
Minutes of Glory
battle of Maida in 1806 came at a time when the French seemed
almost unbeatable on land in Europe.
and Russia had been dealt knockout blows at Austerlitz the previous
year and, Trafalgar aside, little appeared to be going the way
of the anti-French coalitions.
1806 the only potential point of land conflict between the yet
unproven British army and the seemingly invincible French troops
was in the south of Italy where a small redcoat force protected
Sicily from invasion.
surprisingly the British were not in a defensive state of mind
and looked to moving on to the Italian mainland and supporting
the local rebellions occurring against the French invaders of
the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
the attack did come, the British showed themselves more than equal
to Napoleon's veterans and the best example was at the battle
The Battle of Maida: Fifteen Minutes of Glory, author Richard
Hopton begins by explaining the importance of the Mediterranean
Sea during the Napoleonic Wars and the political atmosphere that
surrounded the French, Russian, British and Austrian situations.
is excellent reading about an area of the wars that has not had
the publicity of the more dramatic theatres of conflict.
has researched the period well and the details of the fight for
Calabria in southern Italy are terrific.
thirds of The Battle of Maida: Fifteen Minutes of Glory
is taken up with setting the scene for the battle and then it
is into an explanation of how the British managed to defeat high-quality
French troops - who included some of the victors of Austerlitz.
battle detail is excellent and Hopton makes no bones about the
fact the British plan was not perfect, but still the troops managed
to win the day.
issue I had with The Battle of Maida: Fifteen Minutes of Glory
is Hopton's use of Jean-Louis Regnier for the French commander,
when I am more used to him being referred to as Jean-Louis Reynier.
aside this is a very good addition to any Napoleonic library as
it covers an important clash of arms that doesn't jump to the
fore when people consider battles of the Napoleonic Era.
you, Maida did warrant having Maida Vale named after it - one
of very few Napoleonic battles to be treated with such an honour
by the British.
Battle of Maida: 15 Minutes of Glory, Pen and Sword, ISBN: