If you are out searching for a good introduction to the Napoleonic
Era then this video from Cromwell Productions will fit the bill
50 minutes it presents an overview of the exciting period of Napoleon
Bonaparte, his rise and subsequent fall through a nice mixture of
historic images, graphics, re-enactment and film footage and interviews
are Sandhurst's Niall Barr, John Tincey and the doyen of Napoleonic
historians, David Chandler.
given the limited time available - only 50 minutes - some major
campaigns are left out or only briefly mentioned. These include
the revolutionary wars, the Peninsula, the 1813 liberation of Germany
and the 1814 defence of France.
initial part of The Napoleonic Wars looks at Bonaparte's
skilful use of the chaos of revolution to rise quickly in the army
to a position of power and his realisation from an early time that
his would be a life of warfare.
also knew his main enemy would be the hated British who had foiled
him in Egypt and destroyed his fleet at Aboukir Bay.
Austerlitz campaign is looked at in detail, with nice easy-to-follow
graphics that show what happened well, and you get a good description
of the French army's organisation and why it worked so well.
1812 invasion of Russia is another key ingredient to the video's
information mix - and has good coverage of the battle of Borodino
and explains why the lengthy French stay in a deserted and burning
Moscow was a fatal mistake.
Almost half of The Napoleonic Wars is dedicated to the 100
Days' Campaign and the battle of Waterloo. This section has very
good re-enactment footage and is a welcome departure from the usual
War and Peace stock.
Napoleonic Wars is a good introduction to the period and certainly
will be a boon for teachers wanting to give classes a short, bite-sized
sample of the era. It is, however, only an appetiser and some people
may find they need something more substantial.