Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars
And Their Battles 1805 - 1815

By Andrew Uffindell


The Napoleonic Wars threw up some truly great and interesting characters and many of them tend to get overlooked as people write on the more obvious personalities like Napoleon Bonaparte or the Duke of Wellington.

However, author Andrew Uffindell has done something to correct the situation a little in his very readable and interesting Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars and Their Battle 1805-1815.

In Great Generals Uffindell does have excellent, and critical, biographies of Napoleon and Wellington, but also moves down the chain of command to include France's Eugene de Beauharnais and Antoine-Charles-Louis Lasalle, Britain's Sir John Moore and Sir Rowland Hill, Austria's Archduke Charles, Prussia's Field Marshal Blucher and General Gneisenau, as well as Russia's Peter Bagration, Mikhail Barclay de Tolly and Mikhail Kutusov.

Each biography gives a warts and all view of the soldier mentioned, along with what Uffindell regards as their most important battle, and a final overview of the person.

There are some hard calls made - such as the Russian hero Bagration being unimaginative and overrated, his rival and colleague Barclay de Tolly being the true hero of the 1812 Campaign against Napoleon despite being blamed for everything by the slippery Kutusov.

Blucher is revealed as being far more complex than his public appearance and was quite a humble man who knew his own weaknesses.

Most of the chapters are about 30 pages long, although Blucher and Gneisenau, as well as Barclay de Tolly and Bagration get to share one section each.

While the major players of the Napoleonic Wars feature, it is the biographies of the lesser known lights that shine in this book.

Lasalle is fascinating - what a character. A brilliant cavalryman and hellraiser who was a devoted family man and deeper than he let on to most. He had some truely awesome adventures.

Moore and Hill come out of their examinations well and, in Moore's case, you'll have a different view of him upon finishing your read.

And the only Austrian leader mentioned, Archduke Charles, is a must. A sickly child and small man he devoted his life to studying war and helped drag the reactionary Austrian military kicking and screaming into the modern world.

Great Generals of the Napoleonic Wars and Their Battle 1805-1815 will be a terrific addition to home libraries.

- Richard Moore



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