Book Review:
Napoleon's Commanders (1)

By Philip Haythornthwaite
Artwork by
Patrice Courcelle


Napoleon Bonaparte could not have run his huge empire without a host of high-level subordinates and this book covers some of the key people in the French chain of command.

It is made up of 26 short biographies that detail the lives and military careers of those featured, as well as how Bonaparte regarded them.

Each one features in full-length portraits across twelve pages of colour plates and they also have individual black-and-white images as well.

Those covered in this first volume are Marshals Augereau, Bernadotte, Berthier, Bessieres, Davout, Kellermann, Lannes, Massena, Mortier, Victor; Generals Carnot, Colbert, Custine, Desaix, Dorsenne, Dumas, Duroc, Hautpoul, Hulin, Junot, Kleber, Lasalle, Lefebvre-Desnouettes, Lepic, Moreau and the King of Holland Louis Bonaparte.

The book is written by one of the leading Napoleonic experts around at the moment, Philip Haythornthwaite, and he knows exactly the sort of detail want to know. There is not a lot of room for waffle and he sums up some very distinguished careers succintly.

The artwork is done by Patrice Courcelle and his works are not only highly detailed, but breathe life into the characters.

For easy-to-read and easy-to-get-at information on those who helped Bonaparte this volume, and the later second part Napoleon's Commanders (2) 1809-1815, you cannot go past Haythornthwaite's efforts.

- Richard Moore


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