Book Review:
British Napoleonic Artillery,
1793-1815 (volume 1)

By Chris Henry
Artwork by Brian Delf


If you are interested in the artillery arm of the British army in the Napoleonic Wars then this Osprey title will be of immense value.

It not only gives an overall view of how Britain approached the use of heavy guns during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, but goes into great depth about organisational detail, the ordanance used, types of ammunition and even how the cannon were cast.

British Napoleonic Artillery 1793-1815 is in no small way assisted by the fact the author, Chris Henry, has had a lifelong interest in the subject, was senior curator of the Royal Armouries Museum of Artillery and is Head of Collections at the Museum of the Royal Artillery.

Henry explains the haphazard structure of the artillery before it was reformed during the French Revolution and how it was deployed on the battlefield. He also looks at the Royal Horse Artillery and its Indian counterparts.

One of the parts of the book I found particularly interesting goes into the production process and how the necessary expertise was initially imported from Holland.

British Napoleonic Artillery 1793-1815 also features a wealth of information on tactics, drill and there is an excellent glossary.

I had not seen any of the photographs used in the volume and the accompanying artwork of Brian Delf is superb. The close-ups of the cannons and equipment are as good as photos and his drawings of how the guns were crewed and limbered are first-rate.

An excellent addition to Napoleonic enthusiasts' home libraries.

- Richard Moore


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