Napoleonic Wars

The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars fought between the French Empire and its allies, under Emperor Napoleon I, and a series of alliances, or coalitions, among other nations of Europe, primarily Great Britain and Prussia. The Napoleonic Wars were spawned by continuing issues in the aftermath of the French Revolution and Napoleon’s desire to dominate continental Europe. The Napoleonic Wars ended with the French defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Napoleon was exiled to the island of St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

Having heard that the Russians claimed a victory, Napoleon commissioned a painting showing that he was the victor. The results depict the Emperor visiting the frozen field of the struggle, surrounded by the defeated begging for mercy.

Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Eylau: A Massacre Without Results

By Vince Hawkins

Following the French Army’s brilliant victories at the twin battles of Jena and Auerstadt on October 14, 1806, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte subsequently launched his Grande Armée in a devastating pursuit of the remnants of the Prussian Army. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Battle of Marengo

By Eric Niderost

On March 17, 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte closeted himself in his study at the Tuileries Palace in Paris and ordered his private secretary, Louis Fauvelet de Bourrienne, to unroll a large map of Italy and lay it on the floor. Read more

French survivors from the Battle of Leipzig push through the Austro-Bavarian lines of General Karl Philipp von Wrede during the climax of the Battle of Hanau.

Napoleonic Wars

Last-Ditch Roadblock at Hanau

By Matthew R. Lamothe

Tired, hungry, and typhoid-ridden, the French veterans in the Grand Army of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte staggered through the Fulda Gap in central Germany on October 27, 1813. Read more

Wellington’s artillery commander at Waterloo said that without Henry Shrapnel’s devastating new shell, Allied forces could not have taken a key position on the battlefield.

Napoleonic Wars

Henry Shrapnel & The Battle of Waterloo

by Robert Whiter

“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air …”

That, as most people know, is a line from the American national anthem, words by Francis Scott Key, to the tune of Anacreon in Heaven by John Stafford Smith. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Britannia Triumphant at the Nile

By Joshua Shepherd

Smoke drifted across the quarterdeck of H.M.S. Vanguard, occasionally obscuring the figure of a slender officer bowed with battle wounds and outright exhaustion. Read more

Battle of Cerro Gordo by an unknown artist. New Orleans Picayune publisher George Kendall accompanied American troops during the fighting in Mexico.

Napoleonic Wars

The Pen & the Sword: A Brief History of War Correspondents

By Roy Morris Jr.

Men have been reporting their wars almost as long as they have fighting them. The first prehistoric cave drawings depicted hunters bringing down wild animals, and spoken accounts of battles, large and small, formed the starting point for the oral tradition of history. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Triumph of “The Nelson Touch”

By Jonas L. Goldstein

When the Treaty of Amiens was signed on April 1, 1802, bringing peace between France and Great Britain after nearly a decade of war, there was wild rejoicing in England. Read more

Although Napoleon took up a strong position at Leipzig, he found his Grande Armée greatly outnumbered. The titanic clash involved upwards of 500,000 combatants.

Napoleonic Wars

Death Knell for Napoleon’s Empire

By Victor Kamenir

French Marshal Michel Ney found himself outmatched in a clash of arms with a Swedish-Prussian army at Dennewitz 40 miles southwest of Berlin on September 6, 1813. Read more


Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Last Victory

By Arnold Blumberg

At 2:30 am on June 15, 1815, tens of thousands of French soldiers around the town of Beaumont, France, were roused from their bivouacs. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Soldiers: General Peter Bagration

By Victor Kamenir

Russian General Peter Ivanovich Bagration was one of those rare commanders who received near-universal praise from his contemporaries outside of Russia. Read more