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.

Napoleonic Wars

Lust for Glory: Napoleon’s Egypt Campaigns Helped With Invading Europe

By Don Hollway

In May 1798 English spies in Toulon, on the French Mediterranean coast, stood aghast at the gathering of an invasion fleet three times the size of the Spanish Armada: 13 ships of the line, 40 frigates and smaller warships, and 130 cargo vessels bearing more than 17,000 troops, 700 horses, and 1,000 cannons. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Last Great Victory: The Battle of Dresden

By Eric Niderost

Marshal Gouvion Saint-Cyr was in a tight spot, and he knew it. It was the morning of August 26, 1813, and Saint-Cyr and his French XIV Corps were defending Dresden, the capital of Saxony, from a large and menacing Allied army that outnumbered his own by at least four to one. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Carnage at Bussaco

By Simon Rees

Tired, battered, and bruised, the Spaniards had put up a brave fight, but the enemy had proven too powerful. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Masterstroke at Friedland

By Coley Cowan

Friedland was burning. The darkening sky of late afternoon on June 14, 1807, was deepened further by the ashes swirling in the narrow streets. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Triumph over Prussia

By Arnold Blumberg

At 4 am on October 14, 1806, 37-year-old Jean Lannes, Marshal of France in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Grande Armee and commander of that host’s V Corps, received his final instructions verbally from the emperor. Read more

General Jean Baptiste Kleber’s French infantry form squares to defend against superior numbers of mounted Mamelukes on April 16, 1799. Kleber’s night raid on Jazzar Pasha’s camp at the base of Mount Tabor backfired when he failed to estimate how long it would take to reach the camp, and his approach was discovered at dawn.

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Dramatic Rescue

By Robert Heege

On March 18, 1799, a strange thing happened in the Near East backwater that today is Israel. In the years that followed the birth of Jesus, the rise of Christianity, and the fall of Byzantium, things in the region had quieted down considerably since the Mohammedan conquests (apart from the Crusades). Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Stunning Debut: The Italian Campaign

By Dana Lombardy

Barthélemy Schérer, commander of the French Army, gazed at the new military orders from Paris in disbelief. The grandoise strategy, detailing an advance on three fronts with the armies uniting in Tyrol for a concentrated thrust at Vienna, were far beyond the capabilities of the starving southern army he commanded along the French Riveria against the combined forces of Austria and Sardinia. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

A Flash of Sabers

By Alexander Zakrzewski

On­ the foggy morning of November 30, 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, watched impatiently as his Grande Armée lumbered up the rocky slopes of the Sierra de Guadarrama Mountains of central Spain. Read more

Napoleonic Wars

Napoleon’s Old Guard Infantry

By William E. Welsh

When Napoleon Bonaparte became First Consul of France in December 1799, he consolidated the two seperate guard bodies, one for the directory and one for the legislature, into the Guarde des Consuls. Read more

French General Jean Rapp races towards a calm and self-assured Emperor Napoleon with a captured enemy standard during the height of the Battle of Austerlitz.

Napoleonic Wars

Clash of Empires

By David A. Norris

The Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the southwest coast of Spain on October 21, 1805, was a disaster for French Emperor Napoleon I. 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

Napoleon Bonaparte changes to a fresh horse as his Army of Italy engages the Austrians at the town of Rivoli Veronese above the Adige River.

Napoleonic Wars

Austrian Debacle at Rivoli

By Robert L. Durham

Twenty-six year-old Napoleon Bonaparte took command of France’s 23,000-strong Army of Italy in Nice, France, in late March 1796. Read more