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.

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

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

Napoleonic Wars

Reckoning at Horseshoe Bend

By Christopher G. Marquis

In the late summer of 1813, some 550 men, women, and children took refuge within a small wilderness outpost and waited for the worst. 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

The French Imperial Guard advances on Magenta. Stiff Austrian resistance and the confined nature of the terrain combined to slow the French advance toward Austrian-held Milan.

Napoleonic Wars

Triumph of Spirit

By Eric Niderost

On April 20, 1859, Emperor Franz Josef paid a respectful visit to Prince Klemens Wensel von Metternich’s place at Rennweg in Vienna. Read more

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