Tactics and the experience of battle in the age of Napoleon /
Rory Muir.
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c1998.
x, 342 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0300073852 (cloth)
More Details
New Haven, Conn. : Yale University Press, c1998.
0300073852 (cloth)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [301]-328) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-06:
Quite a few books deal with the military aspects of the Napoleonic era, especially campaigns, battles, and tactics, but very few focus on the nature of battle or what actually goes on during battle with any serious analysis. Research fellow Muir (Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, Yale Univ., 1996) has filled a significant gap in the study of the period with this engaging study of the mechanics of a Napoleonic battle. Muir uses a tremendous number of firsthand accounts to discuss battlefield events, breaking down each into its component parts. A brief discussion of battles and battlefields is followed by a detailed treatment of each army component: artillery, infantry, and cavalry and the nature of their combat roles as reflected in contemporary accounts. In a separate section, the author considers the role played by the generals and their subordinate commanders, rounding out a well-ordered analysis. Strongly recommended for all good history collections.ÄDavid Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1998-09-01:
A soldier's "experience of battle" as it contributes to an understanding of land-based tactics (1793-1815) is the subject of this scholarly and readable survey. Muir has competently amassed these experiences, as recorded in the participants' published letters, memoirs, and diaries, and skillfully woven them into his narrative (customary in individual accounts of battles). Refreshing, however, is his critical evaluation of these sources in light of their authorship, composition, and consistency with other records and common sense. Muir discusses weaponry, organization, tactics, and the actual control over the battle (or, on a lower level, of troops) exercised by the command staff--all seemingly of interest only to military historians. But what should give this book a wider readership is its affinity with the approach outlined in John Keegan's The Face of Battle (CH, Mar'77). These modern military histories move beyond the usual examinations of why soldiers fought (or ran) to explore the relationship among physical factors (such as hunger and exhaustion), training, and psychology--the perceptions, expectations, and cohesiveness (individual and group) that soldiers brought to the "sharp end" of battle. The work concludes with a brief but valuable bibliographic essay. All levels. R. T. Ingoglia Felician College
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, June 1998
Choice, September 1998
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Publisher Fact Sheet
Drawing on memoirs, diaries, & letters of the time, this lively book explores what it was like to be a soldier on a Napoleonic battlefield. It considers the role of the artillery, infantry, & cavalry; the plight of the wounded; the way victories were decided; the mechanics of musketry, artillery, & cavalry charges; & much more.
Unpaid Annotation
What was it like to be a soldier on a Napoleonic battlefield? Drawing on memoirs, diaries, and letters of the time, explores what actually happened in battle. Researcher Rory Muir focuses on the dynamics of combat in the age of Napoleon, enhancing his analysis with vivid eye-witness accounts of those who participated. A fascinating read for anyone interested in military and European history or the psychology of combat.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Drawing on contemporary memoirs, diaries and letters, this book explores what actually happened in battle in Napoleonic times and how the participants' feelings and reactions influenced the outcome.
Table of Contents
The Eve of Battlep. 3
Battles and Battlefieldsp. 12
Artilleryp. 29
Light Infantryp. 51
Infantry Combatp. 68
Cavalry Combatp. 105
The Role of the Generalp. 141
Subordinate Commanders, Staff Officers and ADCsp. 157
Regimental Officersp. 175
Morale and Cohesionp. 193
Attitudes and Feelingsp. 217
Victory or Defeat?p. 235
After the Fightingp. 248
Epiloguep. 266
Notesp. 275
Bibliographical Essayp. 301
Bibliographyp. 313
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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