The Campaigns of Napoleon

The Campaigns of Napoleon

Napoleonic war was nothing if not complex—an ever-shifting kaleidoscope of moves and intentions, which by themselves went a long way towards baffling and dazing his conventionally-minded opponents into that state of disconcerting moral disequilibrium which so often resulted in their catastrophic defeat.

The Campaigns of Napoleon is an exhaustive analysis and critique of Napoleon's art of war as he himself developed and perfected it in the major military campaigns of his career. Napoleon disavowed any suggestion that he worked from formula, but military historian David Chandler demonstrates this was at best only a half-truth. To be sure, every operation Napoleon conducted contained unique improvisatory features. But there were from the first to the last certain basic principles of strategic maneuver and battlefield planning that he almost invariably put into practice. To clarify these underlying methods, as well as the style of Napoleon's fabulous intellect, Mr. Chandler examines in detail each campaign mounted and personally conducted by Napoleon, analyzing the strategies employed, revealing wherever possible the probable sources of his subject's military ideas.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 1216 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439131039 | 
  • December 2009
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Chapter 1

PREPARATION

Almost nine years of commissioned service already lay behind Citoyen-capitaine di Buonaparte when he penned Le Souper de Beaucaire. A great deal happened to the young Corsican during this considerable period of time, and many of his early experiences were destined to have important repercussions on his later career. Above all, most of his notions on the art of war and military affairs in general were formulated during this period, and it is important to study the early influences if we are to acquire any real insight into his future greatness and ultimate fall.

Napoleon was born on... see more

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