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Gregory Rozhkov
Gregory Rozhkov

The Campaigns Of Napoleon

Cornered, fighting for the first time on French soil, Napoleon was more than ever to rise to the occasion. As he said himself, he had "put on his Italian boots" and realized one of his finest campaigns.

The Campaigns of Napoleon


While the Napoleonic Wars are among the most heavily studied in world history, those examined in European Armies of the French Revolution, aside from the campaigns Napoleon himself conducted, have received much less attention. The same is true of the armies that fought these wars. Editor Frederick C. Schneid (High Point Univ.) has gathered nine essays on these earlier armies by experts in the military history not only of the principal belligerents, but of the smaller states as well. All of the carefully researched essays are equipped with extensive endnotes citing the most relevant secondary literature on their topics, and many of them draw on primary source material as well. Collectively, they present a sophisticated and nuanced view of European military systems of the era and will serve as a valuable reference for students and specialists alike.

Schneid's introduction surveys the wars themselves, noting key campaigns, battles, and leaders, and the shifting coalitions arrayed against the French. It also lays out the overarching thesis of the volume:

In chapter 5, "The British Army," Edward Coss (US Army Command and General Staff College) argues that, by contrast with the Russians, the British had to construct a proper land army essentially from scratch, encountering many setbacks along the way. By the time they intervened in Egypt in 1798, however, they had begun to develop an effective force, due to the efforts of Prime Minister William Pitt and the talented officials who served him. Not surprisingly, Coss shows the British were well ahead of most of their allies in financing and supplying their forces. In addition, their development of effective light infantry units proved most useful in later campaigns in Spain.

This observation typifies the findings of many of the authors in this collection. Not one of the armies studied, including the French and Prussian, was without flaws and limitations; all faced dire problems of recruitment, logistics, and training, many of which could only be worked out by trial and error during multiple campaigns. Given the size, scope, and duration of the military operations conducted after 1802, it is clear that the hard knocks suffered in earlier conflicts by most of the states canvassed here prepared them for greater challenges to come.

Abstract This article investigates how French and British army medical officers in Egypt at the turn of the 19th century were affected by campaign experiences. Their encounters with ophthalmia, plague, and other diseases influenced the practice of medicine in later campaigns and fostered the development of the idea amongst military practitioners that military diseases required specialised knowledge. Practitioners' campaign writings are used to demonstrate how British army doctors approached the investigation of the "new" diseases they encountered. In particular, the article focuses on how Dr. James McGrigor used the military system to control, direct, and disseminate the development of medical knowledge. 041b061a72


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