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am 2. Dezember 1999
I write this review in opposition to another review that berates the book as anglophile. That reader should have paid more attention to the opening remarks that clearly specified the limited scope of this book -- British sources. In addition, the author provides a valid reason for this limited scope -- the lack of resources from other than British sources.
To be certain, this book is not about Napoleonic tactics. If this is your interest you'll find Haythornethwaite, Noseworthy, and Nafziger far better sources.
The predominant focus of this book is on the (British) experience of battle during the Napoleonic wars. In this strict regard, it is a very worthwhile source -- certainly a great starting point for further research in this area.
Obviously, next to being there, or participating in re-enactments that emphasize authenticity, the only source for us to understand the experience of a Napoleonic battle is from those who were there. Given this type of source (i.e., individuals), and realizing the limited perspective any one individual has on an entire battle, the value of this book is in the author's attempt to extract accounts of battle experience from a variety of documents.
Please keep this information in mind as you consider purchasing this book and as you read this book.
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am 2. Juli 2000
There is a case that can be made that this book should have been entitled British Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon, but this is still a valuable work that should be read and can be used with confidence as a reference.
There IS a lot of material on the British army of the Napoleonic Wars, and it is relatively easy to find, as it is in English. It gets harder to get information the further eastward you travel in Europe as the languages get just a little more exotic and harder to learn and understand. A basic knowledge of French and German is a definite bonus, but not everyone has those requisite language skills.
This book is lively, well-researched and does give some very interesting first hand accounts from the French point of view, as well as the Prussian. I would not be too quick to condemn the author's significant effort, and if this book is used as intended it can be most enjoyable and very useful.
Much better than Nosworthy's With Musket, Cannon, and Sword, both for accuracy and familiarity with the subject, this book is strongly recommended for both the enthusiast and the historian.
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 17. Juli 2000
This book is a steady, well-written introduction to Napoleonic warfare. It does a commendable job of summarizing a diverse topic, while including examples of tactical theory in execution (or not in execution, as the case may be).
The book's strong point is the writing style; Muir manages the fine trick of explaining Napoleonic tactics in everyday language, without being condescending to the reader. His approach is a good example for other writers on this subject, who sometimes sacrifice plain language in their quest for detail.
His objectivity is another strong point. He plays no favorites; Wellington and Napoleon are both praised and chastised for their genius and, at times, blundering.
I do wish he used more examples outside of the British army to lessen the Anglo flavor of the book. However, the experience of Napoleonic battle is universal enough, no matter what color soldiers' tunics were, that this does not detract seriously from the book.
This makes a good companion to John Keegan's "The Face of Battle," for those interested in the experience of war.
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am 1. März 2000
Waterloo Industry at work. The British are cute,or tough, and winners, whatever. It doesn't matter that they failed with invasion in 1806, they failed with invasion on Walcheren, that they failed in Spain in 1809, 250-mile desperate retreat before Napoleon, and a hurried embarking in La Coruna,a la Dunkirk! It doesn't matter that they lost at Talavera, it doesn't matter that Ney inflicted higher casualties on Wellington, than his own at Quatre Brass. It doesn't matter that Wellington messed up his concentration in 1815 despite of being the best informed of all commanders. Wellington is untouchable, and shining like a holy Madonna.
Author goes orgasmic about the British.
French, Russians, Austrians, Prussians?-I don't feel the love.
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am 26. Januar 2000
Oh, my goodness, one more book about the nonsense of British superiority. Superiority? Yeah, right, in boasting!
Another title such as "The British Tactics and Experience" would be more appropriate. The page to page one-sidedness is boring. After reading this book I should be greatly surprised that also the Russians and Austrians were able to defeat Napoleon. This book tries to persuade that winning was possible only by the superior "British and Company."
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am 3. Dezember 1999
With multiple European archives available, it is regrettable that Mr Muir has chosen to limit his sources and criteria to the extraordinary range that he does. The result is something akin to that found in a British wargaming magazine, rather than a serious historical study as suggested by the title. Missing this book would be a wise decision.
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am 16. Juli 1999
The title of this book is misleading, since it is actually about British tactics and their experiences. The cover of the book is also misleading, depicting Prussian infantry - this is about British! The author has relied on British witnesses and sources, who are of course always accurate, correct, and reliable. Sources, books, and opinions from somewhere other than England are labelled as much less reliable, sometimes ridiculed. Incredible arrogance.
From the perspective of the sideshow in Peninsula, the author generalizes about Napoleonic Wars which took place in Central Europe.
British victories got prolonged descriptions and quotations, whereas the victories over the British are shortened, described in a much less interesting way or ridiculed.
I have not seen such an anglophile book for quite a long time.
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am 24. Dezember 1999
My primary interest in this book was as a reference for wargaming the Napoleonic period. As such it is straight forward, enlightening, and full of common sense. It is not a general history of the period, nor is it a dramatic page turner. It is what it purports to be, and Muir does a damn good job of it.
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