In 1812 two mighty armies manoeuvred across the Spanish plains. They were finely balanced, under skilful leaders. Each struggled to gain an advantage. Wellington knew that if he defeated the French, he could turn the tide of the war. Good intelligence was paramount, but the French were using a code of unrivalled complexity - the 'Great Paris Cipher'. It was an unprecedented challenge, and Wellington looked to one man to break the code: Major George Scovell. Using a network of Spanish guerrillas, Scovell amassed a stack of coded French messages, and set to work decrypting them. As a man of low birth, Scovell - even with his genius for languages, and bravery on a dozen battlefields - struggled for advancement amongst Wellington's inner circle of wealthier, better connected officers. Mark Urban draws on a wealth of original sources, including many cyphers and code-tables, to restore Scovell to his rightful place in history as the man who was the brains behind the intelligence battle against Napoleon's army and a forerunner of the great code-breakers of the 20th Century.
Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples and Spain, claimed that he had never wanted the overpowering roles thrust upon him by his illustrious younger brother Napoleon. Left to his own devices, he would probably have been a lawyer in his native Corsica, a country gentleman with leisure to read the great literature he treasured and oversee the maintenance of his property. When Napoleon's downfall forced Joseph into exile, he was able to become that country gentleman at last, but in a place he could scarcely have imagined. It comes as a surprise to most people that Joseph spent seventeen years in the United States following Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. In The Man Who Had Been King, Patricia Tyson Stroud has written a rich account—drawing on unpublished Bonaparte family letters—of this American exile, much of it passed in regal splendor high above the banks of the Delaware River in New Jersey. Upon his escape from France in 1815, Joseph arrived in the new land with a fortune in hand and shortly embarked upon building and fitting out the magnificent New Jersey estate he called Point Breeze. The palatial house was filled with paintings and sculpture by such luminaries as David, Canova, Rubens, and Titian. The surrounding park extended to 1,800 acres of luxuriously landscaped gardens, with twelve miles of carriage roads, an artificial lake, and a network of subterranean tunnels that aroused much local speculation. Stroud recounts how Joseph became friend and host to many of the nation's wealthiest and most cultivated citizens, and how his art collection played a crucial role in transmitting high European taste to America. He never ceased longing for his homeland, however. Despite his republican airs, he never stopped styling himself as "the Count de Survilliers," a noble title he fabricated on his first flight from France in 1814, when Napoleon was exiled to Elba, nor did he ever learn more than rudimentary English. Although he would repeatedly plead with his wife to join him, he was not a faithful husband, and Stroud narrates his affairs with an American and a Frenchwoman, both of whom bore him children. Yet he continued to feel the separation from his two legitimate daughters keenly and never stopped plotting to ensure the dynastic survival of the Bonapartes. In the end, the man who had been king returned to Europe, where he was eventually interred next to the tomb of his brother in Les Invalides. But the legacy of Joseph Bonaparte in America remains, and it is this that Patricia Tyson Stroud has masterfully uncovered in a book that is sure to appeal to lovers of art and gardens and European and American history.
Explains his influence on the military, law, politics, and religion Get the real story of Napoleon Bonaparte Not sure what's true about Napoleon? This easy-to-follow guide gets past the stereotypes and introduces you to this extraordinary man's beginnings, accomplishments, and famous romances. It traces Napoleon's rise from Corsican military cadet to Emperor of the French, chronicles his military campaigns, explains the mistakes that led to his removal from power, and explores his lasting impact on Europe and the world. Discover * How Napoleon built -- and lost -- an empire * The forces that influenced him * Why he created the Napoleonic Code * The inside story on Josephine * How he helped shape modern-day Europe
Ever since the 15th century Switzerland had been exporting professional soldiers to serve as mercenaries for foreign monarchies. Napoleon, therefore, was not the first to make full use of the martial qualities of the Swiss and obtained Swiss agreement to expand the recruitment of regiments for service in the French Army. Napoleon would use Swiss troops on the battlefields of Italy and Spain, and in 1812 re-organize the four original regiments into a single division for the invasion of Russia, with each regiment having three full-strength battalions. In November of 1812, meeting up with Napoleon's main force retreating from Moscow at the Berezina River, the Swiss on the west bank guarded the approaches to the pontoon bridges from the Russian attack to the south. Just 1,200 Swiss out of the approximately 8,000 that entered Russia were left to face, along with 8,000 other remnants of other units, the 30,000-strong Russian army. The Swiss held their ground and when their ammunition ran out they charged the Russians with bayonets. This book reveals the proud combat history of the Swiss troops of Napoleon's army as well as the colourful uniforms they wore.
The mighty genius of Napoleon has so overshadowed all those beneath him that they have not received their due praise, nor their proper place in history.... But with weak men Napoleon never could have unsettled Europe, and founded and maintained his Empire. The Marshals who led his armies, and governed his conquered provinces, were men of native strength and genius; and as they stand grouped around their mighty chief, they form a circle of military leaders, the like of whom the world has never at one time beheld. -from the Preface Within the reign of Napoleon still in the living memory of some, American author J. T. Headley took on the daunting task of rehabilitating the names and deeds of the emperor's righthand men, virtuoso military strategists and men of dauntless action eclipsed only by the brilliance of their leader. Gathered from essays that appeared in magazines in 1846, this striking two-volume work-notable in itself for being the first books published by the now legendary Scribner and Co.-offers an extraordinary and unparalleled look at Napoleon's most trusted generals. After a brief defense of Napoleon against British historians and an analysis of the emperor's character, Volume I introduces us to: . Marshal Berthier, Duke of Neufchatel, Prince of Wagram, whom Headley calls Napoleon's Boswell . Marshal Lannes, Duke of Montebello, a man of humble birth whose "reckless daring and unconquerable resolution" caught Napoleon's eye . Marshal Macdonald, Duke of Tarentum, as bold and steely as Bonaparte himself . as well as Augereau, Davoust, St. Cyr, Moncey, Mortier, and Soult. OF INTEREST TO: military historians, readers of biographies, students of the Napoleonic Wars American writer and journalist JOEL TYLER HEADLEY (1813-1897) was an editor at the New York Tribune and wrote extensively on historical matters. Among his many books are Washington and his Generals (1847), Life of Cromwell (1848), and the bestselling Life of Washington (1857).
The War of Wars is the thrilling narrative of the twenty-two-year struggle between two great powers: England and France. At the turn of the eighteenth century the greatest nations in Europe, separated by only 21 miles of water, offered two distinct idealogies that would shape the new century: in England there was a democratic, constitutional monarchy; in France the cataclysm of Revolution had dragged the absolute King from the throne and replaced him with the Mob. Out of that maelstrom emerged a military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte, commander of the revolutionary army, who went on to conquer Italy and Egypt before returning to Paris to proclaim himself Emperor. As Napoleon gained power in France, the world stood on the brink of total war. By 1805 the victorious General was making plans to cross the channel and invade England.The subsequent drama reaches from the frozen plains surrounding Moscow to the waters of the Caribbean, from the debating chamber of Parliament to the muddy fields of Waterloo. 1793-1815 can truly be called the first global war; it was also the first conflict driven by industrial might. And it was a battle between commanders that history will never forget: as Napoleon's forces moved to engulf Europe, it was men like Duke Charles of Hapsburg and Gebhard von Blucher, the Duke of Wellington and Horatio Nelson, who turned the tide. Through the story of battles, politics and diplomacy of the era, Robert Harvey brings vivid new life to these men who changed the course of history - for out of the furnace of the Napoleonic Wars, the modern world was born.
The men who fought in Napoleon’s Grande Armée built a new empire that changed the world. Remarkably, the same men raised arms during the French Revolution for liberté, égalité, and fraternité. In just over a decade, these freedom fighters, who had once struggled to overthrow tyrants, rallied to the side of a man who wanted to dominate Europe. What was behind this drastic change of heart? In this ground-breaking study, Michael J. Hughes shows how Napoleonic military culture shaped the motivation of Napoleon’s soldiers. Relying on extensive archival research and blending cultural and military history, Hughes demonstrates that the Napoleonic regime incorporated elements from both the Old Regime and French Revolutionary military culture to craft a new military culture, characterized by loyalty to both Napoleon and the preservation of French hegemony in Europe. Underscoring this new, hybrid military culture were five sources of motivation: honor, patriotism, a martial and virile masculinity, devotion to Napoleon, and coercion. Forging Napoleon's Grande Armée vividly illustrates how this many-pronged culture gave Napoleon’s soldiers reasons to fight.