Another advantage with an author such as Col Elting is that when he did find mistakes that he had made, he published the errata. When I saw that, I annotated my paperback copy of Swords.
Additionally, footnoting every sentence, thought, and phrase isn't necessary. If people don't believe an author, then look in his sourcing, which in Swords is abundant. I've found a good chunk of it because Col Elting was kind enough to give me the twenty-five bound La Sabretache books and I've gone in them to look. Most, if not all, of that material was not published before in English. I've also been fortunate in that Mrs. Elting was kind enough to give me a lot of the Col's notes, finding source material used in the book there.
Weiss' problem with the book and the author is that Col Elting admired both Napoleon and the Grande Armee. Therefore comes the need to denigrate and unjustly and inaccurately describe it through his own personal bias. When asked specifically what's wrong in his opinion, as I have done more than once, he won't answer.
I will have to disagree with you on the use of the term 'primer' for the volume. As an organizational history of the Grande Armee, you won't find its like in English. There's actually more there than meets the eye and much of the material used was primary material, though some of it was contained in excellent secondary sources, such as Martinien, Avril, La Sabretache, Morvan and others. Some of the sourcing I haven't seen used by any other authors on the period. Of course, that might be because of my own ignorance. Rothenberg's book Warfare in the Age of Napoleon could be considered a 'primer'-I don't think either Swords or Campaigns fall in that category. To each his own, though. Good posting, as usual.