Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

Imperial Bayonets

George F. Nafziger

Imperial Bayonets cover


Imperial Bayonets examines the methods for infantry, cavalry and artillery fighting on a battery, battalion, regiment, brigade and army level during the Napoleonic period. The drill systems of the French, British, Russian, Prussian and Austrian armies, as laid down in the official regulations of the time, are fully explained. Having researched more than sixty contemporary drill regulations, and as many other documents of the period, the author provides a full record of the tactics of manoeuvre in the Napoleonic era, and whereas the original sources are not only hard to obtain but also difficult to understand (even those written in English), and poorly illustrated, Imperial Bayonets is a model of clarity and contains more than ninety illustrations of manoeuvres.

The system of warfare between 1792 and 1815 was unique in many respects, was greatly influenced by Napoleons innovations, and formed the basis for the evolution of warfare in the years to come. But owing to the lack of accurate technical data in print many people today are left with misconceptions about how the system worked. This invaluable book fills the gap in information and will be indispensable for historians, war-gamers and those who want to know how the armies of the Napoleonic period manoeuvred.


  • Definitive guide to Napoleonic tactics
  • From the official regulations of the period for each nation
  • Vital reference material for historians and war-gamers


"...An exceedingly useful book for anyone who wants to understand how a Napoleonic Army manoeuvred and fought...worth buying." - Practical Wargamer

"...Overall coverage of battlefield tactics and formations is exceptionally detailed and is well illustrated by plenty of diagrams and tables which are invaluable in clarifying the often highly complex manoeuvres of the period...invaluable for the Napoleonic enthusiast seeking a comprehensive study of the weapons and tactics of the period." - British Army Review

"...After so many Napoleonic books relying on colourful narrative or ill-founded theories, it is good to see a return to the "nuts and bolts" of what was actually happening on the ground in a well laid out guide. In a staggering collection...the key regulations for all three arms are examined and explained in the kind of comprehensive, yet understandable, detail sadly missed these days." - Dave Hollins, Military Illustrated

"...The invaluable substantiated information contained in the book is surely the life blood of wargame rules and table top manoeuvring. Highly recommended as a "must" for all "horse and musket" wargames." - Practical Wargamer

"...Should be essential reading." - Dave Hollins, The Age of Napoleon

"...This remarkable book...George Nafziger's comprehensive research and dispassionate treatment simply eclipses all of them (books previously published) by a very long way indeed. Everyone who has a serious interest in the military history of the period should be made to read Imperial Bayonets before they are allowed to read anything else." - John Cook, First Empire


George F. Nafziger is a military historian well known for his work on the Napoleonic period. His other acclaimed books include Napoleon's Invasion of Russia, Napoleon at Dresden, Lutzen & Bautzen, and (as joint author) Poles and Saxons of the Napoleonic Wars.

August 1996 | ISBN 1-85367-250-5 | Price: £25.00/$44.95

Format: 240 x 159mm | Pages: Approx 320

Features: Illustrated throughout with line drawings and diagrams.

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