Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia

By F. Loraine Petre

Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia cover

The Jena-Auerstadt campaign of 1806 was Napoleon's greatest victory. In six-and-a-half weeks from the time the French forces crossed the border, he had completely destroyed the Prussian army and morale. In this authoritative account F. Loraine Petre, one of the prominent military historians of the early twentieth century, and author of a total of five studies in the Napoleonic Wars (including Napoleon's Campaign in Poland 1806-7), describes with his usual meticulous attention to detail how Napoleon achieved this masterstroke.

On 8th October Napoleon's troops began their lightning strike towards Dresden, Leipzig and Berlin while his allies carried out diversionary manoeuvres towards Prussia's western frontiers. It was an obvious move for Napoleon, but one he calculated the Prussians with an inferior high command would therefore discount - until it happened. Over 200,000 men advanced in 'battalion square' to Dresden over difficult terrain, and on 14th October there followed the double battle of Jena-Auerstadt, in which the battalion square formation was used to devastating effect against greatly superior numbers. At Jena Napoleon gained a victory against the Prussian armies which he outnumbered, but at Auerstadt Marshal Davout triumphed over forces of twice his strength. Then followed a three-week dogged pursuit of the defeated Prussian army, at the end of which two-thirds of their troops were killed or prisoners of war, and four-fifths of Prussia was under Napoleon's sway.

F. Loraine Petre brilliantly recaptures the dramatic events of the war, detailing how it displayed Napoleon's genius as a commander and strategist to the full.

ISBN 1-85367-145-2 | Price: £19.50/$40.00

Format: 222 x 141mm | Pages: 344


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