Reviews: Military Books



Brune’s 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania

de Saint-Junien, Vigier. Brune’s 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania West Chester: Nafziger Collection, 2001. Translated and compiled by Dr. George Nafziger.  73 pages. 3 maps. ISBN: 1-58545-078-2. $19.95. Paperback

Brune’s 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania

French accounts from the Napoleonic Wars that have been translated into English are rare, especially those covering lesser campaigns.  French operations in 1807 along the Baltic coast were overshadowed by the operations under Napoleon in Eastern Europe, which included the battles of Eylau and Friedland.  Furthermore, much of the campaign in Swedish Pomerania occurred after the Treaty of Tilsit and ended up as a minor footnote to the war.  Those who participated in the campaign, however, did not forget.  In 1825, Vigier de Saint-Junien, a French officer who served with Marshal Brune, published his Historical Account of the 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania of the Observation Corps of the Grande Armée commanded by Maréchal Brune followed by a Review of the Maréchal.  This work was written only months after the campaign ended, while de Saint-Junien was still in Swedish Pomerania.

Brune’s 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania covers all phases of the campaign, starting with an overview of the causes of hostility between France and Sweden, the French invasion, the siege of Stralsund, the French administration of the occupied territories, and English support for the Swedes. It also contains copies of the peace treaty between France and Prussia and the convention that ended the hostilities between France and Sweden. De Saint-Junien also provides a short biography of Marshal Brune.

De Saint-Junien’s account is very readable, however Dr. Nafziger does an outstanding job of editing and annotating it.  The actual account is only 32 pages long, but Dr. Nafziger includes 10 pages of notes that provide background on some of the more obscure individuals and events mentioned in the text.  Additionally, included in this edition are eight appendices that were not included in the original publication.   An interesting aspect of this campaign was that both forces were multi-national with the French using units that were French, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, and from minor German states, while the Allied force consisted of Swedes, Prussians, and British units.  Dr. Nafziger taps into his superb collection of orders-of-battle and there are 10 pages of French orders-of-battle taken from the French Army Archives and 2 pages on the Swedish-Allied force.  These orders-of-battle are down to battalion level and gives strengths for the units. Other appendices include information on the Spanish forces; accounts of the operations of the Dutch, Bavarian and Nassau troops, and the Sailors of the Imperial Guard; and the use of British King’s German Legion during the campaign.

Dr. Nafziger has done a masterful job of translating and compiling this little known work. Brune’s 1807 Campaign in Swedish Pomerania is packed information on this obscure campaign and is a must buy for those interested in the 1806-1807 Campaigns in Eastern Europe.  The book is only available through The Nafziger Collection.

Reviewed by Robert Burnham, FINS
Placed on the Napoleon Series: August 2001

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