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A Swedish Soldier in the Napoleonic Wars: The Memoirs of Carl Magnus Hultin, 1807-14

A Swedish Soldier in the Napoleonic Wars: The Memoirs of Carl Magnus Hultin, 1807-14

    A Swedish Soldier in the Napoleonic Wars:

    The Memoirs of Carl Magnus Hultin, 1807-14

Translated and edited by Erik Faithfull

Helion Publishing (From Reason to Revolution 1721-1815 No. 128) (2024)

ISBN: 9781804514344

Pages: 202

Images: 74 b/w photos & illustrations, 5 b/w maps

Being a collector and lover of Napoleonic memoirs, I was intrigued to receive a copy of this memoir of a Swedish soldier of the period, and I found it both fascinating and exceptionally good. Hultin joined the Militia during the war against Russia in 1808, then transferred to the regular Swedish army in 1809, serving in the Jonkoping Jagers during the Vasterbotten Expedition, witnessed the coup d’etat which removed King Gustav IV Adolf in 1809; then serving in the advance from Mecklenburg to Belgium during the wars of 1813-14. Finally, he took part in the campaign to force the unification of Norway and Sweden in 1814. He remained serving with the regiment as a junior officer, finally rising to Company Captain in the Jonkoping Regiment, finally retiring in 1842, aged 53.

Hultin wrote his journal in later life, having lost a bet! Therefore, his memory sometimes errs on dates or facts, but the editor skilfully corrects these errors in the copious notes he provides. The editor also provides short passages of explanation regarding the political situation and the military campaign in general, this is done with a commendable light touch, but this reader would have preferred a little more explanation of the battles, which are completely unknown to most Anglo-centric readers. But the heart of this excellent memoir are the funny & tragic scenes that Hultin recalls and the hardships the troops endured on campaign.

I found it a refreshing and fascinating account of a soldier in a Napoleonic army that I know little about, but now want to know much more about. Highly recommended.

Gareth Glover

May 2024