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The Napoleon Series > Book Reviews > Books on military subjects

Aout 1813 Napoleon face a l'Europe Coalisée: Batailles de Grosbeeren, La Katzbach, Dresde et Kulm

By Pierre Juhel

Aout 1813  Napoleon face a l'Europe Coalisée cover

"Tradition" magazine has once again produced a reasonably priced book concerning the Napoleonic Wars. The first part of this book deals with the Armistice of Plieswitz and the Congress of Prague. Although Napoleon and the French army had been victorious at the battles of Lutzen (2 May 1813) and Bautzen (20 May 1813), its position was far from strong and Napoleon agreed to an armistice with Prussia and Russia. The armistice was largely organized by Prince Metternich who desired to maintain Austria's position as an armed mediator. The armistice was signed on 4 June 1813 and lasted until 10 August 1813.

The Congress of Prague opened with discussions among Austria, Prussia, Russia and France. While these discussions were proceeding the Austrians were resupplying the Prussian and Russian armies. Napoleon was fully aware of this activity. After much negotiation the outcome of the Congress resulted in Austria openly allying itself with Prussia and Russia against Napoleon. There is then a brief description of the various armies at the beginning of the campaign: France, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Sweden. It moves on to describe the strategies employed by the French and the Allied commanders.

The second part of the book goes on to describe the four battles of the campaign: Grosbeeren (23 August 1813), La Katzbach (26 August), Dresden (26 and 27 August) and Kulm (29 August). A separate chapter is devoted to each of the battles, including orders of battle (except for Kulm) down to the battalion level. Maps are included for each battle, in both black and white and color. The volume is illustrated throughout with illustrations of the commanders, painting of battle scenes and an excellent selection of uniform prints (many of these provided by Yves Martin, who many of you will know has contributed many articles on uniform plates and book reviews for the Napoleon Series). In total there are over 60 illustrations and a number of photographs of the battlefields as they appear today.

My last comment must be that even if you do not read French Aout 1813 is well worth purchasing just for the illustrations and at such a low price, it is a bargain!

The address for Traditions is: Traditions Magazine, LCV Services, 25 rue Bargue, 75015 Paris, France.

Reviewed by Tony Broughton, FINS