Some Reconstructed Bibliographical Notes

A Discussion

Overall Introduction

Mea Culpa. I was very naive.

My plan when I began this website was that I'd present well known but useful facts in a new, but more accessible format. That was long enough ago that the widespread use of the web by the general public was still relatively new.

I knew there'd been a huge amount of information published about the Napoleonic Era and I assumed basic facts about battles, force levels, and the major events of important people's lives were well known and agreed upon. Sure there'd be controversy about interpretation, about why people did what they did, how they could have done better and what it meant, but certainly the basic simple facts were well known. I did not anticipate the need for any significant research or attribution.

As a consequence I did not include footnotes or bibliographical notes for my information as I built the site.

This post is a reconstruction of what such attribution might have looked like. It is a partial replacement for my original oversight.

There were four books that I referenced first and relied upon as starting points throughout the whole effort.

These four standard references were:

Regards "The Campaigns of Napoleon" and his "Dictionary", Chandler is regarded, as he himself notes in the Introduction to the Dictionary, as "the leading authority on the subject". At least in English and during most of my life.

Nevertheless even the best authorities sometimes nod or have typos, the back of the dust jacket of my copy of Campaigns has the French and Austrians fighting at Bautzen, so it seemed wise to supplement him. The West Point Atlas is a superb piece of work, and generally acknowledged as such, so it was a "no-brainer". I cannot recall the circumstances under which I procured Stephen Pope's Dictionary, likely it was simply while browsing a bookstore, but it is cleanly organized and well written. The introduction provides a potted history of the period but the work does not appear to possess any information on the sources it used beyond an acknowledgement of "the good will and expertise of librarians all over the country" and of the "Norwich-based Design and Reference Group" in particular.

I also, from my notes (sketchy and unclear as they mostly are),  appear to have occassionally consulted wikipedia and the odd Osprey book when the standard entries were inadequate.   Particularily in the case of the wiki this is an uncertain target as most of this "research" (I think proper research would have meant going to a proper university library and likely making a few interlibrary loans) was carried out in the mid-2000s.  The various online sources for Napoleonics have improved immensely since that time.

The use of ad hoc online research appears to have been particularily common for Austrian, Prussian and Russian generals and for the period between 1798 and 1805.  English language sources not being all that plentiful for these topics.

I attempted to resurrect several old machines from storage to trace my original online efforts and promptly ran into the delights of Windows updates.  Also whatever electronic data I made copies of of seems to have been partial and poorly organized.  Just the same where notes and electronic records are clear I'll make note of them below in the sections on particular campaigns.  Mostly,  as I have already implied, this was where my standard English language references of Chandler and the West Point Atlas failed me and I could not find a book or books in English that filled the gap adequately.  

I should note that I am not fluent (and some might dispute that) in any language other than English and that where I consulted French or German sources I was mostly just pulling proper nouns (people and places), dates and numbers from text, tables and maps.  I think this was useful but it's certainly not as good as being able to follow a narrative let alone the subtleties in it.  This issue was complicated by the fact that many of the digitizations I originally looked at didn't actually scan any pull out tables or maps.   This sitituation certainly seems to have improved considerably.

There do remain issues of usage.  For instance while attempting to refind the digitizations of contemporary works I originally used I came across some works held in the French National Archives (Bibliotheque national de France see  This included some maps from a French Army history written just prior to the First World War and digitized in 2013.  They're beautiful and detailed and I really wished I'd had them when I'd made my original entries on the website.  However, if I understand the french (and a certain amount of English legalese) correctly, you must pay for any copies you make and they're explicitly for private personal use and not for any commercial purpose.  So useful for increasing personal understanding maybe but certainly no reproduction and I think no sole sourcing.

If you wish to check out these maps yourself the URL worked as of 2017-04-11.  The online reader provided makes the maps fully zoomable.  You do need to click the Zoom icon on the left first.

They are from a three volume history done by Ernest Picard and Paul Azan entitled "La Campagne de 1800 en Allemagne".

For more regards online sources see the detailed notes below.

Think that's enough general mulling over of the topic. Time to try and give an idea of my specific sources for particular periods. Should note that  most of these I did not read straight through to build coherent narratives from. Many of them I just mined for a few names or numbers. Many I just looked at in an effort to see if numbers I already had made any sense. Also some of these works span more periods than the specific ones I've associated them with. But I've tried to link them with the time and places I used them most for.


Campaigns 1792 to 1795

My mostly rather sketchy coverage of this period came primarily from the standard references already mentioned.  I wanted to include this period for completeness and so references to it would make some sense but deliberately tried to avoid getting into any depth.  The outcome of events in this period had more to do with politics  and social trends  than purely military operations.  I suspect that it cannot be emphasized enough that events in France were not the primary, let alone the only,  foreign policy concern of the other major powers.  In particular the Prussians, Russians and Austrians were involved with each other and the partition of Poland.  Russian and Austria were also both focused on the Ottoman Turks.    Neither the English nor Napoleon having been involved in any important way it also tends to be covered rather poorly in accessible accounts in English.   

Also though my notes have me using DeBrett's collections of State Papers  for the Battle of Stockach in 1799 (Vol. VIII page 658) there's no actual indication of my having used them for the period 1792-95 or for events in Switzerland and Italy during 1799 and 1800.  


Napoleon's First Italian Campaign 1796 to 1797

Generally the first book I consulted, after the West Point Atlas and Chandler's "Campaigns", to get the overall sense of a campaign was James Marshall-Cornwall's "Napoleon as A Military Commander". Certainly true for the Italian Campaign 1796 to 1797.

Cornwell's book was good for a starting outline but for details I depended very heavily on Martin Boycott-Brown's "The Road to Rivoli".

Of all the Napoleonic histories I read there are two I remember reading with outright joy. Lieven's "Russia Against Napoleon" was one. "The Road to Rivoli" was the other.

Boycott-Brown writes that he "merely aims to tell the story of the campaign", but he does a magnificent job of it. His work is both scholarly and accessible.

The work is particularly strong in regards to the initial breakthrough to the plains of Piedmont. This nicely complements the more conventional focus on Bonapartes later defeat of the various Austrian attempts to relieve Mantua.

It is also made clear that despite Bonapartes impressive victories around Mantua he did not have things all his own way.

The initial seige of Mantua was raised and in the process a seige train Bonaparte had been able to assemble only with great effort lost. It was not all that was lost. Many veterans, officers and men, were lost too. The French Army of Italy was victorious in the end, but also significantly damaged.

This pattern of obtaining success, but only at the cost of the prolific sacrifice of resources in men and material, was to become typical of Napoleon. It's hard to argue with such great success, but one wonders if this habit was not responsible for his final failure.

In any event, whatever wider questions Boycott-Brown's work raises, it was also very useful in tracking the identity and strength of the forces both sides had available. He is careful to establish before each major event the forces involved and their strength.  And afterwards the losses incurred.

In addition to force strengths there are questions of geography. Boycott-Brown was good here too. And the West Point Atlas, of course, was also a major resource. There are now some non-traditional resources available. I supplemented Boycott-Brown's descriptions and the West Point Atlas's maps with Google Earth especially for the initial stages in the area between Savona and Ceva and  the area around Verona where Napoleon met most of the Austrian efforts to relieve Manuta.

German Campaigns of 1796 to 1799

It was with this period that I truly began to realize how naive my initial idea, my original concept for the website, actually was. That idea was that the creation of a simple but comprehensive rendition of basic material facts in a standard accessible format might be a somewhat laborious but basically straightforward task.

I haven't attempted a genuine survey, but currently in 2017 there seem to be several good outlines available of events in Germany for this period. From the usual suspects online at least. When I started my website over a decade ago, this was much less true. In English anything that didn't involve Napoleon himself or the English themselves was very neglected. People quite understandably lament the problems the Internet has created for the traditional publishing industry. However the filtering function that traditional publishers imposed because they had to find good sized paying audiences for their products certainly kept a lot of information on interesting and important but less popular topics from being available.

There were more issues than that though. In addition to the peculiar tendancy of the French, Germans, and Austrians for writing their histories in French or German primary sources were surprisingly sparse and untrustworthy when available.

The main participants were not that interested in leaving an accurate record for posterity.

The French are a fairly prolific source of bulletins and personal accounts but write with blatently political intent. Some mixture of making France and themselves look as good as possible. They exaggerate their opposition and their successes and underplay their setbacks. You see plenty about French courage and little to nothing about what losses they have taken.

Still compared to the Austrians the French are fonts of information however unreliable.

The Austrians in this period considered military information a form of state secret. It's also useful to remember Austria was not a modern nation-state but rather a kind of family business in which family members were inclined to squabbling over their inheritence. The Emperor did not fully trust even his own brothers. He did tend to trust them more than his other servants.

The Austrians were quite lucky to have the Archduke Charles. Very competant and politically able to exercise that competance to a considerable degree.

When comparing him to Napoleon it's important to remember that he did not have Napoleon's license to bet the farm on a military manouver or to cut deals with his opponents.

Archduke Charles wrote an account of the 1796 Rhine campaign that based on my notes I used for at least some OBs (for instance Austrian strength as of 22 October) but I appear to have lost all the bibliographical information. There is a version available in English from the Nafizger Collections (See my Links Page for that). However I don't have a copy of the book on my shelves so I may have either borrowed the book or used an online version, perhaps one still in german just for the tables and numbers. Sadly I don't remember.

A second work my notes indicate I used was "Archibald". This was almost certainly Sir Archibald Alison's "The History of Europe" which is available online and for which I've included a reference in the detailed bibiliographic notes below.

My notes also sporadically reference "Jomini". They have for example things like "Jomini says Austrians lost 300 or 400 at Emmendigen" but with absolutely no bibliographical information on which of his many works that might be from. It's very unlikely that if I'd read anything very much of his that my memory would be so vague, this might very well reference his annotations to Archduke Charles's work.

Cryptic notes similar to the Jomini ones appear for "St.Cyr". For example " St.Cyr gives Moreau 45 btl & 72 sqn ". From an online memoir I'd guess,  but absolutely no actual bibliographical information written down and less memory. I've done an online search and included a reference to his online memoirs (in french) in the detailed bibliographical notes below.

The one work I do remember well was that by Thomas Graham. Baron Lynedoch. Graham later became one of Wellington's better generals.

I consulted Graham's narrative, "Accounts of the War in Germany and Italy in 1796" extensively. I used it both for a sense of the overall campaign and for the specifics of particular battles.

Additionally my notebook references "The Annals of the Wars of the Eighteenth Century" vol.V, 1796-1799 by Sir Edward Cust. I don't know to what extent I used it.

Also some mention of a work called "Historie Armees Francais" as a "very good source".


An enigma wrapped in a mystery. There's no doubt that Napoleon's expedition to Eygpt and Syria was an incrediably important event both culturally and militarily. It was the fruits of the new European Englightment meeting head on with the Ancien Regieme of the Islamic world. Not my topic, however, and there seems to have been surprisingly little written on it, at least in English.

The English mostly seem to believe Admiral Nelson's victory at the "Battle of the Nile" to have made Napoleons whole effort moot. They're not inclined to look into it much further.

This is a great pity as it'd certainly be very interesting to properly understand how Europe went from being on the slowly losing defense against the Ottomans to being able to defy them in their heartlands. But in English the Austrian campaigns of the late 17th century and Napoleon's expedition both go largely uncovered.

That said I have one book on my shelves for this topic. This being Juan Cole's "Napoleon's Eygpt, Invading the Middle East". The main two points I remember from this book are the extreme privations suffered by the French soldiery and the not unrelated total unreceptiveness of the local populations to French offers of liberation and enlightment. Napoleon's moral flexibility in the face of political expediancy came as no surprise.

For numbers and narrow technical details of military matters, if I remember correctly, I mostly had to rely on a motley collection of other sources.

Napoleon's Second Italian Campaign and the German Campaign of 1800

Chandler makes a good case for the accurate history of this period having suffered from the needs of political propoganda. Particularly in regards to Marango. Suffice it to say that who made the greater contribution to victory, Moreau in Germany or Napoleon in Italy,  was something of a political football.

From the practical point of view of someone trying to reconstruct events for this time, the main consequence of this is that although Napoleon's efforts in Italy are throughly, if maybe not accurately, covered while the information available on the campaign in Germany is quite sparse.

My notes reference the Osprey book on Marango by David Hollins as being particularily useful.   See the notes below for full details.

Additionally I have notes from "Life and Times of Victor Moreau" by "staff" translated by John Davis and published in 1806

My notes also reference the  "History of the Wars of the French Revolution" by Edward Baines.

Sourced  the 1799 Battle of Stockach from page 658 account in Debritt state papers vol. VIII published in 1800. Also notes mention account in same source of events in Italy in 1799.

It's also clear that I used online copies of accounts by Saint-Cyr and the Archduke Charles to flesh out my OBs. I failed to include bibliographical information for these. Searching for them online for this post (April 2017) it became clear that I likely used French language versions for both and that I referenced tables and the odd numbers in the text without attempting to follow their narratives.

The Archduke Charles's account was originally in German and an English version is available from the Nafiziger Collection. It seems to have been available for purchase at the time I constructed the website, but for what ever reason I don't seem to have used it.

Austrian Campaign 1805

This campaign being perhaps the apogee of Napoleon's career Chandler covers it well.

Also this being the first use of the Grande Armee, that had been trained on the Channel coast for the invasion of Britain, general works on that army tend to be quite useful for this campaign.

Bowden's book provides a lot of additional detail and is particularily useful for the first part of the campaign.

I'm not sure to what extent I used Goetz's book.  I suspect I used mostly it as a check on what I'd read in my standard references and Bowden's work.

Throughout the Napoleonic Period I used excerpts from Henri Lachouque that I had on file.

Apparently also made some use of Google Earth and made a small table mapping the German place names of 1805 to their modern Slavic equivalents.

Also note that the 430 seems to be the Brunn to Olmutz road.

Prussian Campaign 1806-07

Another campaign well covered by the standard references and especially Chandler.

In addition to his "Campaign's" Chandler wrote the Osprey book for this campaign.

Accounts get a bit muddier for the second part of the campaign in Poland against the Russians.

I have some vague memory of finding Petre's account of the Campaign in Poland useful but there is absolutely no support in my notes for this.

In general though my memory is that I found both Petre's work and that of Maude to be very useful I seem to have few if any notes from them.

Again I made some use of Google Earth to make sense of the geography and East Prussia now being divided between Poland and Russia made up another little table associating former German place names to the new Slavic ones.

The Peninsula

Again the standard references work well for the Peninsula.

For the British the Peninsula is the most salient part of the Napoleonic Wars and there has been a lot written on it in English.

At first I did have trouble  making clear sense of events in the Peninsular War.

Reading "The Peninsular War" by Charles Esdaile and then slogging through Oman's entire history did a lot to help with that.

Most higher level accounts in English give an overview of Wellington's operations, but do so in a near vacumn neglecting the fact that they were part of a larger war, ableit a very important part, that was fought by the Spanish against their French occupiers.

Austrian Campaign 1809

For Austrian Campaign of 1809 the standard references, Chandler in particular, are again very useful.

The Polish Campaign of 1807 and events in the Peninsula in 1808, particularily Baylen, may hinted have that Napoleon wasn't invincible but the Austrian campaign of 1809 made that clear. Napoleon did emerge victorious in the end, but only with the brutal application of greater force, and at great cost. The old magic was gone. This makes this a well studied campaign.

Epstein's "Napoleon's Last Victory and the Emergence of Modern War" is the poster child for such studies.

Rothenburg's "The Emperor's Last Victory" is very solid and useful too. I think if you only wanted to read one book on the campaign Rothenburg's would be it.

Russian Campaign 1812

Have detailed notes made based on a library copy of Christopher Duffy's Borodino. I had planned that Borodino would be the battle I did a game on after Lutzen and Bautzen.

My notes also include references to a work by Gaspard Gourgand on Napoleon's Grand Army in Russia. I used a copy from the University of Toronto's Roberts Library that I procured via interlibrary loan via my local library in Bridgewater Nova Scotia. The librarians in Bridgewater were extremely helpful.

My notes indicate that I also procured copies of Anthony Brett-Jones "1812; Eyewitness Account of Napoleon's Defeat in Russia", Ronald Frederick Delderfield's "The Retreat From Moscow", and Paul Britten Austin's "1812 The March on Moscow".

Additionally I have notes and photocopies from two works of H. Lachouque, which would have been the "Anatomy of Glory" and "Napoleons Battles; A History of His Campaigns". References to these two books appear in my notes for most of the Napoleonic War period.

The original notes would have been made in late 1994 and early 1995 and its not at all clear to me how long I had these books for, how throughly I used them, or how much of the information in them found its way into the website I started almost a decade later.

More recently I found both Clausewitz's account of the campaign and Lieven's "Russia Against Napoleon" to be very interesting and useful. Can't recommend either enough.

That a good part of Napoleon's army died of thirst not cold, and before not after reaching Moscow, is a useful corrective to that popular image of stragglers stumbling through the snow. That disease not the cold directly finished off many of his troops off is also useful to know. Hard to fit into a presentation organized around short recapitulations of battles mind you.

I have Adam Zamoyski's "Moscow 1812, Napoleon's Fatal March" and Stephan Talty's "The Illustrious Dead, the Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army" on my shelves, but do not know to what degree I used them if at all.

German Campaign 1813

Standard references fairly good for this campaign but it was a complicated one and very large forces were involved.

Heavily dependant on Chandler, Petre and Maude with backing from Bowden and Nafziger for Order of Battle details.

Originally used copies of Chandler, Petre and Maude that I procured via interlibrary load. Have since procured my own copies of Chandler's Campaigns and Petre's "Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany 1813". Maude is available online. Petre's is likely the book you'd go to if you could only read one.

I've typewritten copies of OBs purchased from Nafziger, which I believe I checked against OBs from other sources when working on an abortive effort at games on Lutzen and Bautzen in the mid-90s. I don't believe I directly referenced those OBs for the website. That said Nafziger does excellent work, it's detailed and based on primary sources. See the Links page for a direct link to his website. He's now made his OBs freely available through a U.S. Army website.

Have photocopies from Lachaque's "Anatomy of Glory" and "Campaigns" that I used.

The Osprey book by Peter Hofschhroer deserves mention for making the biggest and arguably most important battle of the Napoleonic Wars understandable and placing it in the context of the smaller battles preceding it.

French Campaign 1814

Consulted my standard references, of course, but Henry Houssaye was my go-to source for this campaign.

Have photocopies from Lachouque which would have used for OBs.

Hundred Days 1815

Waterloo is proverbial, the most famous battle in the English language. So there's been a lot written about it.

It was, however, the climax of a campaign, however short, and the real story of that campaign is that Blucher was willing to first meet Napoleon at Ligny and then just a couple of days later insist on joining Wellington at Waterloo.

That said Wellington did go toe to toe with Napoleon, win, and win big.

Exactly how that came about is a complicated issue that I doubt has been mined out yet. There's always going to be another interesting book on Waterloo to read.

The memoirs of Baron von Muffling are a useful first hand insight into the critical co-ordination between the Allied and Prussian armies.

Again have notes from Lachouque's "Anatomy of Glory" and "Campaigns" for OBs. Likely needed them less than for other campaigns, both Bowden and Mark Adkin have written very detailed reference works.

Chandler's Campaigns and Jac Wellers book were my likely starting points a couple of decades ago now.

From my notes I likely supplemented those starting points with a borrowed copy of Scott Bowden's "Armies at Waterloo". Which, if it's like his other works that I have personal copies of, is an extremely detailed and well organized book.

Be that as it might the reference work I spent hours poring over and re-reading was Mark Adkin's "The Waterloo Companion". He goes to great (but not excessive surely) extremes to explain the effects of the battlefield's topography.


Book Details:

Used Throughout As Standard References

Used Throughout Secondary References

Campaigns 1792 to 1795

I strongly suspect used some of the sources (esp. Baines) mentioned below for period 1796 to 1800 here also, but notes are deficient.

Campaigns in Italy and Germany from 1796 through 1800

Note ommission of Austrian and Russian campaigns in Switzerland and Italy during 1799 under Suverov, I simply didn't have sources felt comfortable with circa 2009.  (Though there is a book by C. Duffy haven't yet read as of April 2017). Hope to fix this in the future.

Also note though I've attempted to provide OCLC numbers where no ISBNs are available they may not match the exact editions have actually used or given URLs to.


Napoleonic Wars 1803-1815 Overall

The Peninsula

Austrian Campaign 1805

Prussian Campaign 1806-1807

Austrian Campaign 1809

Russian Campaign 1812

German Campaign 1813

French Campaign 1814

Hundred Days 1815

Other Books Referenced:


Other Books Not Referenced:

Books May or May Not Have Used the Odd Fact From

Basically I had planned after my Hundred Days set of battle games on Waterloo, Ligny, Quatre Bras, and Wavre to do follow on games on 1813 (Lutzen, Bautzen, Leipzig etc) and then the Russian campaign (Borodino mainly). To that end I used inter-library loan to borrow a number of books covering the period. As my game system targeted setpiece battles limited in both time and area, between fairly large forces (Quatre Bras didn't really work out that well) that's what my research concentrated on. I tried to establish four main things as expeditiously as I could. First of all I wanted pretty good OBs complete and at least down to brigade level and down to to battalions if possible. Most importantly for the forces available prior to the battle but ideally for afterwards too. Not as straight forward as you'd think, busy people often have better things to do than count heads, dead people do even more poorly at it. Second I wanted timelines for the major events in the battles. Ideally a database of where every unit in the OBs was at, say, 20 minute intervals. I knew this was ambitious. Still knowing the major movements of both the highest level and second highest level forces under high command (practically speaking the Corps and Divisions) didn't seem impossible, and also without at least that amount of information it is hard to see how one could truly understand what had happened. I must say that at that time (Winter 1994 and Spring 1995) I had insufficient appreciation of the fact that standard time was essentially invented in the mid 19th century with the advent of the railroad. I certainly hadn't realized that the wrist watch was an invention of the First World War (good to be in the right place when those artillery barrages arrive). So even assuming accurate record keeping was a priority for the participents in a battle (certainly not an assumption I'd make just to be perfectly clear) time simply wasn't as precise or standardized as it's since become. Third, simple and basic, but absolutely necessary I wanted a map of the terrain the battles were fought over. Certainly where places were and how far apart, but also the nature of the terrain. To some extent the precise weather at the time of the battle matters. Is that road sticky mud or dry? Is hard ground going to allow cannon balls to bounce and inflict greater damage or will soft ground limit their effect? Line of sight matters. Can the commanding general directly see the skirmish developing over there, in that valley on the other side of that line of trees? How quickly can a messenger get over there if he wants them to break it off? Fourth and last, not least but certainly dependant on the first three sets of information, I wanted to establish what the commanding generals, the top decision makers, on each side knew at any given time, what decisions they'd made, what orders they'd given, and, if at all possible, why.

Ideally knowing the decisions commanders had made, why and having determined the effects of those orders we'd be in a position to improve future decisions. If you think the world would be a better place for better decisions based on better understanding than this is a good thing.

Practically my point here is that I only had temporary possession of these books for a short time in the mid-90s. I did not read them with the intent of absorbing their point of views or the stories they were trying to present. I just attempted to mine them for the specific sorts of information I've detailed above. I most certainly did not use them directly in constructing the website. That said its very likely the odd fact found its way from my notes into the website. It's very unlikely what understanding I managed obtain from them did not influence the site. So having found my old inter-library request slips I'm going to catalog the books I requested below. Some of these books, notably Chandler's Campaigns and Petre's work on 1813, I later obtained my own copies of and I won't mention these below.

Transcribed from handwritten notes. Sorry but I don't doubt errors abound.

More About Online Sources

Rather embarrassing didn't notice this earlier but turns out the BNF ( Bibliotheque nationale de France ) has a page in English on Usage fees at

Home page at "  "in English at " ".

I'm absolutely certain there's much more available online now (April 2017) than I'm referencing here. I hope to follow up on this some day. Right now I'm mainly just trying to reconstruct the references I used in constructing the website. If that  incidently helps provide source leads that's great but it's tangential.


No comment section. Godwin's Law. A conversation on the Internet is almost guaranteed to over boldly go where no intelligent creature wants to.

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