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Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany
The Franco-Prussian War of 1813

Volume 1. The War of Liberation, Spring 1813

£24.99

Part of Cambridge Military Histories

  • Date Published: December 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107439733

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About the Authors
  • This is the first comprehensive history of the campaign that determined control of Germany following Napoleon's catastrophic defeat in Russia. Michael V. Leggiere reveals how, in the spring of 1813, Prussia, the weakest of the great powers, led the struggle against Napoleon as a war of national liberation. Using German, French, British, Russian, Austrian and Swedish sources, he provides a panoramic history that covers the full sweep of the battle for Germany from the mobilization of the belligerents, strategy, and operations to coalition warfare, diplomacy, and civil-military relations. He shows how Russian war weariness conflicted with Prussian impetuosity, resulting in the crisis that almost ended the Sixth Coalition in early June. In a single campaign, Napoleon drove the Russo–Prussian army from the banks of the Saale to the banks of the Oder. The Russo–Prussian alliance was perilously close to imploding, only to be saved at the eleventh-hour by an armistice.

    • The first comprehensive account of Prussia's war of liberation against Napoleon in spring 1813
    • Provides a follow-up to the well-known subject of Napoleon's defeat in Russia by examining a less well-known, but equally catastrophic, segment of Napoleonic history
    • Combines analysis of military operations, diplomacy and the experience of battle
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is by far the best study in English of the spring campaign of 1813 which played a crucial part in the final defeat of Napoleon. Based on an impressive array of archival and published sources in many languages, Michael V. Leggiere traces the desperate Prussian struggle against the new French armies raised by Napoleon after the disaster of 1812, and their equally decisive efforts to keep their exhausted Russian allies in the war. It is unlikely that Leggiere's account will ever be surpassed.' Rory Muir, author of Wellington: The Path to Victory, 1769–1814

    'The 1813 campaign has been rather neglected in recent decades, above all because it was the traditional stamping-ground of German nationalist historians preaching the virtues and achievements of Prussia and its army. It is high time for a detailed new military history rooted in sources not previously available which seeks to provide a balanced view of the Prussian war effort. Michael V. Leggiere does this with remarkable skill and the result is a readable and fascinating account of Prussia's remarkable achievement.' Dominic Lieven, author of Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814

    'I wish I had had this book in front of me while writing Citizen Emperor. This is a significant contribution to military history and sets Napoleon's loss of the German campaign in a context that has not been seen before in the English language. Leggiere is the preeminent military historian for the Napoleonic Wars.' Philip Dwyer, author of Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power, 1799–1815

    'With this first of two volumes on the 1813 Campaign, Michael V. Leggiere surely secures his position as a preeminent historian of Napoleonic warfare. In Napoleon and the Struggle for Germany, Leggiere uses profound archival research from across Europe to unearth the machinations and thought-processes within the disjointed allied command, and at Napoleon's headquarters. Leggiere reminds us of the complexity of war, and the inherent difficulty of maintaining alliances; and highlights parallels with the better known difficulties in the Anglo-American alliance during the Second World War.' Huw Davies, author of Wellington's Wars: The Making of a Military Genius

    'This is military history at its most instructive and fascinating. Leggiere skilfully links the dynamics of operational military history to the opportunities and strains of coalition warfare, showing how the Sixth Coalition faced major difficulties from the outset. This approach offers a valuable perspective in which to consider Napoleonic warfare.' Jeremy Black, author of The War of 1812 in the Age of Napoleon

    'Beyond doubt … Leggiere has made a major contribution to the literature, and military specialists will read his work with profit. His command of the narrative is assured and his judgements acute and sensible.' Charles J. Esdaile, H-France

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107439733
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 19 b/w illus. 26 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Odd man out
    2. A new coalition
    3. Saxony
    4. The Saale
    5. Großgörschen
    6. The Elbe
    7. Bautzen
    8. The Prussian Thermopylae
    9. Silesia
    Assessment
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Michael V. Leggiere, University of North Texas
    Michael V. Leggiere earned his PhD from Florida State University in 1997 after completing work at FSU's Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. His first book, Napoleon and Berlin: The Franco-Prussian War in North Germany, 1813 (2002) won the La Société Napoléonienne Internationale 2002 Literary Award. His article, 'From Berlin to Leipzig: Napoleon's Gamble in North Germany, 1813', which appeared in the January 2003 volume of The Journal of Military History, won the Society for Military History's 2004 Moncado Prize for excellence in military history. Dr Leggiere's second book, The Fall of Napoleon: The Allied Invasion of France, 1813–1814 (Cambridge, 2007) won the La Société Napoléonienne Internationale 2008 Literary Award. Dr Leggiere's third book, Blücher: Scourge of Napoleon, was published in February 2014. Dr Leggiere has conducted extensive archival research in Paris, Vienna, and Berlin in 1994, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2009 and topographic research in Germany, France, and Poland in 1998, 2002, and 2013. He is an active member of the Society for Military History, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era. In 2005 he received the La Société Napoléonienne Internationale Legion of Merit Award for Outstanding Contributions to Napoleonic Studies.

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