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Book Review:
Napoleonic Battles

Napoleonic Battles, by Jonathan Sutherland
2003, The Crowood Press Ltd.

The first time I saw this book, I was not sure what it was. It was just too thin. But I spent a few minutes perusing it in the bookstore, and it found itself a home on my bookshelves.

In a mere 112 pages, Mr. Sutherland has provided a really nifty pocket reference. It lists all of the major battles and engagements of the Napoleonic Wars, beginning with the naval battle of Ushant in 1794 and ending with Waterloo. Obviously this volume only provides a short essay describing each battle. Most are accompanied by good, clear maps, and the book is nicely illustrated. A large number of the illustrations are photos of reenactors.

While not every battle is represented - Bailen, for example, is omitted - all of the major battles are here. All of the articles are easily read in a few minutes. Just great when you want the nickel tour of Wagram or Krasnyi (this usually happens to me when I’m reading something else). Each battle is also provided with a data chart listing dates, commanders, strengths of each combatant and who won.

It will by no means do justice to any battle. But if you really want the headlines from a battle in a few easy minutes, this handy pocket reference may be just the thing.

Review Posted May 15, 2004

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