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1809 Thunder on the Danube (Paperback)

Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Vol. III: Wagram and Znaim

Napoleonic Frontline Books Frontline: Napoleonic Era

By John H Gill
Frontline Books
Pages: 576
ISBN: 9781848327597
Published: 11th March 2014



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With this third volume John Gill brings to a close his magisterial study of the war between Napoleonic France and Habsburg Austria. The account begins with both armies recuperating on the banks of the Danube. As they rest, important action was taking place elsewhere: Eugene won a crucial victory over Johann on the anniversary of Marengo, Prince Poniatowski's Poles outflanked another Austrian archduke along the Vistula, and Marmont drove an Austrian force out of Dalmatia to join Napoleon at Vienna. These campaigns set the stage for the titanic Battle of Wagram.

Second only in scale to the slaughter at Leipzig in 1813, Wagram saw more than 320,000 men and 900 guns locked in two days of fury that ended with an Austrian retreat. The defeat, however, was not complete: Napoleon had to force another engagement before Charles would accept a ceasefire. The battle at Znaim, its true importance often not acknowledged, brought an extended armistice that ended with a peace treaty signed in Vienna.

Gill uses an impressive array of sources in an engaging narrative covering both the politics of emperors and the privations and hardship common soldiers suffered in battle. Enriched with unique illustrations, forty maps, and extraordinary order-of-battle detail, this work concludes an unrivalled English-language study of Napoleon's last victory.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book and wish it every success, footnotes and all.

The Napoleon Series - June 2010 - reviewed by Digby Smith

This is a very impressive piece of work, and it is unlikely to be surpassed for many years. Key amongst Gill's achievements are his impressive use of a wide range of sources from every combatant nation, the inclusive nature of the work, looking at every theatre in which the Austrian's faced Napoleon or his allies, and his ability to produce detailed accounts of battles that are still readable and allow one to follow the overall course of events. Gill has also produced an impressive selection of maps, illustrating both the overall campaigns and the details of the battles.

This is one of the best examples of 'traditional' military history that you will find, and will be of value to an academic audience and of great interest to a more general audience. A very impressive achievement and a very valuable guide to Napoleon's last great victory.

HistoryOfWar.Org - John Rickard
 John H Gill

About John H Gill

John H. Gill (Jack), a military historian specializing in the Napoleonic era, is the author of With Eagles to Glory and the editor of A Soldier for Napoleon. He has contributed numerous papers to the Consortium on the Revolutionary Era and other academic forums. His latest work is 1809: Thunder on the Danube, just published in March 2008, which is to be the first of three volumes.

An associate professor at the Near East-South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC, he has also published on military history and
contemporary security issues relating to India, Pakistan, and other South Asian countries.

A retired US Army colonel, he lives in Virginia, USA with his wife, and their two teenage sons.

John has also received the John Elting Award from the Napoleonic Historical Society for contributing to the study of Napoleonic history which was awarded to him for being a ‘fine historian’ and ‘great writer’.

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