1809 Thunder on the Danube (ePub)
Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Vol. III: Wagram and Znaim
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.
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.HistoryOfWar.Org - John Rickard
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.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book and wish it every success, footnotes and all.The Napoleon Series - June 2010 - reviewed by Digby Smith
In the second volume of this epic work, John H. Gill traces Napoleon's progress as he sought to complete his victory over the Habsburgs. The war had erupted on April 10th with Austria's invasion of Germany and Italy. After just two weeks, Napoleon had battered the Habsburg Archduke Charles in a series of bruising defeats. This volume begins with a Napoleon astride the Danube at Regensburg. He faced a critical strategic choice - whether to pursue the injured Austrian main army into Bohemia or march directly for Vienna, the seat of Habsburg power. After electing to target Vienna, his troops defeated…By John H Gill
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