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Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars (ePub)

A Concise Dictionary, 1792-1815

Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: Napoleonic Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic > Battle of Waterloo Military > Weaponry

By Kevin F Kiley
Frontline Books
File Size: 59.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 632
Illustrations: Integrated illustrations & 1x8 page colour plates
ISBN: 9781848329553
Published: 9th February 2021


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Napoleon began his military career as an artillery cadet and artillery played a fundamental part in all his great battles. Until the Napoleonic Wars artillery had been seen merely as a supporting arm to the infantry, but Napoleon changed everything. He massed his guns in huge batteries to blast holes in his opponent’s line. He even used the artillery to charge the enemy, the gunners galloping up to the enemy to open fire at point-blank range.

Napoleon’s opponents did not all follow suit, choosing other tactical deployments. As a result, the Napoleonic era, more than any that preceded or followed it, was one of fascinating artillery manoeuvres and critical actions that changed the course of many of the key battles. As the Prussian Field Marshal Blucher once observed, “Against Napoleon you needed guns – and lots of them!”

The Napoleonic Wars was also a time of innovation, with the introduction of shrapnel shells and military rockets. This book will examine the artillery arms of all sides from ‘muzzle to butt plate’. As well as the significant artillerymen of the period, the innovators, scientists, and innovators, military and civilian – individuals such as Robins, Belidor, Gribeauval and his colleagues, Maritz, Liechtenstein and his collaborators, as well as the du Teil brothers – will all be examined, as will the important battles and sieges, significant memoirs and documents, and artillery terms that soon became part of the military lexicon.

Written by the renowned historian Kevin F. Kiley, this will be the definitive book on the subject and will cover all aspects of artillery in the Napoleonic Wars.

Featured in

Palmerstone Forts Society Newsletter - Winter 2022, 168

It is immense and, I have no doubt, will quickly become the definitive book on the subject, even if the subject is probably a little niche for the generalist military historian. As a serving Gunner officer, I found the book fascinating: a real insight into some of the more obscure gunnery terms, and a useful compendium of general artillery knowledge and short biographies of the key artillery personalities of the era.

Read the full review here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

"Written by the renowned historian Kevin F. Kiley, this will be the definitive book on the subject and will cover all aspects of artillery in the Napoleonic Wars."

Ordnance Society - Newsletter No.135, October 21

Featured on the website of

Portsmouth Napoleonic Society

Another great work on the Napoleonic period without a doubt.

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Miniaturas JM

With over 40 pages of Artillery Tables as a 'ready reference,' modellers and war gamers will find this book a useful guide. Also, if anything has been left out, and from the looks of things nothing has, then it will be of such inconsequence that it will not alter the fact this is a first-class book on artillery during the Napoleonic Wars.

Gun Mart, September 2021

"...indispensable for anyone working in the military history of the period."

The NYMAS Review

The book is accompanied by fantastic images both in a color section in the center (which makes use of beautiful contemporary tables of the various artillery forces of Europe) and with diagrams of the various pieces scattered along the body of the volume. This book, fruit of the passion of a historian and former soldier for the fighting arm in which he spent his entire career, will soon be accompanied by a similar volume that will cover the "Engineer Corps", another "learned" weapon of the period. Both this and the next volume of Kiley cannot miss on the shelves of every artillery enthusiast and every historian and connoisseur of the Napoleonic Wars.

Read the full Italian review here

On The Old Barbed Wire

A definitive reference on all aspects of artillery in the Napoleonic Wars.

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Julian Stockwin

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The Napoleonic Guide

Compiled with expert commentary, impressively informative and exceptionally well organized in presentation, "Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars: A Concise Dictionary, 1792-1815" is the definitive history on the subject and must be considered essential reading for students of the Napoleon Bonaparte, as well as researchers in the military history of battlefield artillery -- making it a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections in general, and Napoleonic Wars supplemental studies curriculums in particular.

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Midwest Book Review

This is a wonderfully complete induction into the details of Napoleonic Artillery. As well as defining some of the archaic terms associated with the art of gunnery (note; point blank is not what we mostly believe it to be) it provides background to the careers of the key characters in the science. The book contains many excellent technical drawings to explain, sketches and images to inform and data tables in the appendix to which to refer. Overall, it is an indispensable aid to understanding the artillery of the period.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Kevin F Kiley

Kevin F. Kiley is a retired US Marine Corps artillery officer. He is a graduate of West Point and has a master’s degree in Military History from Norwich University. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Daisy, and his son, Michael.

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