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British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1793 - 1806 (ePub)

Despatches from the Front

Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic > Nelson & Trafalgar

By John Grehan, Martin Mace
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Despatches from the Front
File Size: 5.7 MB (.epub)
Pages: 210
ISBN: 9781473831421
Published: 14th November 2013


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The Napoleonic Wars was truly a world-wide conflict and Britain found itself engaged in battles, sieges and amphibious operations around the globe. Following every battle the commanding officer submitted a report back to the Admiralty or the War Office. Presented here together for the first time are those original despatches from some forty generals, captains and admirals detailing more than eighty battles that took place in India, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most important periods in British military and naval history.

The reports include those from some of Britain's most famous battles, the likes of Trafalgar and Waterloo, as well as less well-known but just as important engagements which resulted in the capture of the islands and territories which helped form the greatest empire the world has ever known.

Finding a fault seems unsporting, but if I had one it would be the fact that the introductory chapter - a timeline essay that explains the background to the campaigns and serves as a linking device to tie them all together - I would have preferred as a short introduction to each chapter to set the tone for the despatch to follow. But that may be personal inclination and small beer overall; it does not diminish the utility of the book. In this 100th Anniversary of the Great War, this book and its companion volume will help you understand the ‘original’ Great War of a century earlier, a conflict which defined the shape of the nineteenth century.

The Napoleon Series - September 2014 - reviewed by Steve Brown

This unique collection of original documents will prove to be an invaluable resource for historians, students and all those interested in what was one of the most important periods in British military and naval history

Skirmish - Living History

The two books [in this series] present a collection of despatches written by British commanders (generals, admirals and captains) following selected battles that involved British land and/or naval forces during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The format of the two books is the same, with despatches from the selected battles presented in chronological order. Each simply comprises a heading with the name of the battle or action, followed by the note of the receipt of the original despatch and then the despatch itself reproduced in full.
The presentation of despatches, transcribed from the originals, provides a bonus for students of language. The despatches are replete with variations in spelling and the nuances of English writing of the time, all of which varied between corresponding generals. Grehan and Mace discuss this facet at some length in the introduction to each book, particularly since it is an aspect that has been maintained as the despatches presented are unedited transcripts of the originals.
"This then is our assembly of facts, raw and untainted. Their interpretation is yours alone."
A 'student' of history cannot ask for much more.


An interesting new insight into some of the less well known clashes of arms and naval actions. For the wargaming purist, the despatches also have some very detailed observations on troops, battalions and regiments etc. This will allow many fans of the period to recreate the smaller actions easily, as well as refine the details of the larger battles.

Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

About Martin Mace

Martin Mace has been involved in writing and publishing military history for more than twenty years. He began his career with local history, writing a book on the Second World War anti-invasion defences in West Sussex. Following the success of this book, he established Historic Military Press, which has published a wide range of titles. Having launched Britain at War Magazine, he has been its editor since the first issue in May 2007.

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