The second volume of a major work on warfare in the Napoleonic age
The author of this substantial multi-volume history, Theodore A Dodge, was not only an historian of stature and note but also a soldier. He wrote several well regarded histories of the campaigns and battles of the Civil War and other works of military history. Perhaps his most outstanding achievement was a series of books, published under the umbrella title 'the Art of War,' focusing on different historical periods as typified by their most notable military commanders—including the campaigns of Alexander, Hannibal and Caesar in the ancient world and the wars of the 17th and 18th century as fought by great captains including Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick and Marlborough. This volume is part of his in depth study of the Napoleonic period, which in its entirety was comprised of four huge volumes that benefited from the inclusion of almost 800 small scale uniform drawings, portraits of notable personalities and numerous theatre, campaign and battlefield maps. This retitled Leonaur edition has been revised to form volumes of approximately equal size reformatted to enable us to enlarge all the illustrations and maps for the benefit of the reader. This series is an excellent history of the campaigns and battles of the Napoleonic Age but it goes far beyond the historical record. Dodge critically examines the strategies and tactics of all the military commanders in such a clear and authoritative manner that the student of military history can clearly understand the errors of those about to suffer defeat and the expertise—or in the case of Napoleon Bonaparte, the military genius—of the victors. This is an invaluable guide to warfare in the age of Napoleon and is highly recommended.
This volume opens with a fascinating study of the French adventure in Egypt and Syria and is followed by the epic victory at Marengo against the Austrians and Moreau's campaign in Germany at the conclusion of the Revolutionary Wars; but the new Emperor of the First Empire was soon engaged upon the field of battle again, at Ulm where he delivered one of his most significant military victories.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.
Six o’clock was about to strike. With a deliberation most unlike pursuit, Zach’s columns had been advancing along the main road, halting every little while to dose up; Ott was at Villanova; the right was at Cassina Grossa. Not only was the enemy too much spread, lie was far from ready to fight another battle. As Zach’s head of column, made up of five thousand troops d’élite, reached the immediate vicinity of San Giuliano and came in view of the hitherto hidden new French line, Marmont’s guns opened a hot fire of canister at close range, and Desaix broke out from cover upon it with the cheering 9th half-brigade, followed by the 30th and 59th. Enthused by the new aspect of affairs, Victor’s men followed Desaix.<br>
Zach’s head of column, startled by this quite unexpected reception, paused at the first, and at the second blow fell into confusion and staggered back on Lattermann. In leading his men forward, Desaix was killed at the first fire. Zach was rallying his second line, when the 9th, maddened at the death of its chief, fell with fury on St Julien with the bayonet, and earned its proud title of Incomparable, At the same moment, not waiting for orders, but instinct with the fervour of the beau sabreur, Kellermann, who had led his men through the vineyards in small bodies, and collected them in column on the edge of the plain, deployed his leading squadrons, and wheeled furiously down upon Zach’s foot with his first line, while sending his second line to hold back the Austrian horse, which was advancing across the plain from Poggi and Guasca. Kellermann’s brave dash was helped by the sharp rush of the rest of Desaix’s infantry, and in moving forward Boudet was sustained by Lannes and Monnier. The redoubled onset quite demoralized the loosely ordered Austrians, and brought Zach completely to a standstill With true Gallic Han the French pursued their advantage, and in a brief half hour Zach, with forty other officers and nearly two thousand men, was surrounded and captured. His first line was destroyed.<br>
This success turned the tide for the French. Kellermann’s force, increased by Champeaux and the mounted Guardsmen, dashed upon and broke through the Austrian horse, which galloped madly back on the main column; and upon this Kellermann now threw himself with fervour, while Lannes advanced across the plain between Kaim and Ott, to the utter demoralization of Kaim’s forces. <br>
The effect of this renewal of the battle by a beaten foe had been electrical; the three French arms worked powerfully together; the exhausted Austrian regiments, which had been incessantly moving and fighting ever since early dawn, began to give way; the French masses, quick to grasp the fact that glory, safety, victory, lay in facing to the front, redoubled their ardour. Kellermann did marvels, and rode down everything in his path. Zach’s men, in falling back on the second echelon under Kaim, many hundred yards in the rear, had broken up the order of this body also; the Austrians, lacking one leadership and having at the moment no definite plan, turned from the fight; and as the French, in the wake of Desaix’s half-brigades and Kellermann, pressed on, the enemy was hustled off the field and shortly driven in wild flight towards the Bormida. Some Austrian grenadiers at Spinetta kept order, and O’Reilly and Weidenfeld held on strongly to Marengo, and receiving the advancing French cavalry with a lively fire of guns and musketry, checked it there. But the body of the Austrian troops could not be rallied. They fell back to the river, followed by Lannes and Victor. It was barely possible for O’Reilly and Weidenfeld to hold the bridge-head until Ott, who had advanced nearly to La Ghilina, and on his return, harried by Rivaux’s cavalry, had just escaped being cut off, could reach the river by skirting Castel Ceriolo, still held by Carra St. Cyr, and retire behind it for safety. O’Reilly and Ott had taken no active part in the second fight. The French victors at ten o’clock camped in front of Castel Ceriolo, and from there down to La Bolla, with the van in Pietra Bona, and the mass in Marengo. The Austrians lost one thousand killed, five thousand five hundred wounded, three thousand captured, with eight flags and twenty-five guns, and one thousand five hundred horses. The French lost eleven hundred killed, thirty-six hundred wounded and nine hundred prisoners. By some contemporary estimates the Austrian loss was seven thousand killed and wounded, and three thousand prisoners; the French seven thousand killed and wounded, and one thousand prisoners. The former figures are probably the more accurate. Haddick was killed and five generals were wounded on the Austrian side; Desaix was killed and four generals were wounded among the French.