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The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major global conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by
Napoleon I Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
, against a fluctuating array of European states formed into various coalitions. It produced a period of French domination over most of continental Europe. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...
and the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France France (), officiall ...
consisting of the
War of the First Coalition The War of the First Coalition (french: Guerre de la Première Coalition) was a set of wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 initially against the constitutional Kingdom of France and then the French Republic ...
(1792–1797) and the
War of the Second Coalition The War of the Second Coalition (1798/9 – 1801/2, depending on periodisation) was the second war on French Revolution, revolutionary French First Republic, France by most of the European monarchies, led by United Kingdom, Britain, Archduch ...
(1798–1802). The Napoleonic Wars are often described as five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the
Third Coalition The War of the Third Coalition) * In French historiography, it is known as the Austrian campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Autriche de 1805) or the German campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Allemagne de 1805) was a European conflict spanni ...
(1803–1806), the Fourth (1806–1807), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813–1814), and the Seventh (1815) plus the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...
(1807–1814) and the
French invasion of Russia The French invasion of Russia, also known as the Russian campaign, the Second Polish War, the Army of Twenty nations, and the Patriotic War of 1812 was launched by Napoleon Bonaparte to force the Russian Empire back into the Continental System ...
(1812). Napoleon, upon ascending to First Consul of France in 1799, had inherited a republic in chaos; he subsequently created a state with stable finances, a strong bureaucracy, and a well-trained army. In December 1805, Napoleon achieved what is considered his greatest victory, defeating the allied Russo- Austrian army at Austerlitz. At sea, the British fleet under Admiral Nelson decisively crushed the joint Franco-Spanish navy in the
Battle of Trafalgar The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of S ...
on 21 October 1805. This victory secured British control of the seas and prevented the invasion of Britain. Concerned about increasing French power,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
led the creation of the Fourth Coalition with Russia,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
, and Sweden, which resumed war in October 1806. Napoleon quickly briefly beat out the Prussians at
Jena Jena () is a German city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. Lon ...
and the Russians at Friedland, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. The treaty failed to end the battle in conclusivity, though, as war broke out in 1809, with the badly prepared Fifth Coalition, led by Austria. At first, the Austrians won a stunning victory at Aspern-Essling, but were quickly defeated at Wagram. Hoping to isolate and weaken Britain economically through his Continental System, Napoleon launched an invasion of Portugal, the only remaining British ally in continental Europe. After occupying Lisbon in November 1807, and with the bulk of French troops present in Spain, Napoleon seized the opportunity to turn against his former ally, depose the reigning
Spanish royal family The Spanish royal family consists of Felipe VI, King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia, their children (Leonor, Princess of Asturias and Infanta Sofía of Spain), and Felipe's parents, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía. The royal family lives at Zarzuela ...
and declare his brother King of Spain in 1808 as José I. The Spanish and Portuguese revolted with British support and expelled the French from Iberia in 1814 after six years of fighting. Concurrently, Russia, unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade, routinely violated the Continental System, prompting Napoleon to launch a massive invasion of Russia in 1812. The resulting campaign ended in disaster for France and the near destruction of Napoleon's '' Grande Armée''. Encouraged by the defeat, Austria, Prussia, Sweden, and Russia formed the Sixth Coalition and began a new campaign against France, decisively defeating Napoleon at
Leipzig Leipzig ( , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. Leipzig's population of 605,407 inhabitants (1.1 million in the larger urban zone) as of 2021 places the city as Germany's L ...
in October 1813 after several inconclusive engagements. The Allies then invaded France from the east, while the Peninsular War spilled over into southwestern France. Coalition troops captured Paris at the end of March 1814 and forced Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva) is a Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino on the Italian mainland, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelag ...
, and the Bourbons were restored to power. But Napoleon escaped in February 1815, and reassumed control of France for around one hundred days. After forming the Seventh Coalition, the allies defeated him at Waterloo in June 1815 and exiled him to the island of
Saint Helena Saint Helena () is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island west of the coast of south-western Africa, and east of Rio de Janeiro in South America. It is one of three constitu ...
, where he died peacefully six years later. The
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was a series of international diplomatic meetings to discuss and agree upon a possible new layout of the European political and constitutional order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon, ...
redrew the borders of Europe and brought a period of relative peace. The wars had profound consequences on global history, including the spread of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
and
liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on the Individual rights, rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law."political rationalism, hostilit ...
, the rise of Britain as the world's foremost naval and economic power, the appearance of independence movements in Latin America and subsequent decline of the
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...
and
Portuguese Empire The Portuguese Empire ( pt, Império Português), also known as the Portuguese Overseas (''Ultramar Português'') or the Portuguese Colonial Empire (''Império Colonial Português''), was composed of the overseas Colonialism, colonies, Factory ...
s, the fundamental reorganization of German and Italian territories into larger states, and the introduction of radically new methods of conducting warfare, as well as civil law. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars, there was a period of relative peace in continental Europe, lasting until the
Crimean War The Crimean War, , was fought from October 1853 to February 1856 between Russian Empire, Russia and an ultimately victorious alliance of the Ottoman Empire, Second French Empire, France, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Uni ...
in 1853.


Overview

Napoleon seized power in 1799, creating a
military dictatorship A military dictatorship is a dictatorship in which the military exerts complete or substantial control over political authority, and the dictator is often a high-ranked military officer. The reverse situation is to have civilian control of the m ...
. There are a number of opinions on the date to use as the formal beginning of the Napoleonic Wars; 18 May 1803 is often used, when Britain and France ended the only short period of peace between 1792 and 1814. The Napoleonic Wars began with the
War of the Third Coalition The War of the Third Coalition) * In French historiography, it is known as the Austrian campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Autriche de 1805) or the German campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Allemagne de 1805) was a European conflict spanni ...
, which was the first of the
Coalition Wars The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, sometimes called the Great French War, were a series of conflicts between the French and several European monarchies between 1792 and 1815. They encompass first the French Revolutionary Wars Th ...
against the
First French Republic In the history of France, the First Republic (french: Première République), sometimes referred to in historiography as Revolutionary France, and officially the French Republic (french: République française), was founded on 21 September 1792 ...
after Napoleon's accession as leader of France. Britain ended the
Treaty of Amiens The Treaty of Amiens (french: la paix d'Amiens, ) temporarily ended hostilities between French First Republic, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom at the end of the War of the Second Coalition. It marked ...
and declared war on France in May 1803. Among the reasons were Napoleon's changes to the international system in Western Europe, especially in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Historian Frederick Kagan argues that Britain was irritated in particular by Napoleon's assertion of control over Switzerland. Furthermore, Britons felt insulted when Napoleon stated that their country deserved no voice in European affairs, even though King George III was an
elector Elector may refer to: * Prince-elector or elector, a member of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Holy Roman Emperors * Elector, a member of an electoral college ** Confederate elector, a member of t ...
of the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
. For its part, Russia decided that the intervention in Switzerland indicated that Napoleon was not looking toward a peaceful resolution of his differences with the other European powers. The British hastily enforced a naval blockade of France to starve it of resources. Napoleon responded with economic embargoes against Britain, and sought to eliminate Britain's Continental allies to break the coalitions arrayed against him. The so-called '' Continental System'' formed a league of armed neutrality to disrupt the blockade and enforce
free trade Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports. It can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold Econo ...
with France. The British responded by capturing the Danish fleet, breaking up the league, and later secured dominance over the seas, allowing it to freely continue its strategy. But Napoleon won the
War of the Third Coalition The War of the Third Coalition) * In French historiography, it is known as the Austrian campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Autriche de 1805) or the German campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Allemagne de 1805) was a European conflict spanni ...
at Austerlitz, forcing the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central Europe, Central-Eastern Europe, Eastern European multinational state, multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of ...
out of the war and formally dissolving the Holy Roman Empire. Within months,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
declared war, triggering a
War of the Fourth Coalition The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon's First French Empire, French Empire and were defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. The main coalition partners were Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia and Russian Empire, Russia with Kingdom of Saxony ...
. This war ended disastrously for Prussia, defeated and occupied within 19 days of the beginning of the campaign. Napoleon subsequently defeated Russia at Friedland, creating powerful client states in Eastern Europe and ending the fourth coalition. Concurrently, the refusal of
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
to commit to the Continental System, and Spain's failure to maintain it led to the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...
and the outbreak of the
War of the Fifth Coalition The War of the Fifth Coalition was a European conflict in 1809 that was part of the Napoleonic Wars and the Coalition Wars. The main conflict took place in central Europe between the Austrian Empire of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Francis ...
. The French occupied Spain and formed a Spanish client kingdom, ending the alliance between the two. Heavy British involvement in the Iberian Peninsula soon followed while a British effort to capture Antwerp failed. Napoleon oversaw the situation in Iberia, defeating the Spanish, and expelling the British from the Peninsula. Austria, keen to recover territory lost during the
War of the Third Coalition The War of the Third Coalition) * In French historiography, it is known as the Austrian campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Autriche de 1805) or the German campaign of 1805 (french: Campagne d'Allemagne de 1805) was a European conflict spanni ...
, invaded France's client states in Eastern Europe. Napoleon defeated the fifth coalition at Wagram. Anger at British naval actions helped push the United States to declare war on Britain in the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
, but it did not become an ally of France. Grievances over control of Poland, and Russia's withdrawal from the Continental System, led to Napoleon invading Russia in June 1812. The invasion was an unmitigated disaster for Napoleon;
scorched earth A scorched-earth policy is a military strategy that aims to destroy anything that might be useful to the enemy. Any assets that could be used by the enemy may be targeted, which usually includes obvious weapons, military vehicles, transport v ...
tactics, desertion, French strategic failures and the onset of the Russian winter compelled Napoleon to retreat with massive losses. Napoleon suffered further setbacks; French power in the Iberian Peninsula was broken at
Battle of Vitoria At the Battle of Vitoria (21 June 1813) a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, British, Kingdom of Portugal, Portuguese and Spanish Empire, Spanish army under the Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Marquess of Wellington brok ...
the following summer, and a new coalition began the
War of the Sixth Coalition In the War of the Sixth Coalition (March 1813 – May 1814), sometimes known in Germany as the Wars of Liberation, a coalition of Austrian Empire, Austria, Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia, Russian Empire, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom of Grea ...
. The coalition defeated Napoleon at
Leipzig Leipzig ( , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. Leipzig's population of 605,407 inhabitants (1.1 million in the larger urban zone) as of 2021 places the city as Germany's L ...
, precipitating his fall from power and eventual abdication on 6 April 1814. The victors exiled Napoleon to
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva) is a Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino on the Italian mainland, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelag ...
and restored the Bourbon monarchy. Napoleon escaped from Elba in 1815, gathering enough support to overthrow the monarchy of
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was List of French Monarchs, King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a brief interruption during the Hundred Days in 1815. He spen ...
, triggering a seventh, and final, coalition against him. Napoleon was decisively defeated at Waterloo, and he abdicated again on 22 June. On 15 July, he surrendered to the British at Rochefort, and was permanently exiled to remote
Saint Helena Saint Helena () is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island west of the coast of south-western Africa, and east of Rio de Janeiro in South America. It is one of three constitu ...
. The Treaty of Paris, signed on 20 November 1815, formally ended the war. The Bourbon monarchy was restored once more, and the victors began the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was a series of international diplomatic meetings to discuss and agree upon a possible new layout of the European political and constitutional order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon, ...
to restore peace to the continent. As a direct result of the war, the
Kingdom of Prussia The Kingdom of Prussia (german: Königreich Preußen, ) was a German kingdom that constituted the state of Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Se ...
rose to become a
great power A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power i ...
on the continent, while Great Britain, with its unequalled
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
and growing
Empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
, became the world's dominant
superpower A superpower is a Sovereign state, state with a dominant position characterized by its extensive ability to exert Sphere of influence, influence or Power projection, project power on a global scale. This is done through the combined means of econ ...
, beginning the ''
Pax Britannica ''Pax Britannica'' (Latin for "British Peace", modelled after ''Pax Romana'') was the International relations (1814–1919), period of relative peace between the great powers during which the British Empire became the global Hegemony, hegemon ...
''. The
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire was a Polity, political entity in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central, and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, dissolution i ...
was dissolved, and the philosophy of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
that emerged early in the war contributed greatly to the later unification of the German states, and those of the Italian peninsula. The war in Iberia greatly weakened Spanish power, and the Spanish Empire began to unravel; Spain would lose nearly all of its American possessions by 1833. The Portuguese Empire shrank, with Brazil declaring independence in 1822. The wars revolutionised European warfare; the application of mass conscription and
total war Total war is a type of warfare that includes any and all civilian-associated resources and infrastructure as legitimate military targets, mobilizes all of the resources of society to fight the war, and gives priority to warfare over non-combata ...
led to campaigns of unprecedented scale, as whole nations committed all their economic and industrial resources to a collective war effort. Tactically, the French Army redefined the role of
artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons that launch munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry Infantry is a military specialization which engages in ground combat on foot. Infantry generally consists of l ...
, while Napoleon emphasised mobility to offset numerical disadvantages, and
aerial surveillance A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few ca ...
was used for the first time in warfare. The highly successful Spanish guerrillas demonstrated the capability of a people driven by fervent nationalism against an occupying force. Due to the longevity of the wars, the extent of Napoleon's conquests, and the popularity of the ideals of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic ( ), is a country primarily located in Western Europe. It also comprises of Overseas France, ...
, the ideals had a deep impact on European social culture. Many subsequent revolutions, such as that of
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, looked to the French as their source of inspiration, while its core founding tenets greatly expanded the arena of
human rights Human rights are Morality, moral principles or Social norm, normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for ce ...
and shaped modern political philosophies in use today.


Background

The outbreak of the French Revolution had been received with great alarm by the rulers of Europe's continental powers, which had been further exacerbated by the execution of Louis XVI of France, and the overthrow of the French monarchy. In 1793, the
Austrian Empire The Austrian Empire (german: link=no, Kaiserthum Oesterreich, modern spelling , ) was a Central Europe, Central-Eastern Europe, Eastern European multinational state, multinational great power from 1804 to 1867, created by proclamation out of ...
, the
Kingdom of Sardinia The Kingdom of Sardinia,The name of the state was originally Latin: , or when the kingdom was still considered to include Corsica. In Italian it is , in French , in Sardinian , and in Piedmontese . also referred to as the Kingdom of Savoy-S ...
, the
Kingdom of Naples The Kingdom of Naples ( la, Regnum Neapolitanum; it, Regno di Napoli; nap, Regno 'e Napule), also known as the Kingdom of Sicily, was a state that ruled the part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was e ...
,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
, the
Spanish Empire The Spanish Empire ( es, link=no, Imperio español), also known as the Hispanic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Hispánica) or the Catholic Monarchy ( es, link=no, Monarquía Católica) was a colonial empire governed by Spain and its History ...
, and the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain (officially Great Britain) was a Sovereign state, sovereign country in Western Europe from 1 May 1707 to the end of 31 December 1800. The state was created by the 1706 Treaty of Union and ratified by the Acts of ...
formed the
First Coalition The War of the First Coalition (french: Guerre de la Première Coalition) was a set of wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 initially against the Kingdom of France (1791-92), constitutional Kingdom of France and then t ...
to curtail the growing unrest in France. Measures such as mass conscription, military reforms, and total war allowed France to defeat the coalition, despite the concurrent civil war in France.
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
, then a general in the French army, forced the Austrians to sign the
Treaty of Campo Formio The Treaty of Campo Formio (today Campoformido) was signed on 17 October 1797 (26 Vendémiaire VI) by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of the French First Republic, French Republic and the Habsburg monarchy, A ...
, leaving only Great Britain opposed to the fledgling French Republic. A
Second Coalition The War of the Second Coalition (1798/9 – 1801/2, depending on periodisation) was the second war on French Revolution, revolutionary French First Republic, France by most of the European monarchies, led by United Kingdom, Britain, Archduch ...
was formed in 1798 by Great Britain,
Austria The Republic of Austria, commonly just Austria, , bar, Östareich is a country in the southern part of Central Europe, lying in the Eastern Alps. It is a federation of nine States of Austria, states, one of which is the capital, Vienna, ...
,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 909,048 within the city's adminis ...
, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
, the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio, ), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus;), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the pope fro ...
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a Sovereign state, country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southern Europe, Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes ...
,
Russia Russia (, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and North Asia, Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, largest country in the ...
, and
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
. The French Republic, under the
Directory Directory may refer to: * Directory (computing), or folder, a file system structure in which to store computer files * Directory (OpenVMS command) * Directory service, a software application for organizing information about a computer network's u ...
, suffered from heavy levels of corruption and internal strife. The new republic also lacked funds, and no longer enjoyed the services of
Lazare Carnot Lazare Nicolas Marguerite, Count Carnot (; 13 May 1753 – 2 August 1823) was a French mathematician, physicist and politician. He was known as the "Organizer of Victory" in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Education and early ...
, the minister of war who had guided France to its victories during the early stages of the
Revolution In political science, a revolution (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known ...
. Bonaparte, commander of the Armée d'Italie in the latter stages of the First Coalition, had launched a campaign in Egypt, intending to disrupt the British economic powerhouse of
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. Pressed from all sides, the Republic suffered a string of successive defeats against revitalised enemies, supported by Britain's financial help. Bonaparte returned to France from Egypt on 23 August 1799, his campaign there having failed. He seized control of the French government on 9 November, in a bloodless coup d'état, replacing the Directory with the
Consulate A consulate is the office of a consul (representative), consul. A type of diplomatic mission, it is usually subordinate to the state's main representation in the capital of that foreign country (host state), usually an Diplomatic mission, emb ...
and transforming the republic into a ''de facto'' dictatorship. He further reorganised the French military forces, establishing a large reserve army positioned to support campaigns on the
Rhine The Rhine ; french: Rhin ; nl, Rijn ; wa, Rén ; li, Rien; rm, label=Sursilvan, Rein, rm, label=Sutsilvan and Surmiran, Ragn, rm, label=Rumantsch Grischun, Vallader and Puter, Rain; it, Reno ; gsw, Rhi(n), including in Alsatian dialect, Al ...
or in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
. Russia had already been knocked out of the war, and, under Napoleon's leadership, the French decisively defeated the Austrians in June 1800, crippling Austrian capabilities in Italy. Austria was definitively defeated that December, by Moreau's forces in Bavaria. The Austrian defeat was sealed by the Treaty of Lunéville early the following year, further compelling the British to sign the
Treaty of Amiens The Treaty of Amiens (french: la paix d'Amiens, ) temporarily ended hostilities between French First Republic, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom at the end of the War of the Second Coalition. It marked ...
with France, establishing a tenuous peace.


Start date and nomenclature

No consensus exists as to when the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France France (), officiall ...
ended and the Napoleonic Wars began. Possible dates include 9 November 1799, when Bonaparte seized power on 18 Brumaire, the date according to the Republican Calendar then in use; 18 May 1803, when Britain and France ended the one short period of peace between 1792 and 1814; or 2 December 1804, when Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor. British historians occasionally refer to the nearly continuous period of warfare from 1792 to 1815 as the Great French War, or as the final phase of the Anglo-French Second Hundred Years' War, spanning the period 1689 to 1815. Historian Mike Rapport (2013) suggested using the term "French Wars" to unambiguously describe the entire period from 1792 to 1815. In France, the Napoleonic Wars are generally integrated with the French Revolutionary Wars: '. German historiography may count the War of the Second Coalition (1798/9–1801/2), during which Napoleon seized power, as the ''Erster Napoleonischer Krieg'' ("First Napoleonic War"). In Dutch historiography, it is common to refer to the seven major wars between 1792 and 1815 as the
Coalition Wars The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, sometimes called the Great French War, were a series of conflicts between the French and several European monarchies between 1792 and 1815. They encompass first the French Revolutionary Wars Th ...
(''coalitieoorlogen''), referring to the first two as the French Revolution Wars (''Franse Revolutieoorlogen'').


Napoleon's tactics

Napoleon was, and remains, famous for his battlefield victories, and historians have spent enormous attention in analysing them. In 2008, Donald Sutherland wrote:
The ideal Napoleonic battle was to manipulate the enemy into an unfavourable position through manoeuvre and deception, force him to commit his main forces and reserve to the main battle and then undertake an enveloping attack with uncommitted or reserve troops on the flank or rear. Such a surprise attack would either produce a devastating effect on morale or force him to weaken his main battle line. Either way, the enemy's own impulsiveness began the process by which even a smaller French army could defeat the enemy's forces one by one.
After 1807, Napoleon's creation of a highly mobile, well-armed artillery force gave artillery usage increased tactical importance. Napoleon, rather than relying on infantry to wear away the enemy's defences, could now use massed artillery as a spearhead to pound a break in the enemy's line. Once that was achieved he sent in infantry and cavalry.


Prelude

Britain was irritated by several French actions following the
Treaty of Amiens The Treaty of Amiens (french: la paix d'Amiens, ) temporarily ended hostilities between French First Republic, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom at the end of the War of the Second Coalition. It marked ...
. Bonaparte had annexed
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ) is a region of Northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to th ...
and
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva) is a Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino on the Italian mainland, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelag ...
, made himself President of the
Italian Republic Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
, a state in northern Italy that France had set up, and failed to evacuate Holland, as it had agreed to do in the treaty. France continued to interfere with British trade despite peace having been made and complained about Britain harbouring certain individuals and not cracking down on the anti-French press.
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ), is an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of an archipelago, between Italy and Libya, and is often considered a part of Southern Europe. It lies ...
had been captured by Britain during the war and was subject to a complex arrangement in the 10th article of the Treaty of Amiens where it was to be restored to the Knights of St. John with a Neapolitan garrison and placed under the guarantee of third powers. The weakening of the Knights of St. John by the confiscation of their assets in France and Spain along with delays in obtaining guarantees prevented the British from evacuating it after three months as stipulated in the treaty. The
Helvetic Republic The Helvetic Republic (, , ) was a sister republic of French First Republic, France that existed between 1798 and 1803, during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was created following the French invasion of Switzerland, French invasion and the c ...
had been set up by France when it invaded Switzerland in 1798. France had withdrawn its troops, but violent strife broke out against the government, which many Swiss saw as overly centralised. Bonaparte reoccupied the country in October 1802 and imposed a compromise settlement. This caused widespread outrage in Britain, which protested that this was a violation of the Treaty of Lunéville. Although continental powers were unprepared to act, the British decided to send an agent to help the Swiss obtain supplies, and also ordered their military not to return
Cape Colony The Cape Colony ( nl, Kaapkolonie), also known as the Cape of Good Hope, was a British Empire, British colony in present-day South Africa named after the Cape of Good Hope, which existed from 1795 to 1802, and again from 1806 to 1910, when i ...
to Holland as they had committed to do in the Treaty of Amiens. Swiss resistance collapsed before anything could be accomplished, and after a month Britain countermanded the orders not to restore Cape Colony. At the same time, Russia finally joined the guarantee with regard to Malta. Concerned that there would be hostilities when Bonaparte found out that Cape Colony had been retained, the British began to procrastinate on the evacuation of Malta. In January 1803 a government paper in France published a report from a commercial agent which noted the ease with which Egypt could be conquered. The British seized on this to demand satisfaction and security before evacuating Malta, which was a convenient stepping stone to Egypt. France disclaimed any desire to seize Egypt and asked what sort of satisfaction was required but the British were unable to give a response. There was still no thought of going to war; Prime Minister Addington publicly affirmed that Britain was in a state of peace. In early March 1803, the Addington ministry received word that Cape Colony had been re-occupied by the British army in accordance with the orders which had subsequently been countermanded. On 8 March they ordered military preparations to guard against possible French retaliation and justified them by falsely claiming that it was only in response to French preparations and that they were conducting serious negotiations with France. In a few days, it was known that Cape Colony had been surrendered in accordance with the counter-orders, but it was too late. Bonaparte berated the British ambassador in front of 200 spectators over the military preparations. The Addington ministry realised they would face an inquiry over their false reasons for the military preparations, and during April unsuccessfully attempted to secure the support of
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a British statesman, the youngest and last prime minister of Great Britain (before the Acts of Union 1800) and then first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, prime minister of the Un ...
to shield them from damage. In the same month the ministry issued an ultimatum to France demanding the retention of Malta for at least ten years, the permanent acquisition of the island of
Lampedusa Lampedusa ( , , ; scn, Lampidusa ; grc, Λοπαδοῦσσα and Λοπαδοῦσα and Λοπαδυῦσσα, Lopadoûssa; mt, Lampeduża) is the largest island of the Italy, Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The ''comune ...
from the Kingdom of Sicily, and the evacuation of Holland. They also offered to recognise French gains in Italy if they evacuated Switzerland and compensated the King of Sardinia for his territorial losses. France offered to place Malta in the hands of Russia to satisfy British concerns, pull out of Holland when Malta was evacuated, and form a convention to give satisfaction to Britain on other issues. The British falsely denied that Russia had made an offer and their ambassador left Paris. Desperate to avoid war, Bonaparte sent a secret offer where he agreed to let Britain retain Malta if France could occupy the Otranto peninsula in Naples. All efforts were futile and Britain declared war on 18 May 1803.


War between Britain and France, 1803–1814


British motivations

Britain ended the uneasy truce created by the Treaty of Amiens when it declared war on France in May 1803. The British were increasingly angered by Napoleon's reordering of the international system in Western Europe, especially in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Kagan argues that Britain was especially alarmed by Napoleon's assertion of control over Switzerland. The British felt insulted when Napoleon said it deserved no voice in European affairs (even though King George was an elector of the Holy Roman Empire) and sought to restrict the London newspapers that were vilifying him. Britain had a sense of loss of control, as well as loss of markets, and was worried by Napoleon's possible threat to its overseas colonies. McLynn argues that Britain went to war in 1803 out of a "mixture of economic motives and national neuroses – an irrational anxiety about Napoleon's motives and intentions." McLynn concludes that it proved to be the right choice for Britain because, in the long run, Napoleon's intentions were hostile to the British national interest. Napoleon was not ready for war and so this was the best time for Britain to stop them. Britain seized upon the Malta issue, refusing to follow the terms of the Treaty of Amiens and evacuate the island. The deeper British grievance was their perception that Napoleon was taking personal control of Europe, making the international system unstable, and forcing Britain to the sidelines. Numerous scholars have argued that Napoleon's aggressive posture made him enemies and cost him potential allies. As late as 1808, the continental powers affirmed most of his gains and titles, but the continuing conflict with Britain led him to start the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...
and the invasion of Russia, which many scholars see as a dramatic miscalculation. There was one serious attempt to negotiate peace with France during the war, made by
Charles James Fox Charles James Fox (24 January 1749 – 13 September 1806), styled ''The Honourable ''The Honourable'' (British English) or ''The Honorable'' (American English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling d ...
in 1806. The British wanted to retain their overseas conquests and have Hanover restored to George III in exchange for accepting French conquests on the continent. The French were willing to cede Malta, Cape Colony,
Tobago Tobago () is an island and ward within the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is located northeast of the larger island of Trinidad Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The isla ...
, and
French India French India, formally the ( en, French Settlements in India), was a French colony comprising five geographically separated enclaves on the Indian Subcontinent The Indian subcontinent is a list of the physiographic regions of the worl ...
n posts to Britain but wanted to obtain Sicily in exchange for the restoration of Hanover, a condition the British refused. Unlike its many coalition partners, Britain remained at war throughout the period of the Napoleonic Wars. Protected by naval supremacy (in the words of Admiral Jervis to the House of Lords "I do not say, my Lords, that the French will not come. I say only they will not come by sea"), Britain did not have to spend the entire war defending itself and could therefore focus on supporting its embattled allies, maintaining low-intensity land warfare on a global scale for over a decade. The British government paid out large sums of money to other European states so that they could pay armies in the field against France. These payments are colloquially known as the Golden Cavalry of St George. The British Army provided long-term support to the Spanish rebellion in the Peninsular War of 1808–1814, assisted by Spanish guerrilla ('little war') tactics. Anglo-Portuguese forces under Arthur Wellesley supported the Spanish, which campaigned successfully against the French armies, eventually driving them from Spain and allowing Britain to invade southern France. By 1815, the British Army played the central role in the final defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo. Beyond minor naval actions against British imperial interests, the Napoleonic Wars were much less global in scope than preceding conflicts such as the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved most of the European Great Powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Other concurrent conflicts include the French and Indian War (1754–1 ...
, which historians term a "
world war A world war is an international conflict which involves all or most of the world's major powers. Conventionally, the term is reserved for two major international conflicts that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, World WarI (1914 ...
".


Economic warfare

In response to the naval blockade of the French coasts enacted by the British government on 16 May 1806, Napoleon issued the Berlin Decree on 21 November 1806, which brought into effect the Continental System. This policy aimed to eliminate the threat from Britain by closing French-controlled territory to its trade. Britain maintained a standing army of 220,000 at the height of the Napoleonic Wars, of whom less than half were available for campaigning. The rest were necessary for garrisoning Ireland and the colonies and providing security for Britain. France's strength peaked at around 2,500,000 full-time and part-time soldiers including several hundred thousand National Guardsmen whom Napoleon could draft into the military if necessary. Both nations enlisted large numbers of sedentary militia who were unsuited for campaigning and were mostly employed to release regular forces for active duty. The Royal Navy disrupted France's extra-continental trade by seizing and threatening French shipping and colonial possessions, but could do nothing about France's trade with the major continental economies and posed little threat to French territory in Europe. France's population and agricultural capacity far outstripped that of Britain. Britain had the greatest industrial capacity in Europe, and its mastery of the seas allowed it to build up considerable economic strength through trade. This ensured that France could never consolidate its control over Europe in peace. Many in the French government believed that cutting Britain off from the Continent would end its economic influence over Europe and isolate it.


Financing the war

A key element in British success was its ability to mobilise the nation's industrial and financial resources and apply them to defeating France. Although the UK had a population of approximately 16 million against France's 30 million, the French numerical advantage was offset by British subsidies that paid for many of the Austrian and Russian soldiers, peaking at about 450,000 men in 1813. Under the Anglo–Russian agreement of 1803, Britain paid a subsidy of £1.5 million for every 100,000 Russian soldiers in the field. British national output remained strong, and the well-organised business sector channeled products into what the military needed. Britain used its economic power to expand the Royal Navy, doubling the number of
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat. The name frigate in the 17th to early 18th centuries was given to any full-rigged ship built for speed and ...
s, adding 50% more large
ships of the line A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed during the Age of Sail from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactics in the Age of Sail, naval tactic known as the line of battle ...
, and increasing the number of sailors from 15,000 to 133,000 in eight years after the war began in 1793. France saw its navy shrink by more than half. The smuggling of finished products into the continent undermined French efforts to weaken the British economy by cutting off markets. Subsidies to Russia and Austria kept them in the war. The British budget in 1814 reached £98 million, including £10 million for the Royal Navy, £40 million for the army, £10 million for the allies, and £38 million as interest on the national debt, which soared to £679 million, more than double the GDP. This debt was supported by hundreds of thousands of investors and taxpayers, despite the higher taxes on land and a new income tax. The cost of the war came to £831 million. In contrast, the French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon's forces had to rely in part on requisitions from conquered lands. From London in 1813 to 1815, Nathan Mayer Rothschild was instrumental in almost single-handedly financing the British war effort, organising the shipment of bullion to the Duke of Wellington's armies across Europe, as well as arranging the payment of British financial subsidies to their continental allies.


War of the Third Coalition, 1805

Britain gathered together allies to form the Third Coalition against The French Empire after Napoleon self-proclaimed as emperor. In response, Napoleon seriously considered an invasion of Great Britain, and massed 180,000 troops at
Boulogne Boulogne-sur-Mer (; pcd, Boulonne-su-Mér; nl, Bonen; la, Gesoriacum or ''Bononia''), often called just Boulogne (, ), is a coastal city in Hauts-de-France, Northern France. It is a Subprefectures in France, sub-prefecture of the Department ...
. Before he could invade, he needed to achieve naval superiority—or at least to pull the British fleet away from the
English Channel The English Channel, "The Sleeve"; nrf, la Maunche, "The Sleeve" ( Cotentinais) or ( Jèrriais), ( Guernésiais), "The Channel"; br, Mor Breizh, "Sea of Brittany"; cy, Môr Udd, "Lord's Sea"; kw, Mor Bretannek, "British Sea"; nl, Het Ka ...
. A complex plan to distract the British by threatening their possessions in the
West Indies The West Indies is a Subregion#North America, subregion of North America, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea that includes 13 independent island country, island countries and 18 dependent territory, ...
failed when a Franco-Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve turned back after an indecisive action off
Cape Finisterre Cape Finisterre (, also ; gl, Cabo Fisterra, italic=no ; es, Cabo Finisterre, italic=no ) is a rock-bound peninsula on the west coast of Galicia (Spain), Galicia, Spain. In Roman times it was believed to be an end of the known world. The name ...
on 22 July 1805. The Royal Navy blockaded Villeneuve in Cádiz until he left for Naples on 19 October; the British squadron caught and overwhelmingly defeated the combined enemy fleet in the
Battle of Trafalgar The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of S ...
on 21 October (the British commander,
Lord Nelson Vice-admiral (Royal Navy), Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British people, British flag officer in the Royal Navy. His inspirational leadership, grasp of strate ...
, died in the battle). Napoleon never again had the opportunity to challenge the British at sea, nor to threaten an invasion. He again turned his attention to enemies on the Continent. In April 1805, Britain and Russia signed a treaty with the aim of removing the French from the
Batavian Republic The Batavian Republic ( nl, Bataafse Republiek; french: République Batave) was the Succession of states, successor state to the Dutch Republic, Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on 19 January 1795 and ended on 5 June ...
(roughly present-day Netherlands) and the
Swiss Confederation ). Swiss law does not designate a ''capital'' as such, but the federal parliament and government are in Bern, while other federal institutions, such as the federal courts, are in other cities (Bellinzona, Lausanne, Luzern, Neuchâtel, St. Gall ...
. Austria joined the alliance after the annexation of
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; lij, Zêna ). is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of t ...
and the proclamation of Napoleon as
King of Italy King of Italy ( it, links=no, Re d'Italia; la, links=no, Rex Italiae) was the title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The first to take the title was Odoacer, a barbarian kingdoms, barbari ...
on 17 March 1805. Sweden, which had already agreed to lease
Swedish Pomerania Swedish Pomerania ( sv, Svenska Pommern; german: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a dominions of Sweden, dominion under the Sweden, Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815 on what is now the Baltic Sea, Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish-Swe ...
as a military base for British troops against France, entered the coalition on 9 August. The Austrians began the war by invading
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...
on 8 September 1805 with an army of about 70,000 under Karl Mack von Leiberich, and the French army marched out from
Boulogne Boulogne-sur-Mer (; pcd, Boulonne-su-Mér; nl, Bonen; la, Gesoriacum or ''Bononia''), often called just Boulogne (, ), is a coastal city in Hauts-de-France, Northern France. It is a Subprefectures in France, sub-prefecture of the Department ...
in late July 1805 to confront them. At Ulm (25 September – 20 October) Napoleon surrounded Mack's army, forcing its surrender without significant losses. With the main Austrian army north of the
Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across seven Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Swi ...
defeated (another army under Archduke Charles fought against André Masséna's French army in Italy), Napoleon occupied
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, most populou ...
on 13 November. Far from his supply lines, he faced a larger Austro–Russian army under the command of
Mikhail Kutuzov Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov ( rus, Князь Михаи́л Илларио́нович Голени́щев-Куту́зов, Knyaz' Mikhaíl Illariónovich Goleníshchev-Kutúzov; german: Mikhail Illarion Golenishchev-Kut ...
, with the Emperor
Alexander I of Russia Alexander I (; – ) was Emperor of Russia from 1801, the first King of Congress Poland from 1815, and the Grand Duke of Finland from 1809 to his death. He was the eldest son of Emperor Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg. The son of Gra ...
personally present. On 2 December, Napoleon crushed the Austro–Russian force in
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=yes, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawa; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The me ...
at Austerlitz (usually considered his greatest victory). He inflicted 25,000 casualties on a numerically superior enemy army while sustaining fewer than 7,000 in his own force. Austria signed the Treaty of Pressburg (26 December 1805) and left the coalition. The treaty required the Austrians to give up Venetia to the French-dominated
Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861, when Victor Emmanuel II of Kingdom of Sardinia, Sardinia was proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, proclaimed King of Italy, until 1946, when civil discontent led to ...
and the
Tyrol Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; de-AT, Tirol ; it, Tirolo) is a historical region in the Alps - in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Emp ...
to Bavaria. With the withdrawal of Austria from the war, stalemate ensued. Napoleon's army had a record of continuous unbroken victories on land, but the full force of the Russian army had not yet come into play. Napoleon had now consolidated his hold on France, had taken control of Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and most of Western Germany and northern Italy. His admirers say that Napoleon wanted to stop now, but was forced to continue in order to gain greater security from the countries that refused to accept his conquests. Esdaile rejects that explanation and instead says that it was a good time to stop expansion, for the major powers were ready to accept Napoleon as he was: : in 1806 both Russia and Britain had been positively eager to make peace, and they might well have agreed to terms that would have left the Napoleonic imperium almost completely intact. As for Austria and Prussia, they simply wanted to be left alone. To have secured a compromise peace, then, would have been comparatively easy. But Napoleon was prepared to make no concessions.


War of the Fourth Coalition, 1806–1807

Within months of the collapse of the Third Coalition, the
Fourth Coalition The Fourth Coalition fought against Napoleon's First French Empire, French Empire and were defeated in a war spanning 1806–1807. The main coalition partners were Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia and Russian Empire, Russia with Kingdom of Saxony ...
(1806–1807) against France was formed by Britain, Prussia, Russia, Saxony, and Sweden. In July 1806, Napoleon formed the
Confederation of the Rhine The Confederated States of the Rhine, simply known as the Confederation of the Rhine, also known as Napoleonic Germany, was a confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austrian E ...
out of the many tiny German states which constituted the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term Historically, th ...
and most other western parts of Germany. He amalgamated many of the smaller states into larger electorates, duchies, and kingdoms to make the governance of non-Prussian Germany smoother. Napoleon elevated the rulers of the two largest Confederation states,
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
and
Bavaria Bavaria ( ; ), officially the Free State of Bavaria (german: Freistaat Bayern, link=no ), is a state in the south-east of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the sec ...
, to the status of kings. In August 1806, the Prussian king, Frederick William III, decided to go to war independently of any other great power. The army of Russia, a Prussian ally, in particular, was too far away to assist. On 8 October 1806, Napoleon unleashed all the French forces east of the Rhine into Prussia. Napoleon defeated a Prussian army at
Jena Jena () is a German city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. Lon ...
(14 October 1806), and
Davout Louis-Nicolas d'Avout (10 May 1770 – 1 June 1823), better known as Davout, 1st Duke of Auerstaedt, 1st Prince of Eckmühl, was a French military commander and Marshal of the Empire Marshal of the Empire (french: Maréchal d'Empire) was ...
defeated another at Auerstädt on the same day. 160,000 French soldiers (increasing in number as the campaign went on) attacked Prussia, moving with such speed that they destroyed the entire Prussian army as an effective military force. Out of 250,000 troops the Prussians sustained 25,000 casualties, lost a further 150,000 as prisoners, 4,000 artillery pieces, and over 100,000 muskets. At Jena, Napoleon had fought only a detachment of the Prussian force. The battle at Auerstädt involved a single French corps defeating the bulk of the Prussian army. Napoleon entered Berlin on 27 October 1806. He visited the tomb of
Frederick the Great Frederick II (german: Friedrich II.; 24 January 171217 August 1786) was King in Prussia from 1740 until 1772, and King of Prussia from 1772 until his death in 1786. His most significant accomplishments include his military successes in the S ...
and instructed his marshals to remove their hats there, saying, "If he were alive we wouldn't be here today". Napoleon had taken only 19 days from beginning his attack on Prussia to knock it out of the war with the capture of Berlin and the destruction of its principal armies at Jena and Auerstädt. Saxony left Prussia, and together with small states from north Germany, allied with France. In the next stage of the war, the French drove Russian forces out of Poland and employed many Polish and German soldiers in several sieges in
Silesia Silesia (, also , ) is a historical region of Central Europe that lies mostly within Poland, with small parts in the Czech Silesia, Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is approximately , and the population is estimated at around 8,000,000. S ...
and
Pomerania Pomerania ( pl, Pomorze; german: Pommern; Kashubian: ''Pòmòrskô''; sv, Pommern) is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Poland and Germany. The western part of Pomerania belongs to ...
, with the assistance of Dutch and Italian soldiers in the latter case. Napoleon then turned north to confront the remainder of the Russian army and to try to capture the temporary Prussian capital at
Königsberg Königsberg (, ) was the historic Prussian city that is now Kaliningrad, Russia. Königsberg was founded in 1255 on the site of the ancient Old Prussian settlement ''Twangste'' by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusades, and was named ...
. A tactical draw at Eylau (7–8 February 1807), followed by capitulation at Danzig (24 May 1807) and the
Battle of Heilsberg The Battle of Heilsberg took place on 10 June 1807, during the Napoleonic Wars. Overview On 24 May 1807, the Siege of Danzig (1807), Siege of Danzig ended when Kingdom of Prussia, Prussian General Friedrich Adolf, Count von Kalckreuth capitul ...
(10 June 1807), forced the Russians to withdraw further north. Napoleon decisively beat the Russian army at Friedland (14 June 1807), following which Alexander had to make peace with Napoleon at
Tilsit Sovetsk (russian: Сове́тск; german: Tilsit; Old Prussian language, Old Prussian: ''Tilzi''; lt, Tilžė; pl, Tylża) is a types of inhabited localities in Russia, town in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the south bank of the Ne ...
(7 July 1807). In Germany and Poland, new Napoleonic client states, such as the
Kingdom of Westphalia The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day History of Germany, Germany. While formally independent, it was a ...
,
Duchy of Warsaw The Duchy of Warsaw ( pl, Księstwo Warszawskie, french: Duché de Varsovie, german: Herzogtum Warschau), also known as the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and Napoleonic Poland, was a First French Empire, French client state established by Napoleon Bonap ...
, and Republic of Danzig, were established. By September, Marshal Guillaume Brune completed the occupation of
Swedish Pomerania Swedish Pomerania ( sv, Svenska Pommern; german: Schwedisch-Pommern) was a dominions of Sweden, dominion under the Sweden, Swedish Crown from 1630 to 1815 on what is now the Baltic Sea, Baltic coast of Germany and Poland. Following the Polish-Swe ...
, allowing the Swedish army to withdraw with all its munitions of war.


Scandinavia and Finland

Britain's first response to Napoleon's Continental System was to launch a major naval attack against Denmark. Although ostensibly neutral, Denmark was under heavy French and Russian pressure to pledge its fleet to Napoleon. London could not take the chance of ignoring the Danish threat. In August 1807, the Royal Navy besieged and bombarded Copenhagen, leading to the capture of the Dano–Norwegian fleet, and assuring use of the sea lanes in the North and Baltic seas for the British merchant fleet. Denmark joined the war on the side of France, but without a fleet it had little to offer, beginning an engagement in a naval guerrilla war in which small gunboats attacking larger British ships in Danish and Norwegian waters. Denmark also committed themselves to participate in a war against Sweden together with France and Russia. At Tilsit, Napoleon and Alexander had agreed that Russia should force Sweden to join the Continental System, which led to a Russian invasion of Finland in February 1808, followed by a Danish declaration of war in March. Napoleon also sent an auxiliary corps, consisting of troops from France,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
and the
Netherlands ) , anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = , map_caption = , subdivision_type = Sovereign state , subdivision_name = Kingdom of the Netherlands , established_title = Before independence , established_date = Spanish Neth ...
, led by Marshal
Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte sv, Karl Johan Baptist Julius , spouse = , issue = Oscar I of Sweden Oscar I (born Joseph François Oscar Bernadotte; 4 July 1799 – 8 July 1859) was King of Sweden and List of Norwegian monarchs, Norway from 8 March 1844 ...
, to Denmark to participate in the invasion of Sweden. But British naval superiority prevented the armies from crossing the
Øresund Øresund or Öresund (, ; da, Øresund ; sv, Öresund ), commonly known in English as the Sound, is a strait A strait is an Ocean, oceanic landform connecting two Sea, seas or two other large areas of water. The surface water generally f ...
strait, and the war came mainly to be fought along the Swedish–Norwegian border. At the Congress of Erfurt (September–October 1808), France and Russia further agreed on the division of Sweden into two parts separated by the
Gulf of Bothnia The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohjanlahti; sv, Bottniska viken) is divided into the Bothnian Bay and Bothnian Sea, and it is the northernmost Arm (geography), arm of the Baltic Sea, between Finland's west coast (Ostrobothnia (historical provinc ...
, where the eastern part became the Russian
Grand Duchy of Finland The Grand Duchy of Finland ( fi, Suomen suuriruhtinaskunta; sv, Storfurstendömet Finland; russian: Великое княжество Финляндское, , all of which literally translate as Grand prince, Grand Principality of Finland) was t ...
. British voluntary attempts to assist Sweden with humanitarian aid remained limited and did not prevent Sweden from adopting a more Napoleon-friendly policy. The war between Denmark and Britain effectively ended with a British victory at the battle of Lyngør in 1812, involving the destruction of the last large Dano–Norwegian ship—the
frigate A frigate () is a type of warship. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied somewhat. The name frigate in the 17th to early 18th centuries was given to any full-rigged ship built for speed and ...
'' Najaden''.


Poland

In 1807 Napoleon created a powerful outpost of his empire in Central Europe.
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
had recently been partitioned by its three large neighbours, but Napoleon created the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, which depended on France from the very beginning. The duchy consisted of lands seized by Austria and Prussia; its Grand Duke was Napoleon's ally the king of Saxony, but Napoleon appointed the intendants who ran the country. The population of 4.3 million was released from occupation and by 1814 sent about 200,000 men to Napoleon's armies. That included about 90,000 who marched with him to Moscow; few marched back. The Russians strongly opposed any move towards an independent Poland and one reason Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 was to punish them. The Grand Duchy was absorbed into
Russian Empire The Russian Empire was an empire and the final period of the List of Russian monarchs, Russian monarchy from 1721 to 1917, ruling across large parts of Eurasia. It succeeded the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad, which ended th ...
as a semi-autonomous Tsardom of Poland in 1815; Poland did not become a state again until 1918, following the dissolution of the Russian Empire. Napoleon's impact on Poland was huge, including the Napoleonic legal code, the abolition of serfdom, and the introduction of modern middle-class bureaucracies.


Peninsular War, 1808–1814

The Iberian conflict began when Portugal continued trade with Britain despite French restrictions. When Spain failed to maintain the Continental System, the uneasy Spanish alliance with France ended in all but name. French troops gradually encroached on Spanish territory until they occupied
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a Madrid metropolitan area, metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the Largest cities of the Europ ...
, and installed a client monarchy. This provoked an explosion of popular rebellions across Spain. Heavy British involvement soon followed. After defeats in Spain suffered by France, Napoleon took charge and enjoyed success, retaking Madrid, defeating the Spanish and forcing a withdrawal of the heavily out-numbered British army from the Iberian Peninsula (
Battle of Corunna The Battle of Corunna (or ''A Coruña'', ''La Corunna'', ''La Coruña'' or ''La Corogne''), in Spain known as Battle of Elviña, took place on 16 January 1809, when a French corps under Marshal of the Empire Jean de Dieu Soult attacked a Briti ...
, 16 January 1809). But when he left, the
guerrilla war Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or Irregular military, irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, Raid (military), raids ...
against his forces in the countryside continued to tie down great numbers of troops. The outbreak of the
War of the Fifth Coalition The War of the Fifth Coalition was a European conflict in 1809 that was part of the Napoleonic Wars and the Coalition Wars. The main conflict took place in central Europe between the Austrian Empire of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Francis ...
prevented Napoleon from successfully wrapping up operations against British forces by necessitating his departure for Austria, and he never returned to the Peninsular theatre. The British then sent in a fresh army under Sir Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington). For a time, the British and Portuguese remained restricted to the area around Lisbon (behind their impregnable
lines of Torres Vedras The Lines of Torres Vedras were lines of Fortification, forts and other military defences built in secrecy to defend Lisbon during the Peninsular War. Named after the nearby town of Torres Vedras, they were ordered by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duk ...
), while their Spanish allies were besieged in Cadiz. The Peninsular war proved a major disaster for France. Napoleon did well when he was in direct charge, but severe losses followed his departure, as he severely underestimated how much manpower would be needed. The effort in Spain was a drain on money, manpower and prestige. Historian David Gates called it the "Spanish ulcer." Napoleon realised it had been a disaster for his cause, writing later, "That unfortunate war destroyed me ... All the circumstances of my disasters are bound up in that fatal knot." The Peninsular campaigns witnessed 60 major battles and 30 major sieges, more than any other of the Napoleonic conflicts, and lasted over six years, far longer than any of the others. France and her allies lost at least 91,000 killed in action and 237,000 wounded in the peninsula. From 1812, the Peninsular War merged with the
War of the Sixth Coalition In the War of the Sixth Coalition (March 1813 – May 1814), sometimes known in Germany as the Wars of Liberation, a coalition of Austrian Empire, Austria, Kingdom of Prussia, Prussia, Russian Empire, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom of Grea ...
.


War of the Fifth Coalition, 1809

The Fifth Coalition (1809) of Britain and Austria against France formed as Britain engaged in the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...
in Spain and Portugal. The sea became a major theatre of war against Napoleon's allies. Austria, previously an ally of France, took the opportunity to attempt to restore its imperial territories in Germany as held prior to Austerlitz. During the time of the Fifth Coalition, the Royal Navy won a succession of victories in the French colonies. On land the major battles included
Battle of Raszyn The first Battle of Raszyn was fought on 19 April 1809 between armies of the Austrian Empire under Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este and the Duchy of Warsaw under Józef Antoni Poniatowski, as part of the War of the Fifth Coalitio ...
, Battle of Eckmuhl,
Battle of Raab The Battle of Raab or Battle of Győr (Hungarian language, Hungarian: ''győri csata'') was fought on 14 June 1809 during the Napoleonic Wars, between Franco-Italian forces and Habsburg forces. The battle was fought near Győr (Raab), Kingdom ...
,
Battle of Aspern-Essling In the Battle of Aspern-Essling (21–22 May 1809), Napoleon I of France, Napoleon crossed the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were attacked and forced back across the river by the Austrian Empire, Austrians under Archduke ...
, and
Battle of Wagram The Battle of Wagram (; 5–6 July 1809) was a military engagement of the Napoleonic Wars that ended in a costly but decisive victory for Emperor of the French, Emperor Napoleon's French and allied army against the Austrian Empire, Austrian army ...
. On land, the Fifth Coalition attempted few extensive military endeavours. One, the Walcheren Expedition of 1809, involved a dual effort by the British Army and the Royal Navy to relieve Austrian forces under intense French pressure. It ended in disaster after the Army commander, John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, failed to capture the objective, the naval base of French-controlled
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ; es, Amberes) is the largest city in Belgium by area at and the capital of Antwerp Province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 530,504,
. For the most part of the years of the Fifth Coalition, British military operations on land (apart from the Iberian Peninsula) remained restricted to hit-and-run operations executed by the Royal Navy, which dominated the sea after having beaten down almost all substantial naval opposition from France and its allies and blockading what remained of France's naval forces in heavily fortified French-controlled ports. These rapid-attack operations were aimed mostly at destroying blockaded French naval and mercantile shipping and the disruption of French supplies, communications, and military units stationed near the coasts. Often, when British allies attempted military actions within several dozen miles or so of the sea, the Royal Navy would arrive, land troops and supplies, and aid the coalition's land forces in a concerted operation. Royal Navy ships even provided artillery support against French units when fighting strayed near enough to the coastline. The ability and quality of the land forces governed these operations. For example, when operating with inexperienced guerrilla forces in Spain, the Royal Navy sometimes failed to achieve its objectives because of the lack of manpower that the Navy's guerrilla allies had promised to supply. Austria achieved some initial victories against the thinly spread army of Marshal Berthier. Napoleon had left Berthier with only 170,000 men to defend France's entire eastern frontier (in the 1790s, 800,000 men had carried out the same task, but holding a much shorter front). In the east, the Austrians drove into the
Duchy of Warsaw The Duchy of Warsaw ( pl, Księstwo Warszawskie, french: Duché de Varsovie, german: Herzogtum Warschau), also known as the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and Napoleonic Poland, was a First French Empire, French client state established by Napoleon Bonap ...
but suffered defeat at the
Battle of Raszyn The first Battle of Raszyn was fought on 19 April 1809 between armies of the Austrian Empire under Archduke Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este and the Duchy of Warsaw under Józef Antoni Poniatowski, as part of the War of the Fifth Coalitio ...
on 19 April 1809. The Polish army captured West Galicia following its earlier success. Napoleon assumed personal command and bolstered the army for a counter-attack on Austria. After a few small battles, the well-run campaign forced the Austrians to withdraw from Bavaria, and Napoleon advanced into Austria. His hurried attempt to cross the
Danube The Danube ( ; ) is a river that was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire and today connects 10 European countries, running through their territories or being a border. Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for , pa ...
resulted in the major
Battle of Aspern-Essling In the Battle of Aspern-Essling (21–22 May 1809), Napoleon I of France, Napoleon crossed the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were attacked and forced back across the river by the Austrian Empire, Austrians under Archduke ...
(22 May 1809) – Napoleon's first significant tactical defeat. But the Austrian commander, Archduke Charles, failed to follow up on his indecisive victory, allowing Napoleon to prepare and seize Vienna in early July. He defeated the Austrians at Wagram, on 5–6 July. (It was during the middle of that battle that Marshal Bernadotte was stripped of his command after retreating contrary to Napoleon's orders. Shortly thereafter, Bernadotte took up the offer from Sweden to fill the vacant position of Crown Prince there. Later he actively participated in wars against his former Emperor.) The War of the Fifth Coalition ended with the Treaty of Schönbrunn (14 October 1809). In the east, only the
Tyrol Tyrol (; historically the Tyrole; de-AT, Tirol ; it, Tirolo) is a historical region in the Alps - in Northern Italy and western Austria. The area was historically the core of the County of Tyrol, part of the Holy Roman Empire, Austrian Emp ...
ese rebels led by Andreas Hofer continued to fight the French-Bavarian army until finally defeated in November 1809. In the west, the Peninsular War continued. Economic warfare between Britain and France continued: The British continued a naval blockade of French-controlled territory. Due to military shortages and lack of organisation in French territory, many breaches of the Continental System occurred and the French Continental System was largely ineffective and did little economic damage to Great Britain. Both sides entered further conflicts in attempts to enforce their blockade. As Napoleon realised that extensive trade was going through Spain and Russia, he invaded those two countries.; the British fought the United States in the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
(1812–1815). In 1810, the French Empire reached its greatest extent. Napoleon married Marie-Louise, an Austrian Archduchess, with the aim of ensuring a more stable alliance with Austria and of providing the Emperor with an heir (something his first wife, Josephine, had failed to do). As well as the French Empire, Napoleon controlled the Swiss Confederation, the Confederation of the Rhine, the Duchy of Warsaw and the Kingdom of Italy. Territories allied with the French included: * the
Kingdom of Denmark The Danish Realm ( da, Danmarks Rige; fo, Danmarkar Ríki; kl, Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (; ; ), is a sovereign state located in Northern Europe and Northern North America. It consists of Denmark, metropolitan ...
* the
Kingdom of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
(under
Joseph Bonaparte Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Giuseppe di Buonaparte, ; co, Ghjuseppe Nabulione Bonaparte; es, José Napoleón Bonaparte; 7 January 176828 July 1844) was a French statesman, lawyer, diplomat and older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the ...
, Napoleon's elder brother) * the
Kingdom of Westphalia The Kingdom of Westphalia was a kingdom in Germany, with a population of 2.6 million, that existed from 1807 to 1813. It included territory in Hesse and other parts of present-day History of Germany, Germany. While formally independent, it was a ...
(
Jérôme Bonaparte Jérôme-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Girolamo Buonaparte; 15 November 1784 – 24 June 1860) was the youngest brother of Napoleon I Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 ...
, Napoleon's younger brother) * the
Kingdom of Naples The Kingdom of Naples ( la, Regnum Neapolitanum; it, Regno di Napoli; nap, Regno 'e Napule), also known as the Kingdom of Sicily, was a state that ruled the part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was e ...
(under
Joachim Murat Joachim Murat ( , also , ; it, Gioacchino Murati; 25 March 1767 – 13 October 1815) was a French military commander and statesman who served during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Under the First French Empire, French Emp ...
, husband of Napoleon's sister Caroline) * the
Principality of Lucca and Piombino The Principality of Lucca and Piombino was created in July 1805 by Napoleon I Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal ...
(under
Elisa Bonaparte Maria Anna Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi Levoy (French language, French: ''Marie Anne Elisa Bonaparte''; 3 January 1777 – 7 August 1820), better known as Elisa Bonaparte, was an imperial French princess and sister of Napoleon, Napoleon Bonaparte. ...
(Napoleon's sister) and her husband Felice Baciocchi); and Napoleon's former enemies, Sweden, Prussia and Austria.


Subsidiary wars

The Napoleonic Wars were the direct cause of wars in the Americas and elsewhere.


War of 1812

The
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
coincided with the War of the Sixth Coalition. Historians in the United States and Canada see it as a war in its own right, while Europeans often see it as a minor theatre of the Napoleonic Wars. The United States declared war on Britain because of British interference with American merchant ships and forced enlistment into the Royal Navy. France had interfered as well, and the United States considered declaring war on France. The war ended in a military stalemate, and there were no boundary changes at the
Treaty of Ghent The Treaty of Ghent () was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom. It took effect in February 1815. Both sides signed it on December 24, 1814, in the city of Ghent, Sovereign Principality of t ...
, which took effect in early 1815 when Napoleon was on Elba.


Latin American Revolutions

The abdication of Kings Carlos IV and Fernando VII of Spain and the installation of Napoleon's brother as King José provoked civil wars and revolutions leading to the independence of most of Spain's mainland American colonies. In
Spanish America Spanish America refers to the Spanish territories in the Americas during the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The term "Spanish America" was specifically used during the territories' Spanish Empire, imperial era between 15th century, 15th ...
many local elites formed juntas and set up mechanisms to rule in the name of Ferdinand VII, whom they considered the legitimate Spanish monarch. The outbreak of the
Spanish American wars of independence The Spanish American wars of independence (25 September 1808 – 29 September 1833; es, Guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas) were numerous wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence from Spanish rule during the early ...
in most of the empire was a result of Napoleon's destabilizing actions in Spain and led to the rise of strongmen in the wake of these wars. The defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 caused an exodus of French soldiers into Latin America where they joined ranks with the armies of the independence movements. While these officials had a role in various victories such as the Capture of Valdivia (1820) some are held responsible for significant defeats at the hands of the royalist as is the case of Second Battle of Cancha Rayada (1818). In contrast, the Portuguese
royal family A royal family is the immediate family of kings/queens Queens is a Boroughs of New York City, borough of New York City, coextensive with Queens County, in the U.S. state of New York (state), New York. Located on Long Island, it is the lar ...
escaped to
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, ...
and established the court there, resulting in political stability for Portuguese America. With the defeat of Napoleon and the return of the Braganza monarchy to Portugal, the heir remained in Brazil and declared Brazilian independence, achieving it peacefully with the territory intact. The
Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution (french: révolution haïtienne ; ht, revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on ...
began in 1791, just before the
French Revolutionary Wars The French Revolutionary Wars (french: Guerres de la Révolution française) were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France France (), officiall ...
, and continued until 1804. France's defeat resulted in the independence of
Saint-Domingue Saint-Domingue () was a French colonization of the Americas, French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city in the islan ...
and led Napoleon to sell the territory making up the
Louisiana Purchase The Louisiana Purchase (french: Vente de la Louisiane, translation=Sale of Louisiana) was the acquisition of the Louisiana (New France), territory of Louisiana by the United States from the French First Republic in 1803. In return for fifteen ...
to the United States.


Barbary Wars

During the Napoleonic Wars, the United States, Sweden, and Sicily fought against the
Barbary pirates The Barbary pirates, or Barbary corsairs or Ottoman corsairs, were Muslim pirates and privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Salé, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, Libya, Tripoli. This area was known i ...
in the Mediterranean.


Invasion of Russia, 1812

The Treaty of Tilsit in 1807 resulted in the Anglo–Russian War (1807–12). Emperor Alexander I declared war on Britain after the British attack on Denmark in September 1807. British men-of-war supported the Swedish fleet during the
Finnish War The Finnish War ( sv, Finska kriget, russian: Финляндская война, fi, Suomen sota) was fought between the Gustavian era, Kingdom of Sweden and the Russian Empire from 21 February 1808 to 17 September 1809 as part of the Napoleonic ...
and won victories over the Russians in the
Gulf of Finland The Gulf of Finland ( fi, Suomenlahti; et, Soome laht; rus, Фи́нский зали́в, r=Finskiy zaliv, p=ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif; sv, Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and E ...
in July 1808 and August 1809. The success of the Russian army on land, however, forced Sweden to sign peace treaties with Russia in 1809 and with France in 1810, and to join the blockade against Britain. But Franco–Russian relations became progressively worse after 1810, and the Russian war with Britain effectively ended. In April 1812, Britain, Russia and Sweden signed secret agreements directed against Napoleon. The central issue for both Napoleon and Tsar Alexander I was control over Poland. Each wanted a semi-independent Poland he could control. As Esdaile notes, "Implicit in the idea of a Russian Poland was, of course, a war against Napoleon." Schroeder says Poland was "the root cause" of Napoleon's war with Russia but Russia's refusal to support the Continental System was also a factor. In 1812, at the height of his power, Napoleon invaded Russia with a pan-European ''Grande Armée'', consisting of 450,000 men (200,000 Frenchmen, and many soldiers of allies or subject areas). The French forces crossed the Niemen River on 24 June 1812. Russia proclaimed a Patriotic War, and Napoleon proclaimed a Second Polish war. The Poles supplied almost 100,000 men for the invasion force, but against their expectations, Napoleon avoided any concessions to Poland, having in mind further negotiations with Russia. The ''Grande Armée'' marched through Russia, winning some relatively minor engagements and the major Battle of Smolensk on 16–18 August. In the same days, part of the French Army led by
Marshal Marshal is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society. As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Middle Ages, Medieval Europe, the title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used f ...
Nicolas Oudinot Nicolas Charles Oudinot, 1st Count Oudinot, 1st Duke of Reggio (25 April 1767 in Bar-le-Duc – 13 September 1847 in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous c ...
was stopped in the Battle of Polotsk by the right wing of the Russian Army, under command of General Peter Wittgenstein. This prevented the French march on the Russian capital,
Saint Petersburg Saint Petersburg ( rus, links=no, Санкт-Петербург, a=Ru-Sankt Peterburg Leningrad Petrograd Piter.ogg, r=Sankt-Peterburg, p=ˈsankt pʲɪtʲɪrˈburk), formerly known as Petrograd (1914–1924) and later Leningrad (1924–1991), i ...
; the fate of the invasion was decided in Moscow, where Napoleon led his forces in person. Russia used scorched-earth tactics, and harried the ''Grande Armée'' with light
Cossack The Cossacks , es, cosaco , et, Kasakad, cazacii , fi, Kasakat, cazacii , french: cosaques , hu, kozákok, cazacii , it, cosacchi , orv, коза́ки, pl, Kozacy , pt, cossacos , ro, cazaci , russian: казаки́ or ...
cavalry. The ''Grande Armée'' did not adjust its operational methods in response. This led to most of the losses of the main column of the ''Grande Armée'', which in one case amounted to 95,000 men, including deserters, in a week. The main Russian army retreated for almost three months. This constant retreat led to the unpopularity of
Field Marshal Field marshal (or field-marshal, abbreviated as FM) is the most senior military rank, ordinarily senior to the general officer ranks. Usually, it is the highest rank in an army and as such few persons are appointed to it. It is considered as ...
Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (german: Fürst Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly; baptised – ) was an Russian Empire, Imperial Russian soldier of Baltic Germans, Baltic German and Scottish people, Scottish origin, who was commander-in- ...
and a veteran, Prince
Mikhail Kutuzov Prince Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov ( rus, Князь Михаи́л Илларио́нович Голени́щев-Куту́зов, Knyaz' Mikhaíl Illariónovich Goleníshchev-Kutúzov; german: Mikhail Illarion Golenishchev-Kut ...
, was made the new Commander-in-Chief by
Tsar Tsar ( or ), also spelled ''czar'', ''tzar'', or ''csar'', is a title used by East Slavs, East and South Slavs, South Slavic monarchs. The term is derived from the Latin word ''Caesar (title), caesar'', which was intended to mean "emperor" i ...
Alexander I. Finally, the two armies engaged in the
Battle of Borodino The Battle of Borodino (). took place near the village of Borodino (village), Mozhaysky District, Moscow Oblast, Borodino on during French invasion of Russia, Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The ' won the battle against the Imperial Russian A ...
on 7 September, in the vicinity of Moscow. The battle was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 men and resulting in at least 70,000 casualties. It was indecisive; the French captured the main positions on the battlefield but failed to destroy the Russian army. Logistical difficulties meant that French casualties could not be replaced, unlike Russian ones. Napoleon entered Moscow on 14 September, after the Russian Army had retreated yet again. By then, the Russians had largely evacuated the city and released criminals from the prisons to inconvenience the French; the governor, Count Fyodor Rostopchin, ordered the city to be burnt. Alexander I refused to capitulate, and the peace talks attempted by Napoleon failed. In October, with no sign of clear victory in sight, Napoleon began the disastrous Great Retreat from Moscow. At the
Battle of Maloyaroslavets The Battle of Maloyaroslavets took place on 24 October 1812 as part of the French invasion of Russia. It was Kutuzov's decisive battle to force Napoleon to retreat northwest over Mozhaisk to Smolensk on the devastated route of his advance with ...
the French tried to reach
Kaluga Kaluga ( rus, Калу́га, p=kɐˈɫuɡə), a types of inhabited localities in Russia, city and the administrative center of Kaluga Oblast in Russia, stands on the Oka River southwest of Moscow. Population: Kaluga's most famous resident, t ...
, where they could find food and forage supplies. The replenished Russian Army blocked the road, and Napoleon was forced to retreat the same way he had come to Moscow, through the heavily ravaged areas along the
Smolensk Smolensk ( rus, Смоленск, p=smɐˈlʲensk, a=smolensk_ru.ogg) is a types of inhabited localities in Russia, city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, west-southwest of Moscow. First me ...
road. In the following weeks, the ''Grande Armée'' was dealt a catastrophic blow by the onset of the
Russian Winter Russian Winter, sometimes personified as "General Frost" or "General Winter", is an aspect of the climate of Russia that has contributed to military failures of several invasions of Russia. Mud is a related contributing factor that impairs milit ...
, the lack of supplies and constant
guerrilla warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or Irregular military, irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, Raid (military), raids ...
by Russian peasants and irregular troops. When the remnants of Napoleon's army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 fit soldiers survived, with 380,000 men dead or missing and 100,000 captured. Napoleon then left his men and returned to Paris to prepare the defence against the advancing Russians. The campaign effectively ended on 14 December 1812, when the last enemy troops left Russia. The Russians had lost around 210,000 men, but with their shorter supply lines, they soon replenished their armies. For every twelve soldiers of the Grande Armée that entered Russia, only two would make it out in fighting condition.


War of the Sixth Coalition, 1812–1814

Seeing an opportunity in Napoleon's historic defeat, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, and several other German states switched sides joining Russia, the United Kingdom and others opposing Napoleon. Napoleon vowed that he would create a new army as large as the one he had sent into Russia, and quickly built up his forces in the east from 30,000 to 130,000 and eventually to 400,000. Napoleon inflicted 40,000 casualties on the Allies at Lützen (2 May 1813) and
Bautzen Bautzen () or Budyšin () is a hill-top town in eastern Saxony, Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the mos ...
(20–21 May 1813). Both battles involved forces of over 250,000, making them some of the largest conflicts of the wars so far. Metternich in November 1813 offered Napoleon the Frankfurt proposals. They would allow Napoleon to remain Emperor but France would be reduced to its "natural frontiers" and lose control of most of Italy and Germany and the Netherlands. Napoleon still expected to win the wars, and rejected the terms. By 1814, as the Allies were closing in on Paris, Napoleon did agree to the Frankfurt proposals, but it was too late and he rejected the new harsher terms proposed by the Allies. In the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...
,
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852) was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish soldier and Tories (British political party), Tory statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of Uni ...
, renewed the Anglo-Portuguese advance into Spain just after New Year in 1812, besieging and capturing the fortified towns of
Ciudad Rodrigo Ciudad Rodrigo () is a small cathedral city in the province of Salamanca (province), Salamanca, in western Spain, with a population in 2016 of 12,896. It is also the seat of a judicial district. The site of Ciudad Rodrigo, perched atop a rocky ...
,
Badajoz Badajoz (; formerly written ''Badajos'' in English) is the capital of the Province of Badajoz in the autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Extremadura, Spain. It is situated close to the Portugal, Portuguese Portugal–Spain bor ...
, and in the
Battle of Salamanca The Battle of Salamanca (in French and Spanish known as the Battle of Arapiles) on 22July 1812 was a battle in which an Anglo-Portuguese Army, Anglo-Portuguese army under the Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Earl of Wellington d ...
(which was a damaging defeat of the French). As the French regrouped, the Anglo-Portuguese entered Madrid and advanced towards Burgos, before retreating all the way to Portugal when renewed French concentrations threatened to trap them. As a consequence of the Salamanca campaign, the French were forced to end their long siege of Cadiz and to permanently evacuate the provinces of
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in Peninsular Spain. It is the most populous and the second-largest autonomous community in the country. It is officially recognised as a ...
and
Asturias Asturias (, ; ast, Asturies ), officially the Principality of Asturias ( es, Principado de Asturias; ast, Principáu d'Asturies; Galician-Asturian: ''Principao d'Asturias''), is an autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in nor ...
. In a strategic move, Wellesley planned to move his supply base from Lisbon to Santander. The Anglo-Portuguese forces swept northwards in late May and seized Burgos. On 21 June, at Vitoria, the combined Anglo-Portuguese and Spanish armies won against
Joseph Bonaparte Joseph-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Giuseppe di Buonaparte, ; co, Ghjuseppe Nabulione Bonaparte; es, José Napoleón Bonaparte; 7 January 176828 July 1844) was a French statesman, lawyer, diplomat and older brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. During the ...
, finally breaking French power in Spain. The French had to retreat from the Iberian peninsula, over the
Pyrenees The Pyrenees (; es, Pirineos ; french: Pyrénées ; ca, Pirineu ; eu, Pirinioak ; oc, Pirenèus ; an, Pirineus) is a mountain range straddling the border of France and Spain. It extends nearly from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to C ...
. The belligerents declared an armistice from 4 June 1813 (continuing until 13 August) during which time both sides attempted to recover from the loss of approximately a quarter of a million men in the preceding two months. During this time coalition negotiations finally brought Austria out in open opposition to France. Two principal Austrian armies took the field, adding 300,000 men to the coalition armies in Germany. The Allies now had around 800,000 front-line soldiers in the German theatre, with a strategic reserve of 350,000 formed to support the front-line operations. Napoleon succeeded in bringing the imperial forces in the region to around 650,000—although only 250,000 came under his direct command, with another 120,000 under Nicolas Charles Oudinot and 30,000 under Davout. The remainder of imperial forces came mostly from the Confederation of the Rhine, especially Saxony and Bavaria. In addition, to the south, Murat's Kingdom of Naples and Eugène de Beauharnais's Kingdom of Italy had 100,000 armed men. In Spain, another 150,000 to 200,000 French troops steadily retreated before Anglo-Portuguese forces numbering around 100,000. Thus around 900,000 Frenchmen in all theatres faced around 1,800,000 coalition soldiers (including the strategic reserve under formation in Germany). The gross figures may mislead slightly, as most of the German troops fighting on the side of the French fought at best unreliably and stood on the verge of defecting to the Allies. One can reasonably say that Napoleon could count on no more than 450,000 men in Germany—which left him outnumbered about four to one. Following the end of the armistice, Napoleon seemed to have regained the initiative at
Dresden Dresden (, ; Upper Saxon: ''Dräsdn''; wen, label= Upper Sorbian, Drježdźany) is the capital city of the German state of Saxony and its second most populous city, after Leipzig. It is the 12th most populous city of Germany, the fourth la ...
(August 1813), where he once again defeated a numerically superior coalition army and inflicted enormous casualties, while sustaining relatively few. The failures of his marshals and a slow resumption of the offensive on his part cost him any advantage that this victory might have secured. At the
Battle of Leipzig The Battle of Leipzig (french: Bataille de Leipsick; german: Völkerschlacht bei Leipzig, ); sv, Slaget vid Leipzig), also known as the Battle of the Nations (french: Bataille des Nations; russian: Битва народов, translit=Bitva ...
in Saxony (16–19 October 1813), also called the "Battle of the Nations", 191,000 French fought more than 300,000 Allies, and the defeated French had to retreat into France. After the French withdrawal from Germany, Napoleon's remaining ally,
Denmark–Norway Denmark–Norway (Danish language, Danish and Norwegian language, Norwegian: ) was an early modern multi-national and multi-lingual real unionFeldbæk 1998:11 consisting of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of Norway (including the then Norweg ...
, became isolated and fell to the coalition. Napoleon then fought a series of battles in France, including the
Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube The Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube (20–21 March 1814) saw an Imperial French army under Napoleon face a much larger Allied army led by Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg during the War of the Sixth Coalition. On the second day of fighting ...
, but the overwhelming numbers of the Allies steadily forced him back. The Allies entered Paris on 30 March 1814. During this time Napoleon fought his Six Days' Campaign, in which he won many battles against the enemy forces advancing towards Paris. During this entire campaign, he never managed to field more than 70,000 men against more than half a million coalition soldiers. At the Treaty of Chaumont (9 March 1814), the Allies agreed to preserve the coalition until Napoleon's total defeat. Napoleon determined to fight on, even now, incapable of fathoming his fall from power. During the campaign, he had issued a decree for 900,000 fresh conscripts, but only a fraction of these materialised, and Napoleon's schemes for victory eventually gave way to the reality of his hopeless situation. Napoleon abdicated on 6 April. Occasional military actions continued in Italy, Spain, and Holland in early 1814. An armistice was signed with the Allied Powers on 23 April 1814. The First Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, officially ended the War of the Sixth Coalition. The victors exiled Napoleon to the island of
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva) is a Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean island in Tuscany, Italy, from the coastal town of Piombino on the Italian mainland, and the largest island of the Tuscan Archipelago. It is also part of the Arcipelag ...
and restored the French Bourbon monarchy in the person of
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was List of French Monarchs, King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a brief interruption during the Hundred Days in 1815. He spen ...
. They signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau (11 April 1814) and initiated the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was a series of international diplomatic meetings to discuss and agree upon a possible new layout of the European political and constitutional order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon, ...
to redraw the map of Europe.


War of the Seventh Coalition, 1815

The
Seventh Coalition The Hundred Days (french: les Cent-Jours ), also known as the War of the Seventh Coalition, marked the period between Napoleon's return from eleven months of exile on the island of Elba to Paris on20 March 1815 and the second restoration ...
(1815) pitted Britain, Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and several smaller German states against France. The period known as the
Hundred Days The Hundred Days (french: les Cent-Jours ), also known as the War of the Seventh Coalition, marked the period between Napoleon's return from eleven months of exile on the island of Elba to Paris on20 March 1815 and the second restoration ...
began after Napoleon escaped from Elba and landed at
Cannes Cannes ( , , ; oc, Canas) is a city located on the French Riviera. It is a communes of France, commune located in the Alpes-Maritimes departments of France, department, and host city of the annual Cannes Film Festival, Midem, and Cannes Lions I ...
(1 March 1815). Travelling to Paris, picking up support as he went, he eventually overthrew the restored
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was List of French Monarchs, King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for a brief interruption during the Hundred Days in 1815. He spen ...
. The Allies rapidly gathered their armies to meet him again. Napoleon raised 280,000 men, whom he distributed among several armies. To add to the 90,000-strong standing army, he recalled well over a quarter of a million veterans from past campaigns and issued a decree for the eventual draft of around 2.5 million new men into the French army, which was never achieved. This faced an initial coalition force of about 700,000—although coalition campaign plans provided for one million front-line soldiers, supported by around 200,000 garrison, logistics and other auxiliary personnel. Napoleon took about 124,000 men of the Army of the North on a pre-emptive strike against the Allies in Belgium. He intended to attack the coalition armies before they combined, in hope of driving the British into the sea and the Prussians out of the war. His march to the frontier achieved the surprise he had planned, catching the Anglo-Dutch Army in a dispersed arrangement. The Prussians had been more wary, concentrating 75% of their army in and around Ligny. The Prussians forced the Armée du Nord to fight all the day of the 15th to reach Ligny in a delaying action by the Prussian 1st Corps. He forced Prussia to fight at Ligny on 16 June 1815, and the defeated Prussians retreated in disorder. On the same day, the left wing of the Armée du Nord, under the command of Marshal
Michel Ney Michel Ney, 1st Duke of Elchingen, 1st Prince of the Moskva (; 10 January 1769 – 7 December 1815), was a French military commander and Marshal of the Empire who fought in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. He was one o ...
, succeeded in stopping any of Wellington's forces going to aid Blücher's Prussians by fighting a blocking action at Quatre Bras. Ney failed to clear the cross-roads and Wellington reinforced the position. But with the Prussian retreat, Wellington too had to retreat. He fell back to a previously reconnoitred position on an
escarpment An escarpment is a steep slope landform, slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. The terms ''scarp'' and ''scarp face'' are often used interchangea ...
at Mont St Jean, a few miles south of the village of Waterloo. Napoleon took the reserve of the Army of the North, and reunited his forces with those of Ney to pursue Wellington's army, after he ordered Marshal Grouchy to take the right wing of the Army of the North and stop the Prussians re-grouping. In the first of a series of miscalculations, both Grouchy and Napoleon failed to realise that the Prussian forces were already reorganised and were assembling at the village of Wavre. The French army did nothing to stop a rather leisurely retreat that took place throughout the night and into the early morning by the Prussians. As the 4th, 1st, and 2nd Prussian Corps marched through the town towards Waterloo the 3rd Prussian Corps took up blocking positions across the river, and although Grouchy engaged and defeated the Prussian rearguard under the command of Lt-Gen von Thielmann in the
Battle of Wavre The Battle of Wavre was the final major military action of the Hundred Days campaign and the Napoleonic Wars. It was fought on 18–19 June 1815 between the Prussian rearguard, consisting of the Prussian III Corps under the command of General ...
(18–19 June) it was 12 hours too late. In the end, 17,000 Prussians had kept 33,000 badly needed French reinforcements off the field. Napoleon delayed the start of fighting at the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...
on the morning of 18 June for several hours while he waited for the ground to dry after the previous night's rain. By late afternoon, the French army had not succeeded in driving Wellington's forces from the escarpment on which they stood. When the Prussians arrived and attacked the French right flank in ever-increasing numbers, Napoleon's strategy of keeping the coalition armies divided had failed and a combined coalition general advance drove his army from the field in confusion. Grouchy organised a successful and well-ordered retreat towards Paris, where Marshal Davout had 117,000 men ready to turn back the 116,000 men of Blücher and Wellington. General Vandamme was defeated at the Battle of Issy and negotiations for surrender had begun. On arriving at Paris three days after Waterloo, Napoleon still clung to the hope of a concerted national resistance; but the temper of the
legislative chamber A legislative chamber or house is a deliberative assembly within a legislature which generally meets and votes separately from the legislature's other chambers. Legislatures are usually Unicameralism, unicameral, consisting of only one chambe ...
s, and of the public generally, did not favour his view. Lacking support Napoleon abdicated again on 22 June 1815, and on 15 July he surrendered to the British squadron at Rochefort. The Allies exiled him to the remote South Atlantic island of
Saint Helena Saint Helena () is a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote volcanic tropical island west of the coast of south-western Africa, and east of Rio de Janeiro in South America. It is one of three constitu ...
, where he died on 5 May 1821. In Italy,
Joachim Murat Joachim Murat ( , also , ; it, Gioacchino Murati; 25 March 1767 – 13 October 1815) was a French military commander and statesman who served during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Under the First French Empire, French Emp ...
, whom the Allies had allowed to remain King of
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 909,048 within the city's adminis ...
after Napoleon's initial defeat, once again allied with his brother-in-law, triggering the Neapolitan War (March to May 1815). Hoping to find support among Italian nationalists fearing the increasing influence of the Habsburgs in Italy, Murat issued the Rimini Proclamation inciting them to war. The proclamation failed and the Austrians soon crushed Murat at the Battle of Tolentino (2–3 May 1815), forcing him to flee. The
Bourbons The House of Bourbon (, also ; ) is a European dynasty of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Kingdom of Navarre, Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, memb ...
returned to the throne of Naples on 20 May 1815. Murat tried to regain his throne, but after that failed, he was executed by firing squad on 13 October 1815. The Second Treaty of Paris, signed on 20 November 1815, officially marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.


Political effects

The Napoleonic Wars brought radical changes to Europe, but the reactionary forces returned and restored the Bourbon house to the French throne. Napoleon had succeeded in bringing most of Western Europe under one rule. In most European countries, subjugation in the French Empire brought with it many liberal features of the French Revolution including democracy,
due process Due process of law is application by State (polity), state of all legal rules and principles pertaining to the case so all legal rights that are owed to the person are respected. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the ...
in courts, abolition of serfdom, reduction of the power of the Catholic Church, and demand for constitutional limits on monarchs. The increasing voice of the middle classes with rising commerce and industry meant that restored European monarchs found it difficult to restore pre-revolutionary absolutism and had to retain many of the reforms enacted during Napoleon's rule. Institutional legacies remain to this day in the form of civil law, with clearly defined
codes of law A civil code is a codification of private law Private law is that part of a civil law (legal system), civil law legal system which is part of the ''jus commune'' that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts ...
—an enduring legacy of the Napoleonic Code. France's constant warfare with the combined forces of different combinations of, and eventually all, of the other major powers of Europe for over two decades finally took its toll. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars, France no longer held the role of the dominant power in Continental Europe, as it had since the times of
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was List of French monarchs, King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the Li ...
, as the
Congress of Vienna The Congress of Vienna (, ) of 1814–1815 was a series of international diplomatic meetings to discuss and agree upon a possible new layout of the European political and constitutional order after the downfall of the French Emperor Napoleon, ...
produced a " balance of power" by resizing the main powers so they could balance each other and remain at peace. In this regard,
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a Germans, German state on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It formed the German Empire under Prussian rule when it united the German states in 1871. It was ''de facto'' dissolved ...
was restored in its former borders, and also received large chunks of
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative provinces called Voivodeships of Poland, voivodeships, covering an area of . Poland has a population of over 38 million and is ...
and
Saxony Saxony (german: Sachsen ; Upper Saxon German, Upper Saxon: ''Saggsn''; hsb, Sakska), officially the Free State of Saxony (german: Freistaat Sachsen, links=no ; Upper Saxon: ''Freischdaad Saggsn''; hsb, Swobodny stat Sakska, links=no), is a ...
. Greatly enlarged, Prussia became a permanent
Great Power A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power i ...
. In order to drag Prussia's attention towards the west and France, the Congress also gave the
Rhineland The Rhineland (german: Rheinland; french: Rhénanie; nl, Rijnland; ksh, Rhingland; Latinised name: ''Rhenania'') is a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly Middle Rhine, its middle section. Term Historically, th ...
and
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the regio ...
to Prussia. These industrial regions transformed agrarian Prussia into an industrial leader in the nineteenth century. Britain emerged as the most important economic power, and its
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
held unquestioned naval superiority across the globe well into the 20th century. After the Napoleonic period, nationalism, a relatively new movement, became increasingly significant. This shaped much of the course of future European history. Its growth spelled the beginning of some states and the end of others, as the map of Europe changed dramatically in the hundred years following the
Napoleonic Era The Napoleonic era is a period in the history of France and history of Europe, Europe. It is generally classified as including the fourth and final stage of the French Revolution, the first being the National Assembly (French Revolut ...
. Rule by fiefdoms and aristocracy was widely replaced by national ideologies based on shared origins and culture. Bonaparte's reign over Europe sowed the seeds for the founding of the nation-states of
Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is situated between ...
and
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
by starting the process of consolidating city-states, kingdoms and principalities. At the end of the war, Denmark was forced to cede Norway to Sweden mainly as a compensation for the loss of
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia Russia (, , ), or the Ru ...
which the other coalition members agreed to, but because Norway had signed its own constitution on 17 May 1814
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
initiated the Swedish–Norwegian War of 1814. The war was a short one taking place between 26 July – 14 August 1814 and was a Swedish victory that put
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe, the mainland territory of which comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The remote Arctic island of ...
into a personal union with
Sweden Sweden, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
under
Charles XIV John of Sweden Charles XIV John ( sv, Karl XIV Johan; born Jean Bernadotte; 26 January 1763 – 8 March 1844) was King of Sweden and King of Norway, Norway from 1818 until his death in 1844. Before his reign he was a Marshal of France during the Napoleonic Wars a ...
. The union was peacefully dissolved in 1905. The
United Kingdom of the Netherlands The United Kingdom of the Netherlands ( nl, Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; french: Royaume uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name given to the Kingdom of the Netherlands as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was cr ...
created as a
buffer state A buffer state is a country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state (polity), state, nation, or other polity, political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country o ...
against France dissolved rapidly with the independence of Belgium in 1830. The Napoleonic wars also played a key role in the independence of the Latin American colonies from Spain and Portugal. The conflict weakened the authority and military power of Spain, especially after the
Battle of Trafalgar The Battle of Trafalgar (21 October 1805) was a naval engagement between the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of S ...
. There were many uprisings in Spanish America, leading to the wars of independence. In
Portuguese America Portuguese America ( pt, América Portuguesa), sometimes called or Lusophone America in the English language, in contrast to Anglo-America, French America or Hispanic America, is the Portuguese language, Portuguese-speaking community of people an ...
, Brazil experienced greater autonomy as it now served as seat of the Portuguese Empire and ascended politically to the status of Kingdom. These events also contributed to the Portuguese Liberal Revolution in 1820 and the
Independence of Brazil The Independence of Brazil comprised a series of political and military events that led to the independence of the Kingdom of Brazil from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves as the Brazilian Empire. Most of the events occurre ...
in 1822. The century of relative transatlantic peace, after the Congress of Vienna, enabled the "greatest intercontinental migration in human history" beginning with "a big spurt of immigration after the release of the dam erected by the Napoleonic Wars." Immigration inflows relative to the US population rose to record levels (peaking at 1.6% in 1850–51) as 30 million Europeans relocated to the United States between 1815 and 1914. Another concept emerged from the Congress of Vienna – that of a unified Europe. After his defeat, Napoleon deplored the fact that his dream of a free and peaceful "European association" remained unaccomplished. Such a European association would share the same principles of government, system of measurement, currency and
Civil Code A civil code is a codification of private law relating to property law, property, family law, family, and law of obligations, obligations. A jurisdiction that has a civil code generally also has a code of civil procedure. In some jurisdictio ...
. One-and-a-half centuries later, and after two world wars several of these ideals re-emerged in the form of the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
.


Military legacy


Enlarged scope

Until the time of
Napoleon Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...
, European states employed relatively small armies, made up of both national soldiers and
mercenaries A mercenary, sometimes Pseudonym, also known as a soldier of fortune or hired gun, is a private individual, particularly a soldier, that joins a military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, and is not a memb ...
. These regulars were highly drilled, professional soldiers. Ancien Régime armies could only deploy small field armies due to rudimentary staffs and comprehensive yet cumbersome logistics. Both issues combined to limit field forces to approximately 30,000 men under a single commander. Military innovators in the mid-18th century began to recognise the potential of an entire nation at war: a "nation in arms". The scale of warfare dramatically enlarged during the Revolutionary and subsequent Napoleonic Wars. During Europe's major pre-revolutionary war, the
Seven Years' War The Seven Years' War (1756–1763) was a global conflict that involved most of the European Great Powers, and was fought primarily in Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific. Other concurrent conflicts include the French and Indian War (1754–1 ...
of 1756–1763, few armies ever numbered more than 200,000 with field forces often numbering less than 30,000. The French innovations of separate corps (allowing a single commander to efficiently command more than the traditional command span of 30,000 men) and living off the land (which allowed field armies to deploy more men without requiring an equal increase in supply arrangements such as depots and supply trains) allowed the French republic to field much larger armies than their opponents. Napoleon ensured during the time of the French republic that separate French field armies operated as a single army under his control, often allowing him to substantially outnumber his opponents. This forced his continental opponents to also increase the size of their armies, moving away from the traditional small, well-drilled Ancien Régime armies of the 18th century to mass conscript armies. The Battle of Marengo, which largely ended the War of the Second Coalition, was fought with fewer than 60,000 men on both sides. The Battle of Austerlitz which ended the War of the Third Coalition involved fewer than 160,000 men. The Battle of Friedland which led to peace with Russia in 1807 involved about 150,000 men. After these defeats, the continental powers developed various forms of mass conscription to allow them to face France on even terms, and the size of field armies increased rapidly. The battle of Wagram of 1809 involved 300,000 men, and 500,000 fought at Leipzig in 1813, of whom 150,000 were killed or wounded. About a million French soldiers became casualties (wounded, invalided or killed), a higher proportion than in the First World War. The European total may have reached 5,000,000 military deaths, including disease. France had the second-largest population in Europe by the end of the 18th century (27 million, as compared to Britain's 12 million and Russia's 35 to 40 million). It was well poised to take advantage of the '' levée en masse''. Before Napoleon's efforts,
Lazare Carnot Lazare Nicolas Marguerite, Count Carnot (; 13 May 1753 – 2 August 1823) was a French mathematician, physicist and politician. He was known as the "Organizer of Victory" in the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars. Education and early ...
played a large part in the reorganisation of the French army from 1793 to 1794—a time which saw previous French misfortunes reversed, with Republican armies advancing on all fronts. The French army peaked in size in the 1790s with 1.5 million Frenchmen enlisted although battlefield strength was much less. Haphazard bookkeeping, rudimentary medical support and lax recruitment standards ensured that many soldiers either never existed, fell ill or were unable to withstand the physical demands of soldiering. About 2.8 million Frenchmen fought on land and about 150,000 at sea, bringing the total for France to almost 3 million combatants during almost 25 years of warfare. Britain had 750,000 men under arms between 1792 and 1815 as its army expanded from 40,000 men in 1793 to a peak of 250,000 men in 1813. Over 250,000 sailors served in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
. In September 1812, Russia had 900,000 enlisted men in its land forces, and between 1799 and 1815 2.1 million men served in its army. Another 200,000 served in the Russian Navy. Out of the 900,000 men, the field armies deployed against France numbered less than 250,000. There are no consistent statistics for other major combatants. Austria's forces peaked at about 576,000 (during the War of the Sixth Coalition) and had little or no naval component yet never fielded more than 250,000 men in field armies. After Britain, Austria proved the most persistent enemy of France; more than a million Austrians served during the long wars. Its large army was overall quite homogeneous and solid and in 1813 operated in Germany (140,000 men), Italy and the Balkans (90,000 men at its peak, about 50,000 men during most of the campaigning on these fronts). Austria's manpower was becoming quite limited towards the end of the wars, leading its generals to favour cautious and conservative strategies, to limit their losses. Prussia never had more than 320,000 men under arms at any time. In 1813–1815, the core of its army (about 100,000 men) was characterised by competence and determination, but the bulk of its forces consisted of second- and third-line troops, as well as militiamen of variable strength. Many of these troops performed reasonably well and often displayed considerable bravery but lacked the professionalism of their regular counterparts and were not as well equipped. Others were largely unfit for operations, except sieges. During the 1813 campaign, 130,000 men were used in the military operations, with 100,000 effectively participating in the main German campaign, and about 30,000 being used to besiege isolated French garrisons. Spain's armies also peaked at around 200,000 men, not including more than 50,000 guerrillas scattered over Spain. In addition the Maratha Confederation, the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire, * ; is an archaic version. The definite article forms and were synonymous * and el, Оθωμανική Αυτοκρατορία, Othōmanikē Avtokratoria, label=none * info page on book at Martin Luther University) ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic, ) or the Republic of Italy, is a country in Southern Europe. It is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, and its territory largely coincides with the Italy (geographical region) ...
,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of Campania and the third-largest city of Italy, after Rome and Milan, with a population of 909,048 within the city's adminis ...
and the
Duchy of Warsaw The Duchy of Warsaw ( pl, Księstwo Warszawskie, french: Duché de Varsovie, german: Herzogtum Warschau), also known as the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and Napoleonic Poland, was a First French Empire, French client state established by Napoleon Bonap ...
each had more than 100,000 men under arms. Even small nations now had armies rivalling the size of the
Great Powers A great power is a sovereign state that is recognized as having the ability and expertise to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength, as well as diplomatic and soft power i ...
' forces of past wars but most of these were poor quality forces only suitable for garrison duties. The size of their combat forces remained modest yet they could still provide a welcome addition to the major powers. The percentage of French troops in the Grande Armee which Napoleon led into Russia was about 50% while the French allies also provided a significant contribution to the French forces in Spain. As these small nations joined the coalition forces in 1813–1814, they provided a useful addition to the coalition while depriving Napoleon of much-needed manpower.


Innovations

The initial stages of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
had much to do with larger military forces—it became easy to mass-produce weapons and thus to equip larger forces. Britain was the largest single manufacturer of armaments in this period. It supplied most of the weapons used by the coalition powers throughout the conflicts. France produced the second-largest total of armaments, equipping its own huge forces as well as those of the
Confederation of the Rhine The Confederated States of the Rhine, simply known as the Confederation of the Rhine, also known as Napoleonic Germany, was a confederation of German client states established at the behest of Napoleon some months after he defeated Austrian E ...
and other allies. Napoleon showed innovative tendencies in his use of mobility to offset numerical disadvantages, as demonstrated in the rout of the Austro–Russian forces in 1805 in the
Battle of Austerlitz The Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805/11 Frimaire An XIV FRC), also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a serie ...
. The French Army redefined the role of artillery, forming independent, mobile units, as opposed to the previous tradition of attaching artillery pieces in support of troops. The semaphore system had allowed the French War-Minister, Carnot, to communicate with French forces on the frontiers throughout the 1790s. The French continued to use this system throughout the Napoleonic wars.
Aerial surveillance A surveillance aircraft is an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few ca ...
was used for the first time when the French used a hot-air balloon to survey coalition positions before the Battle of Fleurus, on 26 June 1794.


Total war

Historians have explored how the Napoleonic wars became total wars. Most historians argue that the escalation in size and scope came from two sources. First was the ideological clash between revolutionary/egalitarian and conservative/hierarchical belief systems. Second was the emergence of
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peo ...
in France, Germany, Spain, and elsewhere that made these "people's wars" instead of contests between monarchs. Bell has argued that even more important than ideology and nationalism were the intellectual transformations in the culture of war that came about through
the Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intel ...
. One factor, he says, is that war was no longer a routine event but a transforming experience for societies—a total experience. Secondly, the military emerged in its own right as a separate sphere of society distinct from the ordinary civilian world. The French Revolution made every civilian a part of the war machine, either as a soldier through universal conscription, or as a vital cog in the home front machinery supporting and supplying the army. Out of that, says Bell, came "militarism," the belief that the military role was morally superior to the civilian role in times of great national crisis. The fighting army represented the essence of the nation's soul. As Napoleon proclaimed, "It is the soldier who founds a Republic and it is the soldier who maintains it." Napoleon said on his career "I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution."


Use of military intelligence

Intelligence played a pivotal factor throughout the Napoleonic Wars and could very well have changed the tide of war. The use and misuse of military intelligence dictated the course of many major battles during the Napoleonic Wars. Some of the major battles that were dictated by the use of intelligence include: The Battle of Waterloo, Battle of Leipzig, Battle of Salamanca, and the Battle of Vitoria. A major exception to the greater use of superior military intelligence to claim victory was the Battle of Jena in 1806. At the Battle of Jena even Prussian superior military intelligence was not enough to counter the sheer military force of Napoleons' armies. The use of intelligence varied greatly across the major world powers of the war. Napoleon at this time had more supply of intelligence given to him than any French general before him. However, Napoleon was not an advocate of military intelligence at this time as he often found it unreliable and inaccurate when compared to his own preconceived notions of the enemy. Napoleon rather studied his enemy via domestic newspapers, diplomatic publications, maps, and prior documents of military engagements in the theaters of war in which he would operate. It was this stout and constant study of the enemy which made Napoleon the military mastermind of his time. Whereas, his opponents—Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia—were much more reliant on traditional intelligence-gathering methods and were much more quickly and willing to act on them. The methods of Intelligence during these wars were to include the formation of vast and complex networks of corresponding agents, codebreaking, and cryptanalysis. The greatest cipher to be used to hide military operations during this time was known as the Great Paris Cipher used by the French. However, thanks to the hard work of British codebreakers like George Scovell, the British were able to crack French ciphers and gain vast amounts of military intelligence on Napoleon and his armies.


In fiction

The Napoleonic Wars were a defining event of the early 19th century, and inspired many works of fiction, from then until the present day. *
Leo Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich TolstoyTolstoy pronounced his first name as , which corresponds to the romanization ''Lyov''. () (; russian: link=no, Лев Николаевич Толстой,In Tolstoy's day, his name was written as in Reforms of ...
's epic novel ''
War and Peace ''War and Peace'' (russian: Война и мир, translit=Voyna i mir; Reforms of Russian orthography, pre-reform Russian: ; ) is a literary work by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy that mixes fictional narrative with chapters on history and phil ...
'' recounts Napoleon's wars between 1805 and 1812 (especially the disastrous 1812 invasion of Russia and subsequent retreat) from a Russian perspective. *
Stendhal Marie-Henri Beyle (; 23 January 1783 – 23 March 1842), better known by his pen name Stendhal (, ; ), was a 19th-century French writer. Best known for the novels ''Le Rouge et le Noir'' (''The Red and the Black'', 1830) and ''La Chartreuse de P ...
's novel '' The Charterhouse of Parma'' opens with a ground-level recounting of the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...
and the subsequent chaotic retreat of French forces. * '' Les Misérables'' by
Victor Hugo Victor-Marie Hugo (; 26 February 1802 – 22 May 1885) was a French Romanticism, Romantic writer and politician. During a literary career that spanned more than sixty years, he wrote in a variety of genres and forms. He is considered to be one ...
takes place against the backdrop of the Napoleonic War and subsequent decades, and in its unabridged form contains an epic telling of the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...
. * '' Adieu'' is a novella by Honoré de Balzac in which can be found a short description of the French retreat from Russia, particularly the
battle of Berezina The Battle of (the) Berezina (or Beresina) took place from 26 to 29 November 1812, between Napoleon's Grande Armée and the Imperial Russian Army under Field Marshal Peter Wittgenstein, Wittgenstein and Admiral Pavel Chichagov, Chichagov. Napole ...
, where the fictional couple of the story are tragically separated. Years later after imprisonment, the husband returns to find his wife still in a state of utter shock and amnesia. He has the battle and their separation reenacted, hoping the memory will heal her state. *
William Makepeace Thackeray William Makepeace Thackeray (; 18 July 1811 – 24 December 1863) was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his Satire, satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel ''Vanity Fair (novel), Vanity Fair'', a panoramic portra ...
's novel '' Vanity Fair'' takes place during the 1815 Napoleonic War – one of its protagonists dies at the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...
. Thackeray states in Chapter XXX "We do not claim to rank among the military novelists. Our place is with the non-combatants. When the decks are cleared for action we go below and wait meekly." And indeed he presents no descriptions of military leaders, strategy, or combat; he describes anxious non-combatants waiting in Brussels for news. * '' Sylvia's Lovers'' by
Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (''née'' Stevenson; 29 September 1810 – 12 November 1865), often referred to as Mrs Gaskell, was an English novelist, biographer and short story writer. Her novels offer a detailed portrait of the lives of many st ...
is set in the English home-front during the Napoleonic Wars and depicts the
impressment Impressment, colloquially "the press" or the "press gang", is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of ...
of sailors by roving press gangs. * ''The Duel'', a short story by
Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, ; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Poles in the United Kingdom#19th century, Polish-British novelist and short story writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest writers in t ...
, recounts the story based on true events of two French
Hussar A hussar ( , ; hu, huszár, pl, husarz, sh, husar / ) was a member of a class of light cavalry, originating in Central Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. The title and distinctive dress of these horsemen were subsequently widely ...
officers who carry a long grudge and fight in duels each time they meet during the Napoleonic wars. The short story was adapted by director
Ridley Scott Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is a British film director and producer. Directing, among others, science fiction films, his work is known for its atmospheric and highly concentrated visual style. Scott has received many accolades th ...
into the 1977 Cannes Film Festival's Best First Work award-winning film '' The Duellists''. *" Mr Midshipman Easy" (1836), semi-autobiographical novel by Captain
Frederick Marryat Captain Frederick Marryat (10 July 1792 – 9 August 1848) was a Royal Navy officer, a novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens. He is noted today as an early pioneer of nautical fiction, particularly for his semi-autobiographical novel ...
, who served as a Royal Navy officer (1806–1830) including during Napoleonic Wars, and who wrote many novels, and who was a pioneer of the Napoleonic wars sea story about the experiences of British naval officers. * '' Le Colonel Chabert'' by Honoré de Balzac. After being severely wounded during the
battle of Eylau The Battle of Eylau, or Battle of Preussisch-Eylau, was a bloody and strategically inconclusive battle on 7 and 8 February 1807 between Napoléon's ''Grande Armée'' and the Imperial Russian Army under the command of Levin August von Bennigs ...
(1807), Chabert, a famous colonel of the
cuirassier Cuirassiers (; ) were cavalry equipped with a cuirass, sword, and pistols. Cuirassiers first appeared in mid-to-late 16th century Europe as a result of armoured cavalry, such as man-at-arms, men-at-arms and demi-lancers, discarding their lances ...
s, was erroneously recorded as dead and buried unconscious with French casualties. After extricating himself from his grave and being nursed back to health by local peasants, it takes several years for him to recover. When he returns to the Paris of the
Bourbon Restoration Bourbon Restoration may refer to: France under the House of Bourbon: * Bourbon Restoration in France (1814, after the French revolution and Napoleonic era, until 1830; interrupted by the Hundred Days in 1815) Spain under the House of Bourbon-Anjou, ...
, he discovers that his "widow", a former prostitute that Chabert made rich and honourable, has married the wealthy Count Ferraud. She has also liquidated all of Chabert's belongings and pretends not to recognise her first husband. Seeking to regain his name and monies that were wrongly given away as inheritance, he hires Derville, an attorney, to win back his money and his honour. * A poem ''
Borodino The Battle of Borodino (). took place near the village of Borodino on during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The ' won the battle against the Imperial Russian Army but failed to gain a decisive victory and suffered tremendous losses. Napoleo ...
'' by
Mikhail Lermontov Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (; russian: Михаи́л Ю́рьевич Ле́рмонтов, p=mʲɪxɐˈil ˈjurʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈlʲɛrməntəf; – ) was a Russian Romanticism, Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet o ...
describes the
Battle of Borodino The Battle of Borodino (). took place near the village of Borodino (village), Mozhaysky District, Moscow Oblast, Borodino on during French invasion of Russia, Napoleon's invasion of Russia. The ' won the battle against the Imperial Russian A ...
from the perspective of poet's uncle, a Russian officer. * ''
The Count of Monte Cristo ''The Count of Monte Cristo'' (french: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel written by French author Alexandre Dumas (''père'') completed in 1844. It is one of the author's more popular works, along with ''The Three Musketeers''. Li ...
'' by
Alexandre Dumas, père Alexandre Dumas (, ; ; born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie (), 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (where '' '' is French for 'father', to distinguish him from his son Alexandre Dumas fils), was a French write ...
starts during the tail-end of the Napoleonic Wars. The main character, Edmond Dantès, suffers imprisonment following false accusations of Bonapartist leanings. * The novelist
Jane Austen Jane Austen (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen's plots oft ...
lived much of her life during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and two of her brothers served in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
. Austen almost never refers to specific dates or historical events in her novels, but wartime England forms part of the general backdrop to several of them: in ''
Pride and Prejudice ''Pride and Prejudice'' is an 1813 novel of manners by Jane Austen. The novel follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreci ...
'' (1813, but possibly written during the 1790s), the local
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a f ...
(civilian volunteers) has been called up for home defence and its officers play an important role in the plot; in
Mansfield Park ''Mansfield Park'' is the third published novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1814 by Thomas Egerton (publisher), Thomas Egerton. A second edition was published in 1816 by John Murray (publishing house), John Murray, still within Austen's ...
(1814), Fanny Price's brother William is a
midshipman A midshipman is an officer of the lowest Military rank#Subordinate/student officer, rank, in the Royal Navy, United States Navy, and many Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth navies. Commonwealth countries which use the rank include Royal Can ...
(officer in training) in the
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by Kingdom of England, English and Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were foug ...
; and in ''
Persuasion Persuasion or persuasion arts is an umbrella term In linguistics, semantics, general semantics, and ontology components, ontologies, hyponymy () is a wikt:Wiktionary:Semantic relations, semantic relation between a hyponym denoting a subset ...
'' (1818), Frederic Wentworth and several other characters are naval officers recently returned from service. * Charlotte Brontë's novel '' Shirley'' (1849), set during the Napoleonic Wars, explores some of the economic effects of war on rural Yorkshire. *
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer and physician. He created the character Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for ''A Study in Scarlet'', the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Hol ...
's Brigadier Gerard serves as a French soldier during the Napoleonic Wars *
Fyodor Dostoevsky Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (, ; rus, Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский, Fyódor Mikháylovich Dostoyévskiy, p=ˈfʲɵdər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪdʑ dəstɐˈjefskʲɪj, a=ru-Dostoevsky.ogg, links=yes; 11 November 18219 ...
's book ''
The Idiot ''The Idiot'' (Reforms of Russian orthography, pre-reform Russian: ; post-reform rus, Идиот, Idiót) is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published serially in the journal ''The Russian Messenger'' ...
'' had a character, General Ivolgin, who witnessed and recounted his relationship with Napoleon during the Campaign of Russia. * Roger Brook is a fictional secret agent and Napoleonic Wars Era gallant, later identified as the Chevalier de Breuc, in a series of twelve novels by Dennis Wheatley * The '' Hornblower'' books by C.S. Forester follow the naval career of Horatio Hornblower during the Napoleonic Wars. The 1951 film "
Captain Horatio Hornblower ''Captain Horatio Hornblower'' (a.k.a. ''Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.'' in the UK, "R.N." standing for "Royal Navy") is a 1951 British naval swashbuckler, swashbuckling war film in Technicolor from Warner Bros., produced by Gerry Mitchell, di ...
" starring
Gregory Peck Eldred Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003) was an Actor, American actor and one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s in film, 1940s to the 1970s in film, 1970s. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Peck the AFI's 100 Y ...
and Virginia Mayo and directed by
Raoul Walsh Raoul Walsh (born Albert Edward Walsh; March 11, 1887December 31, 1980) was an American film director, actor, founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), and the brother of Silent Screen, silent screen actor Geor ...
is a film adaption based on Forester's series of novels. Also by C.S. Forester two novels of the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal: " Death to the French" (1932, published in the United States under the title "Rifleman Dodd"), and " The Gun" (1933), later made into a 1957 film, " The Pride and the Passion", with
Cary Grant Cary Grant (born Archibald Alec Leach; January 18, 1904November 29, 1986) was an English-American actor. He was known for his Mid-Atlantic accent, debonair demeanor, light-hearted approach to acting, and sense of comic timing. He was one of ...
,
Frank Sinatra Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer and actor. Nicknamed the "Honorific nicknames in popular music, Chairman of the Board" and later called "Ol' Blue Eyes", Sinatra was one of the most popular ...
,
Sophia Loren Sofia Costanza Brigida Villani Scicolone (; born 20 September 1934), known professionally as Sophia Loren ( , ), is an Italian actress. She was named by the American Film Institute as one of the AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars, greatest female star ...
, directed by Stanley Kramer. * R. F. Delderfield, two novels about the Napoleonic Wars; ''Seven Men of Gascony'' (1949) about seven French infantrymen serving in a succession of Napoleonic campaigns, and '' Too Few For Drums'' (1964) about British soldiers cut off behind the French lines in Portugal in 1810, during the Peninsular War. * The '' Aubrey–Maturin'' series of novels is a sequence of 20
historical novel Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a Setting (narrative), setting related to the past events, but is fictional. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for historical fiction literature, it can also b ...
s by
Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian, Order of the British Empire, CBE (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000), born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of sea novels set in the Royal Navy during t ...
portraying the rise of Jack Aubrey from Lieutenant to Rear Admiral during the Napoleonic Wars. The film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World starring
Russell Crowe Russell Ira Crowe (born 7 April 1964) is an actor. He was born in New Zealand, spent ten years of his childhood in Australia, and moved there permanently at age twenty one. He came to international attention for his role as Roman Empire, Roma ...
and directed by Peter Weir is based on this series of books. * The '' Sharpe'' series by Bernard Cornwell stars the character Richard Sharpe, a soldier in the British Army, who fights throughout the Napoleonic Wars. * The '' Bloody Jack'' book series by Louis A. Meyer is set during the Second Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars, and retells many famous battles of the age. The heroine, Jacky, meets Bonaparte. * The Napoleonic Wars provide the backdrop for ''The Emperor'', ''The Victory'', ''The Regency'' and ''The Campaigners'', Volumes 11, 12, 13 and 14 respectively of The Morland Dynasty, a series of historical novels by the author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. * The Richard Bolitho series by Alexander Kent novels portray this period of history from a naval perspective. * G.S. Beard, author of two novels (2010) about John Fury, British naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars. * ''Napoleon's Blackguards'', a novel by Stephen McGarry, set in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars about the travails of an elite unit of Napoleon's Irish Legion. * Robert Challoner, author of three novels in the series about Charles Oakshott, British naval officer in Napoleonic Wars. * David Donachie's John Pearce series about a pressed seaman who becomes a British naval officer during the French Revolution wars and Napoleonic Wars. * Julian Stockwin's Thomas Kydd series portrays one man's journey from pressed man to Admiral in the time of the French and Napoleonic Wars * Simon Scarrow – Napoleonic series. Rise of Napoleon and Wellington from humble beginnings to history's most remarkable and notable leaders. Four books in the series. * The Lord Ramage series by Dudley Pope takes place during the Napoleonic Wars. *
Jeanette Winterson Jeanette Winterson (born 27 August 1959) is an English writer. Her first book, ''Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'', was a Autobiographical novel, semi-autobiographical novel about a sensitive teenage girl rebelling against convention. Other nov ...
's 1987 novel '' The Passion'' * Georgette Heyer's 1937 novel '' An Infamous Army'' recounts the fortunes of a family in the run-up to and during the course of, the
Battle of Waterloo The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium, Waterloo (at that time in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, now in Belgium). A French army under the command of Napoleon was defeated by two of the armie ...
. Heyer's novel is noted for its meticulous research on the progress of the battle, combining her noted period romance writing with her detailed research into regency history. * '' The Battle'' (French: ''La Bataille'') is a historical novel by the French author Patrick Rambaud that was first published in 1997 and again in English in 2000. The book describes the 1809
Battle of Aspern-Essling In the Battle of Aspern-Essling (21–22 May 1809), Napoleon I of France, Napoleon crossed the Danube near Vienna, but the French and their allies were attacked and forced back across the river by the Austrian Empire, Austrians under Archduke ...
between the French Empire under Napoleon and the Austrian Empire. The novel was awarded the
Prix Goncourt The Prix Goncourt (french: Le prix Goncourt, , ''The Goncourt Prize'') is a prize in French literature, given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". The prize carries a symbolic reward o ...
and the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française for 1997. * In Jasper Kent's novel ''Twelve'', 1812 Russian Invasion serves as a base story for the book. In later books from The Danilov Quintet, this war is constantly mentioned. * The ''Fighting Sail'' series by Alaric Bond portrays life and action aboard Royal Naval vessels during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. From the lower decks to the quarterdeck Bond's detailed settings are realistic. Narratives are told not just from a commissioned officer's point of view but include varied perspectives, including warranted officers, ordinary and able seamen, marines, supernumeraries, and women aboard presenting a broader, more complete picture of the Georgian Navy.


See also

*
Serbian Revolution The Serbian Revolution ( sr, Српска револуција / ''Srpska revolucija'') was a national uprising and constitutional change in Serbia that took place between 1804 and 1835, during which this territory evolved from an Sanjak of Sm ...
*
Austro-Polish War The Austro-Polish War or Polish-Austrian War was a part of the War of the Fifth Coalition in 1809 (a coalition of the Austrian Empire and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against Napoleon I of France, Napoleon' ...
* British Army during the Napoleonic Wars *
Haitian Revolution The Haitian Revolution (french: révolution haïtienne ; ht, revolisyon ayisyen) was a successful insurrection by self-liberated slaves against French colonial rule in Saint-Domingue, now the sovereign state of Haiti. The revolt began on ...
*
Imperial and Royal Army during the Napoleonic Wars The Imperial-Royal or Imperial Austrian Army (german: Kaiserlich-königliche Armee, abbreviation "K.K. Armee") was strictly speaking, the armed force of the Holy Roman Empire under its last monarch, the Habsburg Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor, Emp ...
* International relations (1648–1814), for diplomacy * Lists of battles of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars * Royal Prussian Army of the Napoleonic Wars *
Spanish American wars of independence The Spanish American wars of independence (25 September 1808 – 29 September 1833; es, Guerras de independencia hispanoamericanas) were numerous wars in Spanish America with the aim of political independence from Spanish rule during the early ...
* Uniforms of La Grande Armée *
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
*
World war A world war is an international conflict which involves all or most of the world's major powers. Conventionally, the term is reserved for two major international conflicts that occurred during the first half of the 20th century, World WarI (1914 ...


Notes


References


Citations


Works cited

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * . This source references: ** ** ** ** ** ** *


Further reading


General and reference books

* Bruun, Geoffrey. ''Europe and the French Imperium, 1799–1814'' (1938
online
political and diplomatic context * Bruce, Robert B. et al. ''Fighting Techniques of the Napoleonic Age 1792–1815: Equipment, Combat Skills, and Tactics'' (2008
excerpt and text search
* Gates, David. ''The Napoleonic Wars 1803–1815'' (NY: Random House, 2011) * Gulick, E.V. “The final coalition and the Congress of Vienna, 1813–15,” in C.W. Crawley, ed. ''The New Cambridge Modern History: IX. War and Peace in an age of upheaval 1793–1830'' (Cambridge University Press, 1965) pp. 629–668
online
* Markham, Felix. “The Napoleonic Adventure” in C.W. Crawley, ed. ''The New Cambridge Modern History: IX. War and Peace in an age of upheaval 1793–1830'' (Cambridge University Press, 1965) pp. 307–336
online
* * Ross, Steven T. ''European Diplomatic History, 1789–1815: France Against Europe'' (1969) * Ross, Steven T. ''The A to Z of the Wars of the French Revolution'' (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010); 1st edition was ''Historical dictionary of the wars of the French Revolution'' (Scarecrow Press, 1998) * * Rothenberg, E. Gunther. ''The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon'' (1977) * * Schneid, Frederick C. ''Napoleon's Conquest of Europe: The War of the Third Coalition'' (2005
excerpt and text search
* Schneid, Frederick C. ''Napoleonic Wars: The Essential Bibliography'' (2012
excerpt and text search
121 pp
online review in H-FRANCE
* Smith, Digby George. ''The Greenhill Napoleonic Wars Data Book: Actions and Losses in Personnel, Colours, Standards, and Artillery'' (1998) * Stirk, Peter. "The concept of military occupation in the era of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars." ''Comparative Legal History'' 3#1 (2015): 60–84.


Napoleon and French

* Chandler, David G., ed. ''Napoleon's Marshals'' (1987) short scholarly biographies * Dwyer, Philip. ''Napoleon: The Path to Power'' (2008
excerpt vol 1
* Elting, John R. ''Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grand Armee'' (1988). * Forrest, Alan I. ''Napoleon's Men: The Soldiers of the Empire Revolution and Empire'' (2002). * Forrest, Alan. ''Conscripts and Deserters: The Army and French Society during Revolution and the Empire'' (1989
excerpt and text search
* Gallaher, John G. ''Napoleon's Enfant Terrible: General Dominique Vandamme'' (2008)
excerpt
* Griffith, Paddy. ''The Art of War of Revolutionary France, 1789–1802'' (1998
excerpt and text search
* Haythornthwaite, Philip J. ''Napoleon's Military Machine'' (1995
excerpt and text search
* Hazen, Charles Downer. ''The French Revolution and Napoleon'' (1917
online free
* Nester, William R. ''Napoleon and the Art of Diplomacy: How War and Hubris Determined the Rise and Fall of the French Empire'' (2011)
excerpt
* Parker, Harold T. "Why Did Napoleon Invade Russia? A Study in Motivation and the Interrelations of Personality and Social Structure," ''Journal of Military History'' (1990) 54#2 pp. 131–4
in JSTOR
* Riley, Jonathon P. ''Napoleon as a General'' (Hambledon Press, 2007) * Mikaberidze, Alexander. ''The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History'' (Oxford University Press) February 2020 * Wilkin Bernard and Wilkin René: ''Fighting for Napoleon: French Soldiers’ Letters 1799–1815'' Pen and Sword Military (2016) * Wilkin Bernard and Wilkin René: ''Fighting the British: French Eyewitness Accounts from the Napoleonic Wars'' Pen and Sword Military (2018) * Geerts, Gérard A. ''Samenwerking en Confrontatie: De Frans-Nederlandse militaire betrekkingen, voornamelijk in Franse tijd'' (Bataafschse Leeuw, 2002)


Austrian, Prussian and Russian roles

* Haythornthwaite, Philip J. ''The Russian Army of the Napoleonic Wars'' (1987) vol 1: Infantry 1799–1814; vol 2: Cavalry, 1799–1814 * Lieven, D. C. "Russia and the Defeat of Napoleon (1812–14)," ''Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History'' (2006) 7#2 pp. 283–308. * Rothenberg, Gunther E. '' Napoleon's Great Adversaries: The Archduke Charles and the Austrian Army 1792–1814'' (1982) * Schneid, Frederick C. ed. ''European Armies of the French Revolution, 1789–1802'' (2015) Nine essays by leading scholars.


Historiography and memory

* Esdaile, Charles. "The Napoleonic Period: Some Thoughts on Recent Historiography," ''European History Quarterly,'' (1993) 23: 415–3
online
* Forrest, Alan et al. eds. ''War Memories: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in Modern European Culture'' (2013) * Hyatt, Albert M.J. "The Origins of Napoleonic Warfare: A Survey of Interpretations." ''Military Affairs'' (1966) 30#4 pp. 177–185. * Linch, Kevin. "War Memories: The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in Modern European Culture." ''Social History'' 40#2 (2015): 253–254. * Martin, Jean-Clément. "War Memories. The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in Modern European Culture." ''Annales Historiques De La Revolution Francaise''. (2015) No. 381. * evaluation of the major books on Napoleon and his wars published by 2001. * Mikaberidze, Alexander. "Recent Trends in the Russian Historiography of the Napoleonic Wars," ''Journal of Military History'' (2010) 74#1 pp. 189–194.


Primary sources

* Dwyer, Philip G. "Public remembering, private reminiscing: French military memoirs and the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars," ''French Historical Studies'' (2010) 33#2 pp. 231–25
online
* Kennedy, Catriona. ''Narratives of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars: Military and Civilian Experience in Britain and Ireland'' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) * Leighton, James. ''Witnessing the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars in German Central Europe'' (2013), diaries, letters and accounts by civilian
Online review


External links

*
The Legend of BonaparteThe Napoleonic Wars Exhibition held by The European Library15th Kings Light Dragoons (Hussars) Re-enactment Regiment
Reenactment and Living History Society
Napoleon, His Army and EnemiesNapoleonic GuideWar and Peace
by
Leo Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich TolstoyTolstoy pronounced his first name as , which corresponds to the romanization ''Lyov''. () (; russian: link=no, Лев Николаевич Толстой,In Tolstoy's day, his name was written as in Reforms of ...

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