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34

The attitude in the early 19 century was somewhat different. No one considered these wars as wars "against France", I mean against the French people. These were the wars against Napoleon, and earlier the wars against the revolutionary government. So there was no notion that "France should be punished". Many French emigres were on the coalition side. It is ...


22

Seems like the questioner was asking for a bit more than just an idea of conversion rates, so here is some background on how the pre-decimal currency worked. 4 farthings = one penny 2 halfpennies = one penny tuppence = colloquial two pence thruppence = colloquial three pence 240 pence = one pound 6 pence = sixpence (aka a Tanner), or half a shilling. ...


21

The boats of a Napoleonic warship were a very important part of the ship's equipment. They were the main means (and often the only means) of moving men, goods and communications to and from the ship. The number of boats carried and their size would be dependent on the rate of warship. A ship-of-the-line could have as many as 7 boats, while an unrated ...


20

What you are referring to is commonly known as the "French Column". I suppose it shouldn't be surprising that English movies and the English version of Wikipedia are pretty dismissive of it. After all, that was the opinion of everyone's favorite English General, Wellington. And he was certainly able to back it up. The first thing you have to realize is that ...


16

Napoleon loved forward momentum - and he got it with the heavy column. The formation forced his infantry forward, the front ranks constantly pushed to the fore by the ranks behind them, and made opponents break formation to get the hell out of the way. This worked, because Napoleon was an artilleryman - he would disrupt opposing line formations with ...


16

I don't have details for 1792, but the following are from James' Naval History for January 1793 (so probably good enough to get an idea of the relative strengths of the fleets). These cover the principal fleets at the main naval bases. At Brest Ready or fitting for Sea 1 120-gun ship of the line 2 110-gun ships of the line 4 80-gun ships of the line 12 ...


14

Campaigns of Napoleon: The Mind and Method of History's Greatest Soldier by David Chandler is a good source of informations on Napoleon. See pages 749-797, chapter "War Pans and Preparations". Mostly, the supplies were stored and ran from Poland. However, the army was accompanied by no less than 200,000 animals and 250,000 vehicles. A lot of the supplies ...


14

Unlike the earlier European wars of the 18th Century, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, from a British perspective, were not about acquiring or retaining territory. The purpose of war for the British Government was more of an ideological one, to prevent the spread of revolutionary ideas (especially to Britain) by restoring the French monarchy. ...


13

In order to be strategically pointless, it must be the case that a victory the other way would have had a negligibly different effect on subsequent historical events. Consider the possibility that as the two British columns approach the French/Spanish line of battle a fluke shot explodes the magazine on Royal Sovereign at the head of the Lee Column (think ...


13

Beat to quarters is what has become General Quarters in the modern navies. It was the call to ship's company to prepare for action/battle. All crew would prepare for action, depending on the reason for BtQ. (BtQ would be called during storm preparation as well as battle prep, for instance) The cannon crew would ensure their cannon were properly tied for the ...


11

Considering he escaped from an island prison and re-rallied the country, putting him in the Bastille (in the middle of France) and then leaving and demobilzing your army would quite obviously have been a Bad Idea. As for not executing him...I don't think they could really do that either. His only real "crime" was leading armies against them and losing. If ...


11

France was given a lenient peace because of its importance in the European balance of power, and the fear that punishing France too much would end up giving too much power to some other European country. This was the feeling after the removal of Napoleon, who was seen as the problem, not "France." For instance, England felt that France could be a useful ...


10

The first thing to remember is that Napoleon prized speed over everything else. Most of his campaigns he faced much larger armies led by different nations and leaders. When Napoleon arrived the opposing armies would be near one another but not yet (His apposing armies were separated due to forage and supply needs, or were traveling to meet one another at a ...


10

I just performed some Google search that gave me the map of Europe during Napoleonic wars. Here goes the reproduction from Wikipedia: See the image in other resolutions here: Europe 1812 map en.png So, in Europe, in 1812, there were the following countries: Great Britain - fought Portugal - fought Spain - fought Papal States - fought Kingdom of Naples ...


9

As a melee fighter, heavy cavalry would have depended on armor to block melee weapons once they got in range, and that alone would justify its use. As far as effectiveness against firearms the best I've ever found is that quality armor of the time was somewhat effective against small arms and muskets at range, though muskets could easily penetrate at close ...


8

A very raw comparison of the fleet strengths of the major players during the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars is given below. In these tables a Ship of the Line is any vessel that would be considered to sit in the line of battle, generally these had their guns on 2 or 3 decks and had 50 or more cannon. Cruisers are smaller sea-going warships, ...


7

Napoleon's army got some supplies from occupied and allied territories of course, especially from Prussia and Poland. Still, the distances were too long to get sufficient supplies in and so the soldiers plundered villages on their way to collect food. This turned out particularly devastating on their way back: the Russians used scorched earth tactics and the ...


7

No major European country stayed neutral (for the whole time of Napoleonic wars). The Ottoman Empire (partly placed in Europe, although not traditionally considered a European country) possibly comes closest. But it was by no means the boring Swiss-style neutrality, so I would review the Napoleon's Egyptian campaign, the Russo-Ottoman War of 1806-1812, and ...


7

Columns are an aggressive formation, that work best against "inferior" (slower-firing, -marching) opponents. That's because at the point of contact, the column is very deep, which means that it has a good chance of breaking the enemy line. It's weakness is that against a well-drilled opponent, the defender will pull back the line on either side, let the ...


7

I can tell you two things, how many were under Nelson's fleet in the Mediterranean and how many were in commission throughout the world in May 1804. Under Nelson's command were 13 Ships of the Line, 1 Fifty, 11 Frigates, 10 Sloops, 3 Bombs, 6 Gunboats and 2 Cutter and Schooners. In total commission (throughout the world) were 88 Ships of the Line, 13 ...


7

Not much. According to the Wiki: By the terms of the Anglo-Russian agreement of 1803, Britain paid a subsidy of ₤1.5 million pounds for every 100,000 Russian soldiers in the field... The whole cost of the war [for Britain] came to £831 million. By contrast the French financial system was inadequate and Napoleon’s forces had to rely in part ...


6

According to www.napolun.com the European fleet strengths, in terms of Ships of the Line (1st to 3rd rates), in 1808-1809 (shortly after Trafalgar) were: Great Britain: 113 Spain: 45 France: 45 Russia: 34 Denmark: 21 Also according to that website, in 1805 the Great Britain (presumably including state owned trade ships etc) had a ...


6

Money's meaning changes over time; it is not a static category. For simplicities sake, lets assume that you learn how to use Lsd (£/s/d) figures, and work out a few of the more curious word name (tuppence). Even then, you won't know how much money was worth in that era unless you read a lot of social history. There are time values for money converters ...


6

This is basically oblique order. The idea is to crush one flank of the enemy with the strong force, turn it 90° and defeat the enemy in detail. The remainder of your troops keep the enemy busy on the other flank. You put your heavy troops on the strong flank because they need the most strength (they need to break the line). The light troops are more ...


6

You will have a difficult time convincing me that Napoleon was the best battlefield technician of all time, when he was only the third best French practitioner of that art during the Napoleonic Era; Davout and likely Desaix would head that list. Similarly as a dynastic founder Napoleon's complete ineptitude at diplomacy place him a long ways down that list. ...


6

There is a book on the subject of the Rhineland subjugation called "From Reich to State: The Rhineland in the Revolutionary Age, 1780-1830" by Michael Rowe. On p. 203 of this book it says that many currencies, including the Franc, continued to be used. The main impact of the takeover was that the Franc became the only currency in which taxes could be paid, ...


6

Napoleon's initial objective was defeating Russian army in a border battle. Immediately after that he was planning to start negotiations and, among other things, to restore the alliance with Russia. Neither Moscow, nor St.Petersburg were of any use for him. On the other hand, Alexander I considered the possibility of losing both St.Petersburg and Moscow ...


5

Napoleon WAS imprisoned. The first time, at Elba, was under "house arrest." Security was lax, and he escaped and started the "100 Days." The British didn't make the same mistake the second time. The venue chosen for his exile was St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic, one of the most isolated places in the world. It is more than 1000 miles from Angola to ...


5

You have to be very careful about films about the Napoleonic Wars. First off, there aren't that many, unless you include the Richard Sharpe made for TV series and various TV miniseries, about which I will speak later. Of the actual feature films, I think War And Peace has been made twice, the only one worth watching being the Bondarchuk version. Bondarchuk ...



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