Questions tagged [napoleonic-wars]

Questions about a series of wars from 1803 to 1815 between the First French Empire and opposing (mostly European) coalitions.

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Until when did Russia occupy Paris after 1814

Russia occupied Paris in 1814 after the battle of Paris. They supposedly stayed for a while, I heard the anecdote that the word 'bistro' derives from that time (not generally accepted in linguistics ...
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1 answer
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Which general rebuked the King of England over logistics?

I have a bit of a hunt for anyone with a fair bit of trivia knowledge about letters. Back in a business class during my undergraduate studies, a professor shared a letter from a general to the King in ...
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How many battles could a Napoleonic war or ACW infantryman expect to survive?

In battles such as those of the Napoleonic wars or the American Civil War that involved infantry marching across open ground whilst being pummeled by artillery and facing volleys of musket or rifle ...
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3 votes
1 answer
195 views

On 15 October 1810 the 92nd Regiment were billeted in ruined houses at Crozendera, Portugal. Can anyone pinpoint this location?

During the Peninsular War the 92nd Highland Regiment (the "Gordon Highlanders") was moving from Lisbon to join with Wellington's army behind the Torres Vedras lines. On their arrival, on 15 ...
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Why did Napoleon divide his army during the retreat from Smolensk?

In the Wikipedia article on the Battle of Krasnoi: Having lost contact with Kutuzov during the previous two weeks, Napoleon incorrectly believed that the Russian army must have been as devastated by ...
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Why did the Ottomans 'never' enter wars during Napoleon's invasions? [closed]

Without knowing about the subject, why Turkey never entered the fray during the Napoleonic wars? It is true that they fought against the Russians around 1800's, but as far as I know, the engagement ...
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5 votes
1 answer
284 views

Why was Napoleon so lenient to Austria?

Austria (unlike Prussia) "rebelled" against Napoleon during the War of the Fifth Coalition. After putting down this country (but not Spain, Portugal, and the U.K.), Napoleon allowed the ...
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Was there a rational reason for Napoleon to attack Russia while the Peninsular War was still in progress?

My question somewhat parallels this question. There is one important difference however. In June 1941, Germany and Britain glared at each other across the English Channel, but there was no more land ...
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5 votes
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What do we know about the squadron that evacuated Moore's force after Corunna?

Upon being appointed commander of British forces in Iberia, and Napoleon's subsequent invasion with Le Grande Armee, Sir John Moore's retreated to a defensive position near the port of Corunna, in ...
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3 votes
1 answer
215 views

How widely accepted are Tolstoy's views on history within the academic community?

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a historic fiction and part essay in which Tolstoy regularly expresses his views on how events happen. More specifically, Tolstoy says that the actions of great men such ...
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Are these two images of Juan Diez Porlier or Francisco Espoz y Mina?

This sketch and this miniature clearly derived from it occur on the web in several places as both an image of Francisco Espoz y Mina and Juan Diaz Porlier. Both were well known and recognized ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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In Tolstoy's War and Peace, one character is captured after the Battle of Austerlitz and is taken as a POW. Was his experience historically accurate?

Prince Andrei Bolkonsky is captured after sustaining a wound in battle and is taken as a POW. He, along with other officers of the Russian Army, were treated with care and respect by the French, and ...
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4 votes
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What is the name of this hat and the function of those wearing them (worn by Nansouty's French Guard cavalry)?

Horace Vernet's painting "Battle of Hanau", held at the National Gallery in London. This scene depicts the Austro-Bavarian cavalry charge on the French Grand Battery and the countercharge of Nansouty'...
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What are these hats and the function of those wearing them (worn by the Russian imperial army at Borodino)?

After the battle of Borodino Franz Roubaud worked on a great panorama painting of 115 meters long. looking at the big panorama painting by Franz Roubaud I noticed that some of the Russian imperial ...
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34 votes
7 answers
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How were Martello towers supposed to work?

Having recently seen a Martello tower on the East coast of England, I tried to find-out what the defensive strategy was supposed to be - but the internet seems very short on information. The South-...
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Did a war occured because one country did not want the other to be strong? [closed]

About the Napoleonic wars, I discussed with a friend who told me that the English just wanted France to be weak, and that it was the reason for the Congress of Vienna in 1815. I have read on the ...
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What is the context for Napoleon's quote "[the Austrians] did not know the value of five minutes"?

Is this a real quote from Napoleon, and if so, what is the context? “The reason I beat the Austrians is, they did not know the value of five minutes.” Found on many 'quotes' sites like azquotes
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Why were some Napoleonic battles fought at sea?

'The Royal Navy 1793-1815' is all about the different battles that took place in the water'...my main concern is why the navy was involved at all? why couldn't they just fight in the land ? Is it ...
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30 votes
5 answers
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Are there historical instances of the capital of a colonising country being temporarily or permanently shifted to one of its colonies?

When the Portuguese Royal Court (over 15,000 souls) fled the Napoleonic invasion of Portugal in 1807, and installed itself in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Rio became the capital of the pluricontinental ...
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Was Emperor Francis II & I present at the Battle of Austerlitz?

The Battle of Austerlitz between France, Austria, and Russia on 2 December 1805 is also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, because of the presence of Napoleon I, Alexander I, and Francis II &...
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What is the original French for Napoleon's quote "When your enemy is making a false move don't disturb him"?

Napoleon is well regarded as stating, prior to Soult's assault on the Pratzen Heights at Austerlitz, words to the effect of: When your opponent is making a false move, it is wise not to disturb him. ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why did Napoleon change his mind and continue the attack into Russia?

On July 28, 1812 some of his officers convinced Napoleon to end the Russian campaign due to huge losses due to typhus. A couple of days later, Napoleon changed his mind and the rest is, as they say, ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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How much gunpowder could the average Napoleonic ship of the line carry?

I've run across a few references to a ship's magazine detonating during combat, and by all accounts the explosions were massive. I'm trying to put them into context a bit by figuring out how much ...
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What do historians say would have been Napoleon's optimal strategy after Borodino? [closed]

There is a saying that everyone is a general after the battle, but I still could not figure out what could have Napoleon done differently in order to save his army and consequently empire after ...
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What was the maneuver called when an infantry co. fired in two different directions while advancing? [closed]

When a Napoleonic-era infantry company was taking fire from front and rear, what is the maneuver called where they covered their rear while advancing forward?
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2 votes
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Why did General Dupont surrender in the Battle of Bailén?

General Dupont's had, from my inexpert view, quite a superior army when he fought the Spanish forces at the Battle of Bailén. This battle was in fact the first defeat in open field of the Napoleonic ...
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Are there any surviving military textbooks from the Napoleonic era?

Napoleon attended school for military officers, so it stands to reason they would have some books around which they based their curriculum. Are there any complete and publicly available recordings of ...
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2 votes
0 answers
309 views

When was the first instance of Generals Morand, Friant & Gudin being referred to as "The Immortals"?

Generals de Division Morand, Friant, and Gudin were at times referred to as "The Immortals", as noted in the thesis Marshal Louis N. Davout and the Art of Command by Major John M. Keefe (1994)(pp36, ...
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10 votes
2 answers
395 views

Why was the Kamchatka Regiment sent?

About 1800, Major-General Andrey Somov headed a regiment sent from Irkutsk to reinforce Kamchatka. Soldiers were to take up positions in about five garrisons around the peninsula. Feeding them was a ...
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5 votes
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Did armored cavalry have an advantage over unarmored cavalry in 18th/19th century?

Armor was being phased out during the 1500's as muskets capable of penetrating armor proliferated. By the 18th century, hardly any units on the European battlefields wore armor. Except for one - the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
751 views

Liking and disliking among the Napoleonic Marshalls of the Empire

It is anecdotical but I want to know if the Marshalls of the Empire appointed by Napoleon got well along or if they could hardly tolerate each other. I'm specially interested in Lannes, Davout, ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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What music did a Napoleonic era campaigning soldier hear?

I'd like to know what sort of music the common soldier would have heard while on campaign, regardless of nationality. For instance: What was the Imperial Guard singing on entering Russia? What sort ...
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-1 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why did the other Continental European powers keep trying to fight Napoleon before 1813 despite being beaten by him so often?

In the Napoleonic Wars the other major powers of Continental Europe, especially Austria but also Prussia and Russia, seemed to keep coming back every few years to have another go at fighting Napoleon, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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During the Peninsula War, what British material aid was given to Spain/Portugal?

The Peninsular War saw France intervene on the Iberian Peninsula, first against Portugal, then against Spain. It lasted roughly from 1808 - 1814. I would like to know what material Britain gave to ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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During and right after the French Revolution, how did France maintain and operate such a big army all over Europe?

During revolutions or civil wars, countries usually suffer enormous economic losses along with much civil unrest. These things would seem to make it impossible for a nation to operate a huge army and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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GDP for World Powers during the Napoleonic Era?

What was the GDP for the strongest world Powers during the Napoleonic Era? Powers like United Kingdom, France, Prussia, Russia, Austria, Holland, Spain, Denmark, United States, China, Ottoman Empire ...
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3 votes
2 answers
377 views

Losses in reserve units during battles in Napoleonic wars

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace famously contains a fictional account of the Battle of Borodino in 1812. In it, Prince Andrei Bolkonsky's regiment suffers losses from hostile artillery fire while still ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did "el Empecinado" fight in the Siege of Ciudad Rodrigo (1810)?

I'm writing a little piece on Juan Martín Díez, el Empecinado (the most famous Spanish guerrilla leader of the Peninsular War), and I need to know if he took part in the defence of Ciudad Rodrigo ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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At the Battle of Waterloo, why did the French army throw so many troops into the fight for Hougoumont?

The beginning of the battle of Waterloo is usually described as a French diversionary attack (of Jérôme Bonaparte’s 6th Division) on the allied position at the walled farm of Hougoumont (on Wellington’...
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2 votes
1 answer
369 views

Technical Pictures of Prussian Cannons

For my research I found these wonderful pictures showing all artillery weapons used during the Seven Years War. http://crogges7ywarmies.blogspot.de/2012/09/prussian-7yw-artillery-scale-drawings.html ...
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5 votes
1 answer
560 views

Power of Prussian artillery pieces during the Napoleonic Wars

I'm developing a RTS game which is set during the Napoleonic Wars and want to implement these artillery for the Prussian side: 6 pound cannon 7 pound howitzer 12 pound cannon Unfortunately, I have ...
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6 votes
1 answer
809 views

Identifying a military uniform from the early 19th century

I would like to identify this military uniform from someone related to my family in Portugal. It is probably from the early 19th century, and it may be from the Portuguese, British or Napoleonic Army ...
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12 votes
2 answers
651 views

What is the origin of this pre-industrial naval depiction

I'm neither a history buff not an artist, so I apologise in advance for my poor descriptions. I have recently come into possession of a painting depicting some naval ships, perhaps 19th century, ...
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Where can I find the diplomatic relationships of the nations in the Sixth Coalition?

On this page I can see which side each nation was on, but it does not mean that each country was in war with all the nations on the other site. Let me give an example: Denmark-Norway was allied with ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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When Napoleonic wars happened? [closed]

I'm studying History and Napoleonic wars. Anyway, I think I wrote wrong in my notes. I wrote:R France against Austria: 1806, France conquered Savoy, Nice and Milan (Milan conquered after the defeat ...
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21 votes
3 answers
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Did Napoleon plan to invade India?

In 1798 Napoleon invaded Egypt and in 1799 he invaded the Middle East. The only thing that stopped him from going further was the fortifications of Acre which he could not take. What was his plans if ...
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9 votes
1 answer
913 views

How accurate is the book "Rifleman Dodd"?

I recently borrowed a Napoleonic war era book titled Rifleman Dodd, by C.S.Forester. It was a entertaining story set in Portugal in the years 1810-1811. I'm wondering if the book is a work of fiction ...
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Size of army and battle in Napoleon's invasion of Russia

I am finding conflicting information when searching online for 1) The size of Napoleon's army when he invaded Russia and 2) The number of casualties in the Battle of Borodino. There are many books on ...
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28 votes
1 answer
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Capturing a much larger ship?

In Master and Commander (book 1 of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series), the 54-man, 14-gun Sophie captures the 319-man, 32-gun Cacafuego. Is this really plausible? How would it work? Is it the ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Where were the British Forces located during Napoleon's Egypt Campaign?

During Napoleon's Campaign in Egypt 1798-1803, the British destroyed the French fleet near the Abu-Qir bay and had a fleet blockade there. Where did the men on the British fleet get supply from in all ...
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