A wealth of transcriptions of letters to and from Gneisenau. Reading it gives me a much better understanding of the mind of this guy. The commentary iA wealth of transcriptions of letters to and from Gneisenau. Reading it gives me a much better understanding of the mind of this guy. The commentary is a bit dated, though....more
Excellent introduction to France in the Napoleonic Age. Not one of the emperor's admirers, but I felt it was fair when it comes to some of NapoleonicExcellent introduction to France in the Napoleonic Age. Not one of the emperor's admirers, but I felt it was fair when it comes to some of Napoleonic achievements, like public health, education and legislation as well as his faults like undermining democracy and civic freedoms, militarism, personality cult and return of women to a subordinated position.
Interestingly the book also shows many attempts to incorporate disgruntled groups like ancien regime nobles, the catholic church and the population of annexed regions into the empire had made little headway by 1814, which explains the quick collapse of public support in 1814 and 1815. Yet, even in 1815, when there was genuine enthusiasm among peasants and labourers in large parts of France, Napoleon cast his lot with the bourgeoisie.
Leuk, maar vooral taalkundige invalshoek. Ik had liever wat meer gezien over plaatsnamen en historische en sociale ontwikkelingen, of over grootstedelLeuk, maar vooral taalkundige invalshoek. Ik had liever wat meer gezien over plaatsnamen en historische en sociale ontwikkelingen, of over grootstedelijke dialecten....more
Wat interessante invalshoeken over ontwikkelingen in Rusland, maar heel naïef over de rol van het westen in de gebeurtenissen in de Oekraïne. Je kan nWat interessante invalshoeken over ontwikkelingen in Rusland, maar heel naïef over de rol van het westen in de gebeurtenissen in de Oekraïne. Je kan niet alles op het bordje van Poetin schuiven.
En je kan je afvragen hoe historisch een terugblik is die tot 1989 terugloopt....more
Brendan Simms has written a beautiful short book on the defence of the La Haye Sainte farm during the Bat“In der Beschränkung zeigt sich den Meister.”
Brendan Simms has written a beautiful short book on the defence of the La Haye Sainte farm during the Battle of Waterloo. Its garrison throughout the day consisted mostly of Germans and Simms adds new life to their story by introducing a lot of new first hand accounts and academic literature.
The book focuses on the events during the battle, but also offers a good introduction to the King’s German Legion and its role in the long struggle against Napoleon, and a very interesting post-script on the legacy of Waterloo in Hannoverian military history.
My only and minor quibble is that it overemphasises the importance of the farm to the outcome of the battle, but I guess that to justify the writing of the book.
In the torrent of English language books published leading up to the 200th anniversary it stands out for fresh perspective and research. Probably the final account of the struggle for La Haye Sainte from the allied perspective for the foreseeable future.
Take away: given that all three farms across the allied front (La Haye Sainte, Hougoumont and Papelotte) fell or almost fell due to a lack of ammunition, you wonder why arrangements for supply hadn’t been made. Didn’t the British army encounter this problem in their battles in the Peninsula? ...more
Nice book about the cultural side of the resistance against French domination of the Netherlands. Jensen shows that Dutch writers, poets and playwrighNice book about the cultural side of the resistance against French domination of the Netherlands. Jensen shows that Dutch writers, poets and playwrights tried to maintain a separate identity by emphasising ‘typically Dutch’ characteristics like homeliness, frugality and . Under Napoleon’s brother Louis that separate identity was still officially promoted, but after the ‘reunion’ in 1810 it was increasingly subjected to imperial standardisation.
There were also attempts to express the resistance and grief caused by the loss of independence. These harkened back to historical parallels like the Batavian Revolt against the Roman Empire and the Revolt against Spain as well as Biblical references to the struggles of Israel.
To current readers the poetic qualities of these works will not have much value in themselves and they are mostly interesting for their social significance.
Best read in conjunction with Joor's Het Lam en de Adelaar ...more
A pretty solid effort by the Hof, building on previous work. There's a few jibes against anglo-saxon historiography, as expected. What I liked best waA pretty solid effort by the Hof, building on previous work. There's a few jibes against anglo-saxon historiography, as expected. What I liked best was the section quickly detailing the origins, uniform and equipment of each regiment, showing what a hodgepodge the Army of the Lower Rhine was. Bonus is the information on the North German Federal Corps.
Excrutiatingly, there are no references anywhere in the booklet!...more
Sherwig’s well written and researched book focuses on the Guineas and Gunpowder that accompanied British diplomacy in its struggle against revolutiona Sherwig’s well written and researched book focuses on the Guineas and Gunpowder that accompanied British diplomacy in its struggle against revolutionary and Napoleonic France. The book shows how the use of money developed from a contractual agreement on the use of troops like it had been during most of the 18th century to support for cash stripped allies, amounting to 66 million pounds over a quarter century. A considerable a mount in itself, but modest compared to the costs of the navy and the army in this period.
At first the instrument was used selectively as in the Prussian subsidy in 1794, but this caused resentment among other potential allies. Monetary and material support from 1805 was offered to anyone opposing Napoleon. As such the first surge was during the Peninsular War, where Portugal and Spain received support to the value of over 19 million pounds between 1808 and 1815. But the main effort occurred on the European mainland from 1812-5 when Russia, Prussia and Austria together received almost 15 million pounds, and minor states over 6 million. Especially Sweden got a good deal, if you consider it also got Norway out of it and did very little hard work during 1813 and 1814.
After 1805 the British foreign ministers also tried to make it an instrument to influence policy and strategy of allied states but as such it was only successful when foreign troops were under direct control of British generals in the Peninsula. On the other hand this soured the relationships with Portugal and Spain to the point that the former refused to send troops to the Low Countries in 1815.
The weakest link of supplying support to the Continent was that with British trade excluded by the blockade, very little cash and credit was available. Some of Wellington’s tensest letters to London were about the supply of silver and gold coins. But it is hard to fault the effort made by the government on this point.
The material side is astounding as well, showing that British industry became able to respond quickly to large surges in demand. While it had trouble supplying the Prussian army with tens of thousands of muskets in 1807, it supplied a million firearms to the continental allies by 1813. The interesting thing is that these great achievements were quickly accepted by allies as normal, and demands for British support often unrealistic.
While the use of foreign troops through subsidies was cost effective (foreign secretary Castlereagh estimated that a British soldier on the Continent would cost 60 to 70 pounds a year, and foreign governments were offered 10 to 15 pounds per soldier), it surrendered control of those troops to the interests of its allies and also did not help the British public image. Tsar Alexander was utterly disappointed in the lack of British military action where it would have counted in 1805 to 1807. It also allowed Napoleon to paint foreign coalitions as instruments of British policy.