Bonaparte's Grande Armée, one of the most renowned battle-winning machines in history, evolved from a merging of the professional army of the Ancien Régime and the volunteers and conscripts of the Revolutionary levée en masse – although the contribution of the former is often underestimated. A leading authority on the history of tactics draws here on original drill manuals and later writings to explain how the French infantry of 1792–1815 were organized for fire and movement on the battlefield. Illustrated with clear diagrams and relevant paintings and prints, and specially prepared colour plates, this text brings the tactical aspects of eight battles vividly to life.
Read an extract of French Napoleonic Infantry Tactics 1792–1815
Table of Contents
Personnel, organization and tactics - line and column, firepower and bayonets · The role of skirmishers - Duhesme's manual · Joudain's recruiting law - Gribeauval guns - infantry in 'all-arms battle' - the squares in Egypt · Bonaparte's role - Ney's manual · Triumph in 1805-07 · The Peninsular, 1808-14 - performance vs British and Spanish · Deterioration 1809-14 - increased reliance on artillery · Waterloo