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The War of the Sixth Coalition
There are of course, many histories available on the Napoleonic era but the first distinction offered by this one must be the widely acknowledged regard with which its author, F. Loraine Petre is still held. Petre wrote several histories of the period and all are recognised as scholarship of the highest order and his contribution to the subject has rarely been surpassed in the years since their original publication. Napoleon's German campaign was decisive for the aspirations of the Emperor, France and the imperial allies that were resolved to bring him to ruin. All his hubris had brought about his greatest defeat as a consequence of the debacle that was the invasion of Russia and the retreat from Moscow. Most significantly, the avenging Russian army in concert with its finest ally, the bitter winter had deprived Napoleon, by the usages of war, disease and lethal cold, of virtually all the resources he had employed in his venture-a massive Grand Armee that could not be readily replaced for employment in future enterprises. Now with only a gallant army of 200, 000 men he had to fight against the odds in a contest which would prove too much for even his legendary personal military talents and further demonstrate the weaknesses of his lieutenants when in independent command. A series of battles would be fought in Germany at Saale, Lutzen, Bautzen, Dresden, Dennewitz and finally at Leipzig and Hanau where defeat would propel the French into a retreat which would set them on the road back to the Paris and abdication of the Emperor. These are the battles of the beginning of the end of the First Empire of the French recounted by one of its finest historians. Essential for every student of the period. Available in soft cover and hard cover.