Swords Around a Throne: Napoleon's Grande Armee by John R. Elting
Throughout history, few armies have left as great and enduring a legend as Napoleon's Grande Armee. In existence for only a decade, this powerful weapon - numbering at its peak over one million soldiers from France as well as from varied vassal and allied states - swiftly conquered vast territories across Europe and threatened to overrun more. This comprehensive volume examines the inner workings of a complex human machine. Skilfully drawing on a vast array of historical sources, Elting colourfully brings into focus the life of the Grande Armee: its origins and development, command system, organization, combat arms and services, logistics, weapons, tactics, discipline and its ultimate collapse. Sharing the experiences of the men (and women) who served in, serviced, and supported this awesome military force, the reader meets the Emperor himself, his extraordinary officers, such as Berthier, Caulaincourt, Ney and others, as well as the ordinary Frenchmen and foreigners who, imbued with the Armee's unique fighting spirit, followed its eagles.