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Leipzig 1813: The Battle of the Nations Paperback – Sep 30 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (Sept. 30 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855323540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855323544
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 0.5 x 24.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 322 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,330,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Hofschroer is a recognised expert on the German campaigns of the Napoleonic wars and the Prussian army in particular.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The author does a nice job of breaking down the intricies of Leipzig and the smaller battles that lead up to it into clear and understandable points. As mentioned by another reviewer, there is an outstanding order of battle which is very helpful given the number of leaders on hand for this conflict.
Interesting points brought to light by Mr. Hofschroer are the conflicting agendas of the Allied Nations and the challenges that posed in formulating an effective strategy. Also detailed were the resource limitations and political pressures facing Napolean, that contributed to his defeat at Leipzig.
My only complaints are that there isn't the a biography section on the commanders that is prevalent in many of the Osprey books. This is more a limitation of the publisher's format than a fault of the author. In addition, the maps are not up to the usual standards of this series.
This author also wrote a book on the battle of Lutzen & Bautzen which occurred in the spring campaign, prior to this confilct. For greater appreciation of the Leipzig text, I would recommend reading the other before hand (although this is not necessary)
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Format: Paperback
This volume is an excellent overview of the decisive campaign in Germany that untimately decided the fate of Napoleon's Empire. Written by an acknowledged authority on the Prussian and German armies of the period, it gives an authoritative viewpoint of the events and battles leading up to the largest battle of the Napoleonic Wars, the three day slugfest at Leipzig.
The narrative flows very well and is easy to follow, and it is packed with information, even though it had to follow the somewhat strict regimen of the Osprey guidelines. Profusely illustrated as are all Ospreys, the pictures are very well chosen, and the color plates are a mixture of artwork by Richard Knotel, Bellange, K.H. Rahl, Rabe, J.A Klein, and Krause. Only one appears to be by the staff artists at Osprey, which is a change.
There are very good descriptions of the armies of the main belligerents in the campaign, including the Swedes. The orders of battle are exhaustive and accurate, and are useful for both historians and wargamers.
Errors are few. The two most noticeable concern the Grande Armee. First, the author states that at the Battle of Kulm 'Vandamme's Corps had been wiped out.' Actually, the I Corps, Vandamme's, lost almost half at Kulm, the rest broke out of the allied trap and escaped. They were reorganized and placed under the command of General Mouton, Count of Lobau. They were later captured with St. Cyr when Dresden capitulated. Second, the author mentions that the garrisons Napoleon left in Danzig and the lower Elbe 'were largely veterans of the 1812 campaign with experienced officers.' The fact of the matter is, that most of the troops in these garrisons only became veterans as they endured the fighting during their respective sieges in this campaign.
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Format: Paperback
It is one of the best books of the series. It is well described of the battles leading up to leipzig and the leipzig battle its self. Many good battle pictures along with the 2d and 3d battle maps. I highly recremend it for you napoleonic fans or theose who want this book fore their collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f3c4288) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ea84c78) out of 5 stars Brief--and useful--analysis of the battle of the nations--Leipzig Nov. 2 2013
By Steven Peterson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The denouement to the disastrous Russian campaign and the harbinger of Waterloo. Leipzig was a victory by an Allied army against a rapidly recreated French army. Napoleon has lost a huge percentage of the army that entered Russia--as well as priceless horseflesh. His lack of cavalry at Leipzig was an issue.

First, it is almost incomprehensible how Napoleon created a new army so swiftly after the catastrophic invasion of Russia. But he did it. One problem? Not enough horses to maintain the cavalry as needed. This would be a factor in the Leipzig campaign. In 1813, the French Army under Napoleon had at its disposal about 440,000 troops in the field army. The opponents of the French included Russian troops (184,000 troops in the field army), Austrians ((127,000 troops), Prussian forces (162,000 in the field army), Sweden (23,000 troops--under the command of one of Napoleon's former corps commanders--Bernadotte), Ad up these and odds and ends of other allies? About 512,000 troops (page 27). A huge number of soldiers awaiting battle. The order of battle (listing all troops involved--and their units) is almost stupefying--from pages 28 to 36.

Second, the campaign is pretty well depicted, from its origins to the conclusion at Leipzig, in which Napoleon's fate was sealed (the book argues that it was Leipzig--and not Waterloo--that doomed Napoleon). The first map on the campaign is on pages 38-39, outlining the starting point of the maneuvering. Pages 41-63 discuss the series of battles leading up to Leipzig. Overall, the French did poorer than better i n the preliminary combat.

Then, the titanic battle itself. The text describes the different aspects of the combat. Sometimes, one gets lost in the welter of which unit did what. The maps--on occasion--are not as illuminating as desired. But, overall, the text does give a sense of the struggle at Leipzig.

The volume ends with a look at the battlefield as it exists today, a chronology, a guide to further reading, and wargaming Leipzig.

This volume in Osprey's "Campaign" series is rather brief, but it provides an entree to one of the more important battles of the early 19th century--which doomed Napleon and the French to ultimate defeat.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef5c024) out of 5 stars The other "Waterloo"... March 16 2015
By HMS Warspite - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Battle of Leipzig in 1813 was the culmination of the allied campaign that finally broke Napoleon's military power. One French Grande Armee had died in the snows of the Russian winter of 1812-1813. Napoleon skillfully crafted an imperfect replacement and went looking for the decisive victory in Central Europe that would right his political and military fortunes. But time was against the French Emperor, along with the armies of Russia, Prussia, and Austria...

"Leipzig 1813" is an Osprey Campaign Series book, authored by the highly experienced historian Peter Hofschroer, who has strong opinions and a gift for good history. He reduces a complicated series of battle into a coherent campaign narrative, in which the weaknesses of Napoleon's command style will catch up with him. The narrative dissects the series of battles from August to October that led Napoleon's new army into a fateful confrontation against his enemies. The text is augmented with short biographies of his many battlefield opponents during the campaign, and a crisp analysis of what went wrong. The narrative is nicely supplemented with a series of excellent historical illustrations and some equally excellent battle diagrams. Highly recommended as an insightful introduction to a complicated campaign.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ef5aa14) out of 5 stars Confusing Battle Good Otherwise Aug. 15 2014
By Chas M - Published on
Format: Paperback
Osprey Publishing really is a godsend for historians and enthusiasts of Napoleon. The campaign series, and the men at arms series have been incredibly enlightening to me.

Having said that, some books in the series are a lot better than others. I would say this volume on Leipzig is, unfortunately one of the weaker ones. To be sure the author does a fantastic job of explaining the condition of the armies involved, the political situation, and the strategic position and options of all involved. That is the volume's incredible strength and why I recommended it. The iconography is also absolutely stunning and is worth buying just for that alone.

When it comes to the battle however, the text reads like this: the French went over here, then the Russians went over there, then the Prussians moved over here, and in the French went there. Then the Russians moved over here, and in the Prussians moved over there. Oh and by the way, the French moved over there. Does that sound like fun reading? I should also say that the battle of Grossbeeren is not explained very well at all, and neither is the battle of the Katzbach. Marshal MacDonald obviously screwed up somehow but the text does not really make that clear.

Sometimes I think that one really does have to be a West Point graduate in order to fully understand these books. The maps with the troop movements are often confusing and unintelligible. It would really be great if the history Channel, or the BBC, or public broadcasting, could turn some of these campaign series books into actual shows. They could use computer animation to show the various troop movements and also the effect of terrain on the battle, because it is really hard to understand all this from the printed page. It would really help the layperson understand military strategy and exactly what all those squares and X marks mean on a map.

I would also like to say that it is inexplicable as to why Osprey has not come out with the volume on Napoleon's Polish campaign of 1807. That is really weird.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f1da0f0) out of 5 stars Excellent survey of Napoleon's Real Waterloo April 2 2009
By Yoda - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book starts off by giving an excellent perspective, in a few pages, of the what the diplomatic and military picture in Europe was just before this battle. Hence the necessary perspective for the battle is provided.

The book then goes on to discuss the many aspects of the armies involved including their leadership (both at the highest level and the quality of lower ranking officers), political and command structure strengths and problems (for Napoleon, for example, the lack of subordinate quality field marshals, considering the size of the battle, probably led to the loss of this battle), troops, and logistical problems and strenghts and weaknesses in various arms (i.e., Napoleon's lack of cavalry in terms of both quality and quantity caused seriuos intelligence problems that played important role in his defeat). The book also illustrates well how troops from each national army looked and different aspects/geography of battle, along with maps.

The one weakness of the book (and hence 4 instead of 5 stars) is that it is a little difficult to follow the battle because the author makes too extensive a use of the various field marshals movements and actions without mentioning which side they were on. Not much of an oversight but one, unless the reader is very knowledgeable regarding these commanders, that is enough to cause some confusion. This problem is such a shame considering how easily it could have been rectified.
HASH(0x9f19d168) out of 5 stars It really was a battle of nations. March 3 2015
By lyndonbrecht - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a book perhaps meant for specialists. I was interested in the "Battle of Nations" and so thought I'd try this book. I found the narration a bit terse, the maps okay. What the book does is give a good sense of the immense size of the thing, larger than anything in the American Civil War. There were 160,000 French. "French" included not only French, but Spanish, Polish, Italian and other national groups. The Allies included 240,000 or so, including Swedish, Prussian, Russian and Austrian troops--and of course the Austrians had in their formations many ethnicities. So, this really was a battle of nations.

A reader gains a sense of the complexity of several interlinked battles, the fact luck can be as important as strategy, and Napoleon's remarkable ability to set reconstitute his armies after the huge destruction of the 1812 invasion of Russia.

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