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Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793-1815 Paperback – 26 Jun 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 01 edition (26 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141038942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141038940
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A wonderfully disorienting read ... for [Knight] the real heroes of the struggle against Napoleon are not Wellington or Nelson or Collingwood or Cochrane but the clerks and administrators and 'silent men of business' who put Britain's armies in the field and kept her ships at sea and her allies in funds and ultimately won the war ... there is scarcely a wasted sentence here, not a duff page, not a chapter ... that does not bring you very close to the realities of a total war (David Crane Spectator)

About the Author

Roger Knight was Deputy Director of the National Maritime Museum until 2000, and now teaches at the Greenwich Maritime Institute at the University of Greenwich. His previous books for Allen Lane/Penguin are The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson, which won the Duke of Westminster's Medal for Military History, the Mountbatten Award and the Anderson Medal of the Society for Nautical Research, and Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793-1815.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fascinating insight into the Napoleonic Wars and the logistics behind equipping, organising and financing a major war, starting from the nadir of the 1783 defeat to the American Colonies, when British capabilities were called into question. Mr Knight gives the practical details of how to run a major war, rather than tales of battles and derring-do, yet the book remains easy to read, despite the length,though it is also shorter than the Amazon page length suggests, with 250+ pages of appendices, references and indices. Mr Knight's knowledge and attention to detail are impressive,yet he wears it all lightly. Thoroughly recommended, even if, like me, you know little of the campaigns outside of "Sharpe."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I only wish a companion title existed covering the French economy, in the same level of detail, during the Napoleonic wars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a non-expert I found this a fascinating read, both in terms of how Britain was successfully defended and also the political and social background.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes received....with thanks.
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Roger Knight has done a great service to those of us interested in the 18th century, especially the long wars with Republican and then later Imperial France under Napoleon. So much is written about the soldiers and sailors heroic deeds, while the biographies of the politicians add a human dimension to the decision making process, the battles for party and national interest, and how they grappled with the sheer complexity of events at a time of doubtful intelligence, delays in communications, and the fog of war which enveloped so many countries and territories. Knight's book looks at the men we have hardly heard of, the logistics planners ,the shippers, victuallers, the manufacturers, in short all the back room boys who made it all happen to help Britain cope, then survive, then triumph in the first global conflict. Well written, well structured and well worth the effort of adsorbing the detail that he has put before us.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
fascinating insight into how the wars affected almost everybody in the british isles and the massive advances made in the period. Today's political class look like what they are: supine and useless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this is a riveting account of Britain's relationship with Europe and in particular the machinations of the French Revolutionary war and Napolionic wars and how they affected Britain and the government of the time.

The book also deals with the British governmental structure, the personalities involved, how they were influenced, the decisions they made, their strengths and weaknesses and the outcomes that resulted.

The work is obviously the product of some extensive and detailed research and comes together in a really captivating read about momentous times for the people of this country under the threat of invasion at a time of sail powered warships.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very serious and detailed study of the politics of the Napoleonic era in Britain. It is especially valuable for its coverage of the logigistics of the period : how to keep the army and the navy equipped and supplied. Particularly eye-opening is the explanation and mapping of the two wartime innovations : the coastal line of Martello towers and the lines of telegraph / semaphore towers both in England and France. Communications from the front to the Admiralty and War Office were revolutionised. The densely packed book is not an easy read, but it rewards the persevering student.
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