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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
29
4.6 out of 5 stars
Britain Against Napoleon: The Organization of Victory, 1793-1815
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£30.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 1 November 2013
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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on 7 November 2017
This is a really good book, which skilfully highlights the forgotten administrators and politicians whose tireless work lay behind Britain's ultimate victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Knight has a keen eye for telling details and exposes many neglected facets of the war effort; I found the sections detailing the herculean efforts of wartime packet captains to deliver mail to the Continent particularly fascinating. Knight's account, understandably given his maritime history background, pays rather more attention to the navy than to the army, although I didn't much mind this.
Readers looking for swashbuckling tales of martial glory are likely to be disappointed – this is a book about bureaucracy and the British state, but Knight's work is all the more masterful for it. Who knew pencil-pushing could be so engrossing?
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on 16 February 2015
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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on 26 December 2014
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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on 20 January 2016
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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on 11 August 2017
Prompt delivery; product as described
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on 21 December 2013
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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on 20 April 2016
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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on 18 January 2014
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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on 12 December 2015
Good
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