Blog category: Napoleonic Wars

  • The Scene at Cádiz after the Battle of Trafalgar

    The Scene at Cádiz after the Battle of Trafalgar

    October 20, 2017

    At the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off the southwest coast of Spain on October 21, 1805, a British fleet led by Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet under Vice Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. It was the most decisive naval battle of the Napoleonic Wars. More than 4,800 people were killed, including Lord Nelson, and over 3,700 were wounded. The majority of the casualties were French and Spaniards. Traveller Robert Semple described the horrible scene at Cádiz, the closest Spanish port, a week after the battle.

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  • The Battle of Dresden: A Soldier’s Account

    The Battle of Dresden: A Soldier’s Account

    August 25, 2017

    In the Battle of Dresden, fought on August 26-27, 1813, French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a much larger Austrian, Prussian and Russian force commanded by Austrian Field Marshal Karl Philipp Schwarzenberg. The battle took place on the outskirts of Dresden, then capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, in what is today Germany. Captain Jean-Roch Coignet, a grenadier in Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, takes up the tale.

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  • How were Napoleonic battlefields cleaned up?

    How were Napoleonic battlefields cleaned up?

    July 8, 2016

    Somewhere in the range of 3.5 million to 6 million people died as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, which lasted from 1803 to 1815. This includes both military and civilian casualties, and encompasses death from war-related diseases and other causes. Estimates of the number of soldiers killed in battle range from 500,000 to almost 2 million. What happened to all of those bodies? What did Napoleonic battlefield cleanup entail?

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  • What if Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo?

    What if Napoleon won the Battle of Waterloo?

    June 19, 2015

    Napoleon winning the Battle of Waterloo is one of the ten most popular scenarios in English-language alternate history, and the most popular one in French. The Waterloo “what if?” pops up repeatedly in alternate history forums and has been the subject of numerous books, stories and articles. Broadly speaking, exploring what might have happened if Napoleon had won at Waterloo involves pursuing one or more of the following questions.

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  • What did Napoleon say about the Battle of Waterloo?

    What did Napoleon say about the Battle of Waterloo?

    June 5, 2015

    On June 18, 1815, Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo by a coalition of British, German, Dutch-Belgian and Prussian forces led by the Duke of Wellington and Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher. As a result of this defeat, Napoleon was removed from the throne of France and spent the rest of his life in exile on the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena. There he had plenty of time to reflect on the last battle he ever fought. What did he say about it?

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We must confess that fate, which sports with man, makes merry work with the affairs of this world.

Napoleon Bonaparte