Sunday, August 14, 2016

A Napoleonic Trio of new book arrivals by James R. Arnold

Having very much enjoyed the two books by James Arnold that I already have (Crisis on the Danube, about the opening phase of the 1809 campaign in Bavaria, and Crisis in the Snows, about the 1807 Eylau campaign), I recently took advantage of a pair of Amazon gift cards that my older daughter gave me at Christmas and Father's Day to acquire three more of Mr. Arnold's books.


This is the revised and expanded 2nd edition; evidently the 1st edition suffered from a lack of maps, which were a strong point of his first book. That is not the case in this 2nd edition.. I got the  paperback version, and have already read it while I was on vacation at the beach earlier this week. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Mr. Arnold writes very clear and engaging prose. It includes a good description of the battle of Ebelsberg, and excellent descriptions and analysis of the pivotal battles of  Aspern-Essling and Wagram. All are filled with interesting and illuminating tidbits from both sides, The battles of the Army of Italy at Sacile, The Piave, and Raab are covered in less detail, as is Poniatowskui's battle of Raszyn. Znaim is covered on bruiefly in passing. The book includes detailed Orders of battle, listing the units involved with the number of battalions or squadrons, but no actual strengths. As in the earlier volume, Mr. Arnold gives a succinct but very useful accounts of the diplomatic front as well. His analysis of the battles and Campaign as a whole is another strong point. Recommended, although if you want more detailed OOB's with unit strengths, and coverage of the lesser actions, Gill's 1809 trilogy (plus his earlier "With Eagles to Glory") is a better choice. However that's really comparing apples and oranges big time.  One note of warning: reading this book will make you want to collect Austrian armies and play 1809 wargames, but that's a good thing, right?!


The sequel to Crisis in the Snows, of course! With 2017 coming up, this is a priority for me to read next! I am especially interested in the battles preceding Friedland, which often get short shrift.


The Marengo campaign I am pretty familiar with, but I know little about Hohenlinden, so I am looking forward to this one as well!


His newest book about the Spring 1813 campaign, Decision  at Bautzen, will have to wait for another time (and more funds)! All are available directly from the author at Napoleon Books.

11 comments:

  1. Another good looking book for a campaign that I sit here painting french line infantry for, a campaign I'd only had a barely passing knowledge of until I came upon this blog, so thanks for that as I embark on my first Napoleonic unit!
    Best Iain.

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    1. Congratulations on starting your first Napoleonic unit. French line infantry is a good place to start, as you'll always need more of them!
      I usually paint 4 units of them at a time!

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  2. The only Arnold not in my library at present is "Napoleon's Triumph." The others, are excellent even though my version of Napoleon Conquers Austria is first edition. Might be interesting to compare first with second edition.

    While the 1809 campaign has seen numerous outings on my gaming table, not once has an 1807 Scenario been played. In fact, I rarely see 1807 battles at all! "Crisis in the the Snow" was thoroughly enjoyed years ago when first published but did not trigger temptations to push on with gaming of that campaign. Perhaps, Napoleon's Triumph will push us over the edge?

    For "Marengo and Hohenlinden," I suggest getting a copy of Hollin's "Marengo" and reading the two in tandem.

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    1. We used "Crisis" as the chief source for our Winter 1807 Snappy Nappy "Campaign in a Day". I have done Eylau at least three times, and am debating running it again for Historicon 2017. One of the few battles I did some custom terrain for. Definitely winnable by either side.

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  3. Very interesting collection of reading material

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    1. Some of us collect rules, and some of us collect books! :-)
      Of course plenty of us do both!

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  4. Handy reminder to re-read those books Peter. Rabbit is three out of four. Just need to acquire the Marengo & Hohenlinden book. Wonder how the book compares with the Col Furse 1903 Vol 1 & 2 books. Expect more maps and detail I hope.

    Side note: Posting up my Raszyn 1809 scenario this week. The AAR completed last night... proofing now.

    Michael aka west coast electronic WR friend.... :-))

    P.S. Your Klagenfurt 1809 scenario wagon trains look cuter than mine... jealous rabbit.

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    1. Arnold actually has six Napoleonic titles now - 2 each 1806-1807 and 1809, plus the Marengo and Bautzen books! SDuitable for Napoleon's Birthday reading marathon, LOL!

      The Blue Moon wagons are really nice - I bought then on sight at Historicon ? 4 years ago, without even bothering with the Army Card discount (which does apply to them).

      Your Fortress was much cuter than mine, however! :-)

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