Who's Who

Napoleonic Era

In his memoirs Chateaubriand denounces Napoleon. But, asks Douglas Hilt, is it not a figure of grandeur and vision that emerges?

After early service in Poland, writes Adam Zamoyski, Sulkowski joined the French Army of Italy and in 1798 met a gallant death in Egypt.

Christopher Hibbert describes how the people of Malta revolted against their Napoleonic garrison and, with British and Neapolitan aid, became a British Mediterranean dependency.

As an exile, writes D.S. Gray, the Emperor had many conversations with a Scottish officer, which ‘left no doubt of his expecting that circumstances might yet call him to the throne of France’.

According to a famous military historian, Sahagun was ‘perhaps the most brilliant exploit of the British Cavalry’ during the whole course of the Peninsular Wars. By D.G. Chandler.

In 1808, writes H.J. Barnes, a Scottish Benedictine played an important part in securing the return of Spanish troops from Denmark for service in the Peninsular War against Napoleon.

Like all military dictators, writes W.A. Thorburn, Bonaparte understood the martial importance of well-designed uniforms.

“They are as good as I could write now,” said the Duke in 1834. “They show the same attention to details — to the pursuit of all the means, however small, that could promote success.”

Ill-fed, badly lodged, subject to ferocious discipline, once described by their leader as “fellows who have all enlisted for drink,” Wellington’s soldiers showed a solidity and courage in action that enabled him to “do the business”. By T.H. McGuffie.

The British attacked Copenhagen in August 1807 because, Canning claimed, Denmark was about to become a French satellite. Hilary Barnes asks, was he mistaken?

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