Reading List: Napoleonic Wars


Battle of Waterloo re-enactment.

From 1803 to 1815, the French Empire led by Napoleon fought many bloody battles against several European powers, continuing the French Revolutionary Wars. These wars were not fought by professional soldiers, but by the people themselves; defending the nation had become a responsibility of all. This “levée en masse” (mass conscription) resulted in military conflicts on an unprecedented scale. Napoleon initially managed to conquer most of Europe, but his power began to collapse when he tried to invade Russia in 1812, with disastrous results. In 1815, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.

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