I personally found both books to be excellent. I found them to be balanced and informative, though not everyone shares my opinion. I love the mix of statistics and anecdotal stories, and in "Amateurs to Arms" he doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the US, though as a USAian I found his observations to be fair.
I had the pleasure to meet him and sit in on a panel discussion at a Napoleonic Society of America conference in the 90s. A charming man to be sure. For those who thrive on "what ifs" he said he had Austrian documents in his possession that showed their reluctance to enter into war with France in 1815 and plans to change sides had Napoleon won in the northern campaign against Wellington. Given Austria's treatment at the Congress of Vienna and their lethargic movements in 1815 it's not hard to believe. We'll never know what that would have done to the balance of power, but it was only 60 years earlier that France and Austria joined forces against Prussia and England.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ted Y.
Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2002 6:07 PM
Subject: [WarOf1812] Amatuers To Arms
I have just gotten a copy of John Elting's book SWORDS
AROUND A THRONE, about Napoleon's army. Was wondering
if his book AMATEURS TO ARMS was similarly
structured/written, concerning the War of 1812. There
are occasional references to 1812 events in the book I
have. Some of his descriptions of the various Foreign
Legions and their antics are something else.
1st Md. Rifle BN.
Fell's Point Rifles
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