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Re: What is a good readable general biography of Napoleon?

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  • iberinger
    ... (I ll pass so far as the poster is concerned :). I know I should have written the glorious achievements of His Majesty instead of the so-called
    Message 1 of 38 , Feb 1, 2007
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      --- In NapoleonicFireandFury@yahoogroups.com, "Colonel (Ret) Bill
      Gray" <hmgs1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Actually not really - or at least so far as the book is concerned
      (I'll pass so far as the poster is concerned :).

      I know I should have written the glorious achievements of His Majesty
      instead of the so-called achievements of Buonaparte. I was under the
      assumption that the days of lèse-majesté were past. When I wrote my
      heinous words I was – erroneously - thinking of the allegedly ill-
      advised decision of starting the Spanish campaign and the hopeless
      undertaking of the Russian campaign. What do I care about the cost in
      human lives (300,000 in Spain, Connelly, p 132; 330,000 in Russia,
      Connelly, p 181)? As for individual battles I ought to close my eyes
      to the many instances of self-deception and reliance upon sheer
      coincidence and subordinate commanders arriving at the last minute,
      contrary to all expectation. Though at the end of the day, the game
      of chance no longer worked as Grouchy, who was convinced of his
      master's intellectual superiority, took the emperor's orders
      literally.

      Ingo B.
    • William Haggart
      Jan: Support for the infantry can cover a lot of situations. They were cavalry--and certainly used to suppress skirmishers, but that isn t *the* reason they
      Message 38 of 38 , Feb 2, 2007
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        Jan:
        "Support for the infantry" can cover a lot of situations. They were
        cavalry--and certainly used to suppress skirmishers, but that isn't *the*
        reason they were attached to brigades of infantry. As you said, it was for
        support, which includes any 'combined arms tactics. If the stand is placed
        in the infantry line, then yes, they can neutralize skirmishers, still
        taking the first casualties.

        You know the number of times that 'very few troops' and particularly if
        cavalry, did do considerable damage. We could list some events that involved
        one or two squadrons of cavalry.

        It works well for us--The modifier can be a plus for an infantry attack, and
        if defending against cavalry or infantry, it can help--once. Because they
        take the first casualties, they unit[s] tend to be one shot weapons.

        I just was sharing it. Try it out. It isn't all that powerful an addition,
        but it can make a difference once--Which is what it was for. Just having it
        sit behind the line can be intimidating. Again, that was the purpose of such
        small units being scattered across the battlefield. Sometimes it works, and
        some times it doesn't. The Prussians adapted it, the Austrians did it all
        the way through the war, The Russians, French and British did it many times
        'on the fly' with adhoc dispersals.

        Best Regards,
        Bill H.



        I quite understand that the idea was for combined arms, hence my comment
        that they were there to provide direct support for the infantry! :-)

        I'm not quite sure how to reflect that, but then I'm not sure how
        effective it was (theory v. practice). Your solution is interesting, but
        it sounds as if it gives rather a lot of power in return for very few
        troops. I would have thought the advantages would be smaller and more
        subtle, like neutralizing enemy infantry skirmishers &c.

        Jan

        William Haggart wrote:
        >
        > Jan and Doug:
        > There was a reason for this penny-packet approach= Combined arms. Granted,
        > the cavalry is only a squadron in strength, but a squadron at the right
        > time
        > could do considerable damage. It must have been a generally functional
        > organization because all nations used it at least some of the time--even
        > the
        > French.
        >
        > The escort was just that, an escort to protect the general. It isn't
        > considered a combat unit per se. I would simple give the command stand
        > some
        > defensive combat strength if the commander is caught alone. He might
        > escape.
        > Regardless, these kinds of escorts were rarely used during a battle, so
        > leaving them out seems the logical thing to do if you don't want to bother
        > with them.
        >
        > The AOE rule of placing a stand or two of cavalry with the infantry
        > formation didn't seem satisfactory to us--missed the point entirely, so we
        > always have them behind the infantry line. They don't count for the
        > brigade
        > strength. IF the player wants to commit them in a combat, he can. If he
        > does, the entire brigade gains the cavalry modifiers for a charge, with
        > the
        > attendant rules and qualifications. If the brigade takes casualties, THEN
        > the cavalry is counted as a stand. If the Brigade is attacked by cavalry,
        > the same consideration counts. IF the brigade goes to squares, the cavalry
        > is considered to be defending behind them, ready to pounce on any enemy
        > that
        > gets through, which was a common tactic. The cavalry charge modifiers
        > would
        > apply defensively--even with a flank attack if the cavalry is positioned
        > there. Otherwise, the stand[s] simply doesn't count in combat--They
        > certainly can be deployed on a flank as part of the brigade if the player
        > so
        > desires, but then the regular AoE rules apply. That's the way we do it.
        >
        > Best Regards,
        > Bill H.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > I agree with Doug's general criterion that one deal with organizationsl
        > issues for the most part by evaluating how effective the historical untis
        > seem to have been. I think in some cases that may mean incorporating some
        > of those very small units into somewhat larger ones or (if the
        > organization justifies it) turning them into stands of a mixed unit. I'm
        > not as familiar with the early Prussians, but in some cases with the later
        > Prussians their peny packets of light cavalry are there for direct support
        > of infantry and should probably be added into infantry brigades.
        >
        > Jan



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