(coming in 2017)
This is a groundbreaking series of books in English by author, re-enactor, and equestrian Paul L. Dawson that use thousands of pages of French archival documents, translations of more than 200 French eyewitness accounts, and dozens of new paintings by Keith Rocco to tell the story of Napoleon’s final military operations and his defeat at the battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s Last Army (NLA) is the most comprehensive study ever made of the French army in 1815, using primary source information that provides new insights into this famous campaign.
In February 1815 Napoleon escaped from his exile on the island of Elba and landed in the south of France. He then marched to Paris and resumed the throne as Emperor. In March at the Congress of Vienna, representatives of Russia, Austria, Prussia, and Great Britain declared Napoleon an outlaw and began raising armies to fight him once again as they had for the past ten years.
In just eight weeks, Napoleon assembled 128,000 soldiers in the French Army of the North and on 15 June moved into Belgium (then a part of the kingdom of the Netherlands). Before the large Russian and Austrian armies could invade France, Napoleon hoped to defeat two coalition armies, an Anglo-Dutch-Belgian-German force under the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army led by Prince von Blücher. He nearly succeeded.
Napoleon’s Army of the North was an improvised force that Napoleon’s Last Army describes in detail showing how specific units such as his Imperial Guard were rebuilt so quickly. All Guard units—as well as many of the regular army formations—are illustrated in full color.
The Napoleon’s Last Army series initially includes the following four hard cover volumes, each consisting of 128 pages with tables, graphs, color photos of historical artifacts, and 16 Rocco paintings (some of these Rocco illustrations are based upon portraits of men who fought in 1815):
Volume 1: Imperial Guard Cavalry and Administration Battalion
Volume 2: Imperial Guard Infantry, and Foot and Horse Artillery, Engineers, Train
Volume 3: Line Cavalry, including Carabiniers, Cuirassiers, Dragoons, Chasseurs, Hussars, and Lancers
Volume 4: Line and Light Infantry, and Foot and Horse Artillery, Engineers, Train
Volumes 1 and 2 will be ready as eBooks (PDFs) in early 2017, with the printed versions arriving in the spring. We hope to release one or more additional volumes later in 2017. Sign up for updates using the button at the top of this page.
Napoleon’s Last Army will expose persistent myths and errors about the French forces at Waterloo and in the campaign of 1815. NLA provides the first thorough account of the French Army of the North in precise detail using English translations of previously untapped personal reminiscences and archival documents.