Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Richmond and Petersburg (American Civil War) and Markus Wolf

We finish the year with a bumper update. The Overland Campaign against Richmond was U.S. Grant's first attempt to defeat Robert E. Lee. His attempts to outflank Lee's armies all failed, while a second campaign under General Butler was defeated at the battle of Drewry’s Bluff (16 May 1864). Grant was not discouraged, and instead switched his attention to Petersburg (Petersburg Campaign, 1864-5). A chance to capture the city easily was missed (Battle of Petersburg, 15-18 June 1864), and Grant settled into a regular siege. An attempt to break the deadlock by exploding a massive mine under the Confederate lines failed (battle of the Crater, 30 June-3 April 1864). The end came after Robert E. Lee launched his final attack of the war, at Fort Steadman (25 March 1865). Instead of forcing Grant to shorten his lines, allowing Lee to escape south, the battle weakened the Confederate line to the point where Grant's next attack, (Battle of Five Forks, 1 April 1865) broke the southern end of the Confederate line. The next day, Grant was finally able to break through the Confederate lines outside Richmond and Petersburg. Lee was forced to abandon the Confederate capital. His attempt to escape south ended in the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

Finally, we add a biography of the late Markus Wolf, the notorious head of the East German Secret Police (the Stasi), and one of the most important figures during the Cold War. Wolf was famous for his ability to infiltrate agents into western societies (including amongst them one of my university lecturers, exposed only after the fall of East Germany). His death in 2006 was seen by many as the end of an era.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

North Anna River and Cold Harbor

Today we add the last two battles of Grant's overland campaign against Richmond. The Battle of North Anna River was the smallest scale battle of campaign. Once again Grant failed to get past Lee's left flank. Cold Harbor saw the final failure of Grant's first plan for 1864. The Union army had been drained by the intense fighting of the previous three battles and was unable to break through Lee's lines. After Cold Harbor, Grant turned south to Petersburg.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Battle of Spotsylvania

From the Wilderness, Grant attempted to outflank Lee by reaching a crossroads at Spotsylvania. Lee rushed troops to the danger point in time to stop Grant's move. The resulting battle saw Grant launch repeated attacks against the entrenched Confederate line. The 'Bloody Angle' saw some of the most vicious sustained close quarter combat of the entire war, but failed to produce a breakthrough.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Battle of the Wilderness

The Battle of the Wilderness was the first battle during U.S. Grant's overland campaign against Richmond. It was also the first clash between Grant and Robert E. Lee. Tactically, the battle was a Confederate victory, but unlike earlier Union commanders in Virginia, Grant did not allow one defeat to distract him from his plans. The Wilderness was followed by the first of many attempts to slip past Lee's right wing. Lee would be under constant pressure until the end of the war.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pavel I. Batov

Pavel I. Batov was a senior Red Army commander during the Second World War. Early in the war he commanded Soviet forces in the Crimea, before moving on to command the 65th Army, commanding that unit from Stalingrad to Berlin.

Monday, December 11, 2006

C.S.S. Alabama

The C.S.S. Alabama was the most successful Confederate commerce raider of the American Civil War. In a career that lasted for nearly two years, she sank or captured 66 Union ships, including the warship Hatteras.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ambrose Burnside and the Burnside expedition

Ambrose Burnside was one of the series of generals who had command of the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War, and possibly one of the least suited to hold that place. When commanding smaller scale operations, he proved himself to be one of the more able Union commanders of the civil war. His first major successes came on the coast of North Carolina. After an earlier expedition captured Hatteras, Burnside saw how vulnerable the Confederate coast was. In the spring of 1862 he led an expedition that won a series of battles at Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, South Mills, New Berne and Fort Macon, closing most of the North Carolina coast to Confederate shipping.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Battle of Talana Hill (Second Anglo-Boer War)

The battle of Talana Hill was the first major battle during the Second Anglo-Boer War. It was a British victory, but one that had almost no impact on the course of the war, which began very badly for the British.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Knight's Cross with Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds

The Knight's Cross with Oak-Leaves, Swords and Diamonds was the highest award for bravery given in Germany during the Second World War. Only twenty seven men won this award and today we provide a list of those men. We intend this to be the first of a series of similar lists for each participant in the war (where possible).

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Battle of Belmont

The Battle of Belmont was U.S. Grant's first experience of battlefield command. As a battle it had little significance, but it has interest as a stepping stone in the career of the Union's most successful general.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

William J. Hardee

William J. Hardee was a senior Confederate general and military theorist, who appeared in just about every theatre of war apart from Virginia, starting the war west of the Mississippi, and ending it in North Carolina. His career rather neatly sums up the Confederate experience outside Virginia, and includes the battle of Shiloh, the siege of Chattanooga, and the Confederate attempts to stop W. T. Sherman's march to the sea.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Siege of Vicksburg

The Siege of Vicksburg was one of the most significant events of the American Civil War. The fall of Vicksburg removed the last significant Confederate presence on the Mississippi River, making it only a matter of time before the river was open to traffic from the north.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Two New Zealanders: Lt Col L W Andrew and Lt Col Howard Kippenberger

We complete a short series of biographies of New Zealanders with Lt Col L W Andrew, VC and Lt Col Howard Kippenberger, both of whom held important commands during the Battle of Crete in 1941. It was Lt Col Andrew who gave the fateful order to retreat from Máleme airport.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fort Sumter, 1861

We turn to the very start of the American Civil War today, with an article on the Siege of Fort Sumter, the battle that turned a crisis into a war.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Battles of Brice's Crossroad and Tupelo

Today's updates sees us post our 900th article at HistoryofWar.org.

One of the biggest problems faced by the North during the civil war was the threat to their supply lines posed by bands of Confederate cavalry. Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most able cavalry commanders of the war. In 1864 he posed a serious threat to Sherman's supply lines as he approached Atlanta. Brice's Crossroad (10 June 1864) saw Forrest win one of his most inpressive victories, defeating a much larger Federal force. Just over a month later he suffered one of only two defeats in his military career at Tupelo (14-15 July 1864), although even this did not stop him - in August he launched a raid that reached the Federal headquarters in Memphis!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Bethal and Ball's Bluff, 1861

Big Bethal and Ball's Bluff were two early Union defeats in Virginia. Big Bethal was the first test for General John Magruder, who was later to cause the Union many problems during the Peninsula campaign. Ball's Bluff was an insignificant affair, but it caused a massive political scandal in Washington because of the death of Colonel Edward D. Baker, a former Congressman, Republican Senator and friend of President Lincoln.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brigadier Lindsay M Inglis, 1894-1966

Brigadier Lindsay M Inglis was a New Zealander who served in both world wars. He commanded the 4th New Zealand Infantry Brigade on Crete during the German invasion, and also in the western desert during the campaigns against Rommel, sometimes standing in for General Bernard Freyberg in command of the New Zealand division.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Seven Days's Battles of 1862

The Seven Days's Battles of 1862 saw Robert E. Lee's first victory during the American Civil War. George B. McClellan with his huge Federal army had advanced to within a few miles of Richmond, and on 25 June 1862 began the Seven Days's with his only attack, at Oak Grove. The next day Lee launched his own attack, at Mechanicsville. This first attack failed, but McClellan turned it into a victory by deciding to retreat south to the James River. Over the next five days, Lee launched attacks at Gaines’s Mill, Savage’s Station, Glendale and Malvern Hill. Only Gaines's Mill was a Confederate battlefield victory, but Lee had pushed McClellan away from Richmond, saving the Confederate capitol, and restoring his own reputation after defeats in West Virginia and on the Atlantic coast.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the North's most important commanders during the civil war. He first came to prominence as a trusted lieutenant to U.S. Grant, before succeeding him in command in the west after Grant was promoted to Washington. In that role Sherman led the armies that penetrated the heart of the Confederacy, seizing Atlanta before marching through Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. By the time the war ended, Sherman's armies were beginning to threaten Robert E. Lee's armies in Virginia from the rear.
We also add four of his battles: the disaster at Chickasaw Bluffs, the controversial victory at Arkansas Post and the only battles of his march through the Carolinas, at Averasborough and Bentonville. We support these articles with three pictures and eleven maps.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Operation Downfall Part Two

Today we add the second part of our series on Operation Downfall, the allied invasion of Japan, planned for the end of 1945. In this article we concentrate on the planned invasion of Kyushu, the southernmost of the home islands and the deception plans that were put in place to help ensure the success of this invasion.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Big Black River Campaign, 1863

For today we have the Big Black River campaign, U.S. Grant's most impressive campaign of manoeuvre warfare. During the first half of May 1863, Grant won five battles (Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill and Big Black River), defeating forces that if they had combined would have been just as large as his own. We also add a biography of John A. McClernand, a political general who was one of Grant's three corps commanders during the campaign.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nato Map Symbols

A change of topic today with an article on Nato map symbols, used to keep track of unit locations or to plan future actions. The article is supported by 25 illustrations showing the map symbols.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fort Henry and Fort Donelson

Today we add articles on the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. These two Confederate forts guarded the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in northern Tennessee and were an important part of the Confederate defensive line in the west. Their capture by a force commanded by U. S. Grant punctured that line and secured most of northern Tennessee for the Union.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The battles of Sherman's March to Atlanta

The most dramatic Union successes of 1864 were won by General Sherman. He began the year with the march on Atlanta, fighting battles at Resaca (13-15 May), New Hope Church (25-27 May) and Keneshaw Mountain (27 June) on the way. At Atlanta he fought off Confederate attacks (Battles of Peachtree Creek, 20 July and Atlanta, 22 July). Once he was at Atlanta, Sherman made two attempts to cut off the city's last rail connections. His first attempt failed (Ezra Church, 28 July), but a second attack with almost his entire army brushed aside a Confederate army rushed south to stop him (Battle of Jonesborough, 31 August). Atlanta was evacuated, and on 2 September Union forces occupied the city. The news of the capture of Atlanta played an important role in ensuring the reelection of President Lincoln, and left the heart of the Confederacy exposed to Union invasion.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Braxton Bragg and the Confederate Invasion of Kentucky

Today we add a biography of General Braxton Bragg, one of the more argumentative Confederate generals of the civil war. We support that with an article on his most important campaign, the Confederate invasion of Kentucky in 1862, and with articles on the Battle of Richmond (30 August 1862), capture of Munfordville (13-17 September 1862) and the Battle of Perryville (8 October 1862), key moments during that campaign.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Iuka, Corinth and Hatchie Bridge

The least well known of the three Confederate offensives of 1862 was the attempted invasion of Western Tennessee and Kentucky. After avoiding a trap at the battle of Iuka (19 September 1862), being repulsed after two days of fighting at Corinth (3-4 October 1862) and narrowly avoiding being cut off at Hatchie Bridge (5 October), this attempted invasion ended without even leaving Mississippi.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hood's Invasion of Tennessee, 1864

The last major Confederate offensive of the war was General John Hood's invasion of Tennessee in late 1864. After failing to trap a Union army at Spring Hill (29 November 1864) , Hood launched a futile attack on the same Union army in a defensive position at Franklin (30 November 1864), before his army was finally crushed at Nashville (15-16 December 1864). The failure of Hood's offensive, at a high cost and with nothing achieved, began to convince many across the south that the Confederacy was doomed.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Shenandoah Valley in 1864-5

Today we add nine battles of 1864-5 related to the Shenandoah Valley theatre of the American Civil War:

New Market, 15 May 1864;
Piedmont, 5 June 1864;
Trevilian Station 11-12 June 1864;
Lynchburg, 17-18 June 1864;
Monocacy River, 9 July 1864;
Winchester, 19 September 1864;
Fisher’s Hill, 22 September 1864;
Cedar Creek, 19 October 1864 and
Waynesborough, 2 March 1865

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Brigadier George A Vasey

Today we add a biography of Brigadier George A Vasey, a senior Australian officer during the Second World War. Vasey fought in the Balkans, on Crete and in the Far East, before dying in a plane crash in 1945.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign

Today we add the six battles of Stonewall Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862: Kernstown (23 March 1862), McDowell (8 May 1862), Front Royal (23 May 1862), Winchester (25 May 1862), Cross Keys (8 June 1862) and Port Republic (9 June 1862)

Kernstown (23 March 1862),
McDowell (8 May 1862),
Front Royal (23 May 1862),
Winchester (25 May 1862),
Cross Keys (8 June 1862) and
Port Republic (9 June 1862)

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Century

After our walk along Hadrian's Wall, we return with a short article on the Century, the smallest unit within the Roman Legion.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Insurgency in the Philippines

Today we add a major article on the series of insurgencys that have disrupted the Philippines over the last fifty years.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Gettysburg, Shiloh and Antietam

We continue our series of shorter articles with the battles of Gettysburg, Shiloh and Antietam. These are three of the most significant battles of the war, each marking the failure of a Confederate attack.

These shorter articles will eventually be followed by more in-depth pieces.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Battle of Williamsburg, 5 May 1862

After withdrawing from Yorktown, the Confederate armies pulled back towards Richmond. At Williamsburg (5 May 1862) the Confederate rearguard and the Union advance guard clashed in what developed into a bloody battle. The Confederates succeeded in delaying the Union advance for long enough for their supply trains to reach Richmond.

We also begin a series of shorter articles on the major battles of the war with First Bull Run/ Manassas, Frederickburg and

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Battle of Lee's Mill, 16 April 1862

Military Battle of Lee's Mill

During the month-long siege of Yorktown, the Union army only launched one assault on the Confederate lines, at Lee's Mill on 16 April 1862. Even this was not intended to break the Confederate lines, but only to test its strength.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Siege of Yorktown, 1862

Siege of Yorktown, 4 April to 4 May 1862

Today we add an article on the Siege of Yorktown, the first serious fighting during General McClellan's Peninsula Campaign of 1862. McClellan' failure to attack the Confederate lines around Yorktown when he first encountered them gave the Confederates a precious month in which to move troops back to defense Richmond.

Preparing this article also demonstrated the danger of making assumptions. As a British historian I am familiar with the Peninsular War against Napoleon's invasion of Spain. Following that pattern I've been refering to the Peninsular Campaign, only to find that McClellan's campaign lacked the final 'R'. Time to go make some corrections I think!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Peninsular Campaign of 1862

Peninsular Campaign of 1862

Today we begin our coverage of the Peninsular Campaign of 1862, George McClellan's main attempt to outflank the Confederate Armies in Northern Virginia by landing a large army at the end of the Peninsular. The failure of the campaign is one of the most controversial episodes of the entire Civil War.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Today we add an article on Vegetius, a late Roman author who gives us our best view of how the Roman army worked.

Written at a time of decline, Vegetius tells us how Romans felt their army should work, but by the time he was writing, the Western empire was in terminal decline.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Kirkdale and Gillamoor Walk on the North York Moors

Walk up Kirkdale to Gillamoor

Something of a change of pace this! The North York Moors are my closest national park, and are the subject of another of my websites (www.yorkshiremoors.co.uk), where I am starting to post a series of walks around the moors.

The maps are created in a similar way to some of my maps at HistoryofWar, and are based on the 1914 Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain. Its amazing how little has changed on the moors since 1914!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee

Today we post our first full length primary source, the Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee, collected and linked by his son, Robert E. Lee Jr. Lee died before he could write his own autobiography, and so this book provides one of the best insights into Lee as a man.

We have split this source into sections within the chapters, allowing you to either browse the book or search the full contents of the book

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Thomas Jackson and Ulysses S. Grant

We finish our themed month with two biographies: First, Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson, one of the most able generals of the war, and Lee's most important lieutenant, until his death in 1863.

Second, we have Ulysses S. Grant, the Union's most successful general. His ruthless approach to the war was to play a crucial part in finally bringing it to an end.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Battle of Wauhatchie, 28-29 October 1863

Battle of Wauhatchie, 28-29 October 1863

We finish our coverage of the fighting around Chattanooga with a look at the Battle of Wauhatchie, 28-29 October 1863, the only Confederate attempt to break General Grant's 'Cracker Line' bringing supplies into the city.

We also add an interactive Map of the Chattanooga area.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Battle of Missionary Ridge, 25 November 1863

Battle of Missionary Ridge, 25 November 1863

Today we add the Battle of Missionary Ridge, the final part of General Grant's campaign to lift the siege of Chattanooga. Missionary Ridge is famous as one of the few civil war battles to see a successful frontal assault against fortified positions.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Battle of Orchard Knob (23 November 1863)

The Battle of Orchard Knob (23 November 1863)

The Battle of Orchard Knob (23 November 1863) saw the first fighting in General Grant's campaign to raise the Siege of Chattanooga.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Battle of Campbell's Station, 16 November 1863

Battle of Campbell's Station

The Battle of Campbell's Station was a rearguard action during the East Tennessee campaign of 1863 that allowed the Union forces under Burnside to withdraw into Knoxville

Monday, May 15, 2006

Battle of Lookout Mountain

Battle of Lookout Mountain

Today we add the Battle of Lookout Mountain, part of General Grant's plan for lifting the siege of Chattanooga.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Philip Sheridan

Today we add a biography of Philip Sheridan, a rare example of a man who succeeded as a infantry commander, a cavalry commander and in charge of an entire army.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Battle of Bean's Station, 14 December 1863

Battle of Bean's Station

The Battle of Bean's Station (14 December 1863) was the last fighting of the Knoxville campaign. It was a minor Confederate victory that ended the Union pursuit of Longstreet's army.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Timeline of the American Civil War

Today we add timeline of the American Civil War, organised by year: At the moment it covers all of the main events of the war. As we add more articles expect more details to be added to the timelines as well.


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee

After a break over the weekend, we resume our themed month with a biography of Robert E. Lee, the most iconic of Confederate Generals, and the most feared amongst Union commanders.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Battle of Knoxville.

Battle of Knoxville, 29 November 1863

East Tennessee was a pro-Union region inside a Confederate state. Lincoln had been determined to liberate the area since 1861, but it was not until 1863 that an army was able to capture Knoxville, at the heart of the area. Even after that a strong Confederate counterattack under Longstreet threatened to recapture the town, but his assault failed on 29 November 1863, and the siege was soon lifted.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chattanooga and Chickamauga

Military History Encylopedia on the Web

Today we cover the Chattanooga and Chickamauga campaign, which saw Union forces seize Chattanooga, and then defend it against a Confederate siege after defeat at Chickamauga. The failure of Confederate attempts to recapture Chattanooga exposed Georgia to attack in 1864

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876)

From Jeb Stuart we move on to George Custer, a cavalry commander whose wartime successes have been overshadowed by his many failing.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

James 'Jeb' Stuart

James 'Jeb' Stuart 1833-1864

Today we add our first American Civil War biography and we start with Jeb Stuart, the most famous of several dashing Confederate cavalry commanders.

Monday, May 01, 2006

American Civil War: Introduction

American Civil War: The War of Amateurs

Today we start our American Civil War month with an eleven part, 32,000 word article on the war itself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Siege of Fort Washington, 15-16 November 1776

Siege of Fort Washington, 15-16 November 1776

One of the few sieges during the American War of Independence, the siege of FOrt Washington secured British control of Manhatten Island.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Junker Ju 52/3m

Junker Ju 52/3m

The Junkers JU52 was one of the most important German aircraft of the Second WOrld War, and played a crucial part in many campaigns, including the invasion of Crete and on the Eastern Front.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Yeremenko, Andrei Ivanovich (1892 - 1970)

Yeremenko, Andrei Ivanovich (1892 - 1970)

Today we add a biography of Andrei Ivanovich Yeremenko, a Russian general who held high command throughout the entire Second World War. He played an important role in stopping the Germans outside Moscow in 1941.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota

Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota

The Douglas Dakota is without doubt one of the most famous and most successful designs of aircraft in history. It has been in active service somewhere in the world ever since its first flight in 1935, played a crucial part in the Second World War and saw combat in Vietnam.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Battle of Long Island, 26-29 August 1776

Battle of Long Island, 26-29 August 1776

The Battle of Long Island was a British victory during the American War of Independence that led to the capture of New York, a key British base for the rest of the war.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

Today we add an article on the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the faster air breathing aircraft of its time, and possibly of all time.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Siege of Mount Hiei 29th September 1571

Siege of Mount Hiei 29th September 1571

Second battle of Azukizaka

We bring up our 800th article with two battles between the Samurai and the Ikko-Ikki warrior monks (Japan), the Siege of Mount Hiei (1571) and the Second Battle of Azukizaka (1564)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Falklands War, 1982

Falklands War, 1982

We have now added an article on the Falklands War, a controversial conflict that had political results in both Britain and Argentina that were in some ways more important than the war itself.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

General Tadeusz Bor Komorowski, 1895-1966

General Tadeusz Bor Komorowski, 1895-1966

Today we add a biography of General Tadeusz Bor Komorowski, the leader of the Polish underground in 1944 during the Warsaw uprising, a brave attempt to expel the Germans by force before the arrival of the Russians.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Battle of Copenhagen 1801

Battle of Copenhagen 1801

For the last day of our Napoleonic Wars month we have an article on the Battle of Copenhagen (1801), the second of Nelson’s great naval victories, fought to defend Britain’s right to conduct a naval blockade of France.

We support the main article with our first two source documents. First is Nelson’s letter to the Crown Prince of Denmark, written as the fighting was starting to slacken, with the hope of ending the fighting sooner, and we follow up with Nelson’s second letter to the Crown Prince, securing the cease fire.

We also provide lists of the ships involved on both sides, with details of the fate of the Danish ships and the casualties suffered on the British.

Danish Ships
British Ships

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Brown Bess

Brown Bess

Today we have an article on the 'Brown Bess' musket, the main British infantry weapon for over a century, tracing the development of the musket from the Dog Lock Musket in use during the Seven Years War, through to the India Pattern Short Land Musket that was the standard weapon by the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Baker Rifle

Baker Rifle

Today we have an article on the Baker Rifle, the first rifle to be in regular use in the British army.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Nelson, Horatio, Admiral, (1759-1805)

Nelson, Horatio, Admiral, (1759-1805)

We conclude our three part biography of Lord Nelson with the period from the collapse of the Peace of Amiens in 1803 through to his victory and death at the battle of Trafalgar.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gunboats, Royal Navy, Napoleonic Period

Gunboats, Royal Navy, Napoleonic Period

The Gunboat was the smallest ship of war in common use during this period. It played an important role in many amphibious operations during the wars, as it was able to go much closer inland than larger ships.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798

Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798

Day nineteen of our Napoleonic Month covers the battle of the Nile, Nelson's first victory as the commander of a fleet. The battle of the Nile was one of the most one-sided of battles during the age of sail. The French fleet was almost totally destroyed, for the loss of no British ships, leaving Napoleon's army stranded in Egypt.

Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798

Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798

Day nineteen of our Napoleonic Month covers the battle of the Nile, Nelson's first victory as the commander of a fleet. The battle of the Nile was one of the most one-sided of battles during the age of sail. The French fleet was almost totally destroyed, for the loss of no British ships, leaving Napoleon's army stranded in Egypt.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Battle of Aboukir, 25 July 1799

Battle of Aboukir, 25 July 1799

The First Battle of Aboukir was Napoleon's final victory in Egypt and saw him defeat an Ottoman invasion aimed at expelling the French.

Soon after the battle, Napoleon received news from France which convinced him to return home, abandoning his expedition.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sea Fencibles, 1798-1810

Sea Fencibles, 1798-1810

For day seventeen of our Napoleonic month, we look at the Sea Fencibles, a naval home guard formed to defend Britain against the threat of French Invasion.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Battle of EggMuhl

Battle of EggMuhl, 1809

A French victory over the Austrians that led to a short lived occupation of Austria.

Monday, January 23, 2006

French Republican Calendar

French Republican Calendar

Typical of the revolutionary fervour that swept through France was the Republican Calendar, adopted as a symbol of the complete break with the past hoped for by the more radical revolutionaries.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Ship of the Line (Napoleonic)

Ship of the Line (Napoleonic)

Day Fourteen of our Napoleonic Month sees a definition of the Ship of the Line, the most powerful warship system of the period, and key to the tactics used in major battles at sea.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Napoleonic Body Armour

Napoleonic Body Armour

For Day Thirteen of our Napoleonic Month, we discuss the use of body armour during the Napoleonic Wars. From being a dominant feature of military equipment, by this period body armour was used exclusively by the heavy cavalry, and even then was not in constant use.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

Day Twelve of our Napoleonic month sees part two of our three part biography of Admiral Nelson, which sees him cement his fame at the battle of the Nile, start his famous love affair with Lady Hamilton, and win his hardest victory at the battle of Copenhagen.

Subject Index: Napoleonic Wars

Admiral Nelson (part two)

Day Twelve of our Napoleonic month sees part two of our three part biography of Admiral Nelson, which sees him cement his fame at the battle of the Nile, start his famous love affair with Lady Hamilton, and win his hardest victory at the battle of Copenhagen.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Collingwood, Cuthbert, first baron Collingwood (1750-1810)

Collingwood, Cuthbert, first baron Collingwood (1750-1810)

Day Eleven of our Napoleonic Month sees a biography of Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, second in command at the battle of Trafalgar, and the British commander in chief in the Mediterranean after the death of Nelson.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Finisterre, Calder's battle off,22 July 1805

Finisterre, Calder's battle off,22 July 1805

For Day Ten of our Napoleonic Month, we have Calder's Battle off Finisterre (22 July 1805), a missed chance for a British victory during the campaign that led to Trafalgar.

Monday, January 16, 2006

French Invasion of Egypt, 1798-1801

French Invasion of Egypt, 1798-1801

Day Nine of our Napoleonic Month sees an account of the French invasion of Egypt (1798-1801), a three year venture that began with high hopes of destroying British power in the east, but that eventually fizzled out after the French lost control of the Mediterranean.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Napoleon's Marshals

Napoleon's Marshals

Day Eight sees a list of Napoleon's Marshals. These were his most trusted military commanders, and their successes and failures were almost as important for the fate of France as Napoleon's own.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Louis-Alexandre Berthier (1753-1815)

Louis-Alexandre Berthier (1753-1815)

Day seven sees our biography of Louis-Alexandre Berthier (1753-1815), Napoleon's chief of staff for nearly twenty years, and an important element in many of his military victories.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nelson, Horatio, Admiral, (1759-1805)

Nelson, Horatio, Admiral, (1759-1805)

Part one of our three part biography of Lord Horatio Nelson traces his career to the battle of Cape St. Vincent, where he first made his name when he placed his ship in front of the entire Spanish fleet to give the rest of the British fleet time to close their trap.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006



The creation of Demi-Brigades was amongst the first of a series of reformed that made French armies the most feared in Europe in the two decades after the revolution.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Flag, Flying or Raising

Flag, Flying or Raising

Day four of our themed month sees an article on the concept of 'flying' or 'raising' a flag, a term used to indicate the location of an Admiral at sea.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Battle of Vittoria

Battle of Vittoria

Day three of our Napoleonic themed month sees the battle of Vittoria, the decisive battle of the Peninsular War.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sabre (Napoleonic)

Sabre (Napoleonic)

Day two of our Napoleonic month sees an article on the Sabre during the Napoleonic Wars. The sabre was the main cavalry weapon during this period, used by all the major combatants.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte

We begin our Napoleonic month with a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, the politician and general who gave his name to the entire period. Napoleon's career still causes controversy - he can be seen as everything from a military dictator to a dedicated democrat - but his military ability is not in doubt.