France--Foreign relations--1792-1815 and Wars of Liberation, 1813-1814
A distinguished historian and British Army veteran examines the political and military alliances that led to the defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars. 1813 was a critical year in the war that ended with the downfall of Napoleon—the year in which the balance of power tipped decisively against the French monarch's First Empire. In 1813: Empire at Bay, military historian and retired British Army Lt. Gen. Jonathon Riley explores the international alliance behind the major campaigns that raged across Europe and ultimately broke France's power. Focusing on the nations of the Sixth Coalition—Austria, Prussia, Russia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Spain, and the smaller German states—Riley reveals how this unprecedented alliance became the prototype of all uneasy modern coalitions. Despite their common enemy and shared goals, the international leaders and military officers had to navigate troubled command relationships, disagreements on strategy and operations, and clashing political ambitions. Riley also reassesses Napoleon's strengths and faults as an alliance commander, overseeing armies of not only Frenchmen but also Poles, Danes, Italians, Germans, and a host of other contingents. In vivid detail, Riley's groundbreaking book covers the battles of Lützen, Bautzen, Dresden, and Leipzig, demonstrating how they were each in their own way a decisive step toward Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.