AUSTERLITZ by Claude Manceron


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Napoleon dominates this documentary recreation of the battle of Austerlitz on December 2, 1805, which found 150,000 men in combat. He comes off well in the author's hands, since at this point Napoleon was not yet the fatuous megalomaniac portrayed by Tolstoy. (This book was originally published in French.) Manceron builds an hour-by-hour report on the trap set by Napoleon into which the Russians and Austrians fell. The French numbered 60,000, the Allies 90,000, but Napoleon both masked his positions and pretended to be much weaker than he was. The glimpses of the youthful Emperor Alexander's camp and his young retinue are excellent. The battle is well reported and made more immediate by the use of excerpts from the letters and diaries of foot soldiers and officers.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1966
Publisher: Norton