The Franco-Austrian War of 1809 was Napoleon’s last victorious war. He would win many battles in his future campaigns, but never again would one of Europe’s great powers lie broken at his feet. In this respect 1809 represents a high point of the First Empire yet at the same time Napoleon’s armies were declining in quality and he was beginning to display the corrosive flaws that contributed to his downfall five years later.
This third and final volume in Jack H. Gill’s masterly account of this epic encounter concludes with the titanic Battle of Wagram and the neglected struggle at Znaim that led to armistice. He expertly unravels events from both the grand strategy and the individual human level – from decisions on moving armies of more than 100,000 to the experiences of individuals soldiers and the sufferings of local populations.
The result of some fifteen years of research and told in rich, lively prose, 1809: Thunder on the Danube is destined to be the definitive account of this pivotal conflict.
John H Gill (Jack) is an Associate Professor on the faculty of the Near East – South Asia Center, part of Washington’s National Defense University. A former US Army South Asia Foreign Area Officer, he retired as a colonel in 2005 after more than 27 years of service. His previous books include With Eagles to Glory and A Soldier for Napoleon.