10/07/2022 at 15:13 #175546Arthur HarmanParticipant
Members may be interested to know that Helion & Company have republished Eagles Over the Alps: Suvorov in Italy and Switzerland 1799 Dr Christopher Duffy, first published by The Emperor’s Press in 1999, as a 304 page hardback, price £37.50 GBP, which is cheaper than some of the prices presently being demanded for second-hand copies!
I read a library copy of this book when it was originally published, but could not then afford to buy it for myself, so I am very pleased to have this new edition. The only thing that has changed is that the cover now shows two full colour illustrations of a jager of the Bagration Regiment and a grenadier of the Rosenberg Regiment by Patrice Courcelle; the contents are unaltered.
If you have not seen the book before, Dr Duffy narrates the Russo-Austrian war against Revolutionary France in Switzerland and northern Italy, primarily from a Russian viewpoint, with an emphasis on the inspirational – and very eccentric – character of the Russian commander, General Aleksandr Vasilevich Suvorov, then aged sixty-eight, in his own erudite and entertaining style that made his previous books on the armies of Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa such a pleasure to read.
Dr Duffy personally visited the theatre of operations, walking ‘every pass and every key location at least once.’ He drew the 34 maps himself and took the photographs of locations which accompany the text. The remainder of the black and white illustrations consist of four scenes by Bill Younghusband and reproductions of contemporary portraits.
Wargamers will find plenty of inspiration for tabletop games in the accounts of the numerous battles and sieges of this campaign.10/07/2022 at 20:46 #175550Tony SParticipant
One of my favourite books. Duffy is a superb writer. I fully agree with Arthur – a tome well worth getting.10/07/2022 at 21:33 #175551OotKustParticipant
All his work has been excellent and interesting. Sadly this came too late for me back then and so was off the radar, otherwise my interest in the period/ campaign outside my main theme interests would have been vastly improved.
Edit: 16 July- Book arrived and I wondered, at the cover- nice to see Prince Bagrations regiment of Jaeger in the flesh; wondered about the ‘Rosenberg’ Grenadier however- no simple explanation in sight. I had to use Eureka’s excellent monologue aligned to their range of 1799 Campaign Figures to determine that : Grenadier Regiment Rosenberg – formerly the Moscow Grenadiers!
Helion could have stated that given they weren’t editing the entire book (other than compositing). Anyway, here’s to an interesting read…
d17/07/2022 at 10:20 #175827Chris PringleParticipant
Great to see this reprinted. The 1799 campaign is a fascinating one that deserves more attention on our wargame tables.
I cannot resist mentioning Professor Frederick Schneid’s newly published review in the Journal of Military History, Vol.86, No.3, pp702-703. Reviewing the Clausewitz translations Professor Murray and I have done (Napoleon Absent, Coalition Ascendant: The 1799 Campaign in Italy and Switzerland, volume 1; and The Coalition Crumbles, Napoleon Returns: The 1799 Campaign in Italy and Switzerland, volume 2, by Carl von Clausewitz), Professor Schneid recommends Dr Duffy’s work as required background reading before tackling Clausewitz’s level of detail and analysis. He is also kind enough to say that “For those scholars who study this era, [Murray & Pringle’s translated editions] will be a wonderful addition to their library”.
Napoleon Absent, Coalition Ascendant (ku.edu)
The Coalition Crumbles, Napoleon Returns (ku.edu)02/09/2022 at 03:23 #177554OotKustParticipant
Now- thoroughly enjoying the book often as my wake up breakfast reading in lieu of news etc.
Been fascinating to see the campaign detail and know Suvorovs thoughts on a lot of life and military- I can say without too much doubt as errudite as Napoleon, but without the ritual editing that went on. Very many commentators amongst the Russian and Austrian, commanders and commoners alike.
His strategic acumen and personal bravery, not to mention charity when possible, ably shown by Duffy and I’ve only reached the middle of the book (ie Italy). That he was hobbled by dilatory political fighting and ‘Imperiousness’ was a sad indictment on ‘Allies’ strategies.
His striking command over his cossack regiments who clearly were personally devoted to him- his charsimatic leadership making them do things because he knew they could, completely outweighs the criticisms of distant and uninvolved Austrians.
I can see, the latter, had the same simplistic approach to war, enemy and strategy in all their campaigns, and the continuum of 1799, became 1800 (Hohenlinden particularly- they nearly had Alessandria- Marengo), then 1805 through the cronyist command structure under a distrusting monarch.
Duffy’s Eagles Over The Alps is a tribute to his professional work ethics , being larger format, bigger maps* and a few more years research of authentic original sources, and a handsome addition beside Austerlitz 1805 which still is the basis of any research later.
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