Many books have been written about Napoleon and his campaigns, but very little about the soldiers of his armies and of the organization and conditions under which they lived and served. In this classic study, now reissued in paperback, H.C.B. Rogers examines Napoleon's army in terms of its staff systems, its arms and its supporting services as it existed and changed during the long period that separated the battles of Valmy and Waterloo. This is not another history of Napoleon's campaigns. Apart from the brief narrative of the opening chapter designed to serve as an aide-memoire, military operations are only cited to illustrate organization, tactics, equipment and administration. The author seeks to show how, as Lord Wavell put it, Napoleon inspired 'a ragged, mutinous, half-starved army and made it fight as it did'.
Colonel H.C.B. Rogers was a distinguished military historian and an expert on the campaigns and the armies that contested the Napoleonic Wars. His best-known books are The British Army in the Eighteenth Century, The Confederates and the Federals at War, Wellington's Army, Artillery Through the Ages, Weapons of the British Soldier and Tanks in Battle.