Napoleon's 9th Light Infantry Regiment
isn't often you get to live the life of a soldier in a French
Napoleonic regiment but in Incomparable you can do just
Crowdy's impressive Incomparable: Napoleon's 9th Light Regiment
is a fabulous doorway to the goings on in the barracks of one
of the French emperor's most highly regarded units.
meet the soldiers and the officers and follow them through their
careers and service in Napoleon's army.
took Crowdy 10 years to research this highly readable book and
he knows the characters so well they spring to life within his
he could have hardly picked a better regiment to focus on.
9th Light Infantry regiment was an elite fighting unit throughout
the long Napoleonic Wars but it didn't always have things its
on it lost officers fleeing the revolution and heading to Austria,
it seemed to always be struggling for uniforms and then there
was the disaster at Bailen and another involving a lost eagle.
the 9th was nothing if not a fighting machine and it earned its
nickname Incomparable while saving the day at Marengo.
went on to prove itself time and time again on the Danube in 1809,
in Prussia, Russia and in Spain.
particularly fascinating part of the book was Crowdy's detailing
of the French invasion force as it sat at Boulogne waiting to
cross the English Channel and invade Britain.
hadn't read before of what the troops did there in both training
and leisure and Incomparable opened it up for me. And check out
Marshal Michel Ney's embarkation
all Incomparable is a terrific tale of the men who took French
military power to the heights of conquering most of Europe.
are good ones, bad ones and Crowdy doesn't gloss over the brutalities
of the war in Spain. He describes the events following the capture
of three young Spaniards and the order to execute them. This sparked
disgust among many of the officers and troops of the 9th but was
carried out by others.
9th was also part of the defence of Badajoz and it was their muskets
that wreaked such destruction upon the attacking British. About
100 of the 3rd battalion's chasseurs are estimated to have caused
600 British casualties in the assault.
found I become so involved in the men of the 9th that I had to
really force myself to put it down.
mighty read and I didn't want to finish it.
work Terry, can't wait for your next book.