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"Napoleon Victorious (Peter Tsouras)" Topic

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448 hits since 2 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 9:07 a.m. PST

Just picked this up in "the" London bookshop and, at £19.99 GBP, it is a bargain. I have all his earlier work on D Day, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, to which he has now added a counterfactual history of "Waterloo".

I won't spoil the plot other than to say something has to change the outcome, whether a minor want of a nail or a complete transformation of those involved. It could be the ACW message and the cigars, but here it essentially that Napoleon returns a much younger, fitter and more dynamic character. Maybe as a result he makes all the appointments to his staff that contributors to this forum have wished for in the past. The result is a lightning advance, in impeccable fashion, led by many changed leaders. Not a signal lost, no delays in getting started each morning, a nice fantasy of units changing sides. Everything goes right for the French advance. Allied celebrities drop like flies

A great read and very well researched.

Many such books close with an explanation of how the account differs from reality, which this does not. It is therefore for a reader who knows the events well, to really appreciate it. I did and thought it a bargain.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 9:20 a.m. PST

Thanks for the recommend! Have to check into it.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 11:13 a.m. PST

Tsouras is a good writer -thanks for the heads-up!

arthur181502 Jan 2019 11:52 a.m. PST

Deadhead, given the title, your accurate description of the author's approach is effectively a 'spoiler'!

Personally, I found the way everything that could go right for Boney during the campaign did so reduced much of the dramatic tension and credibility of the story. But it was well-executed.

Redblack02 Jan 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

You do not need to buy the book to experience the same feeling. In a game let the French re-roll any failed die until they get what they are looking for and let them request a re-roll of any Allied die. This should give them a sufficient advantage to win. Of course getting someone to play the Alliesmay be a problem.

IMO, Tsouras' books are not even good Alternate History but pure fantasy where you will get little insight into what actually happened. If Napoleon had been as good, and/or lucky, as he is portrayed, he would have won years earlier

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2019 3:22 p.m. PST

Great feedback. I agree entirely. It makes great reading.

I enjoyed it immensely.

But I kept thinking how different it was to how things actually turned out. Again let me not do too many scene spoilers, but the French Army does work a miracle of efficiency, manoeuvre and staff work. There is never a single failure of communication, as the personnel have changed. The attack on the Allies in Belgium is simply outstanding and proceeds better than Gen Buonaparte could have hoped, all due to his incredibly competent minions.

All alternate history is like this. It is a what if. Even with the staff suggested here, at their best, this result is unlikely. Tsouras writes well, but Stalingrad never caught my imagination.

But the outcome is not impossible (just unlikely). This is meant to be a wargamer's forum and I think this is a great read (much better than "The Napoleon Options" if you are on a train for nearly three hours).

I hope we will hear more on this, from those who know far more about what really happened than do I.

The biggest shock is that Tango has not yet posted on this (Grin)

Beat you to it mate! Happy New Year over the South Atlantic Ocean

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2019 8:49 a.m. PST

Just reread it. Second time in a few days.

Of course it is daft. But we will all watch and enjoy James Bond leap across impossible chasms, hang on by his fingertips and shoot his enemies with a Walther at ranges impossible for a target rifle.

Redblack's point is well made. Once Boney engages in hand to hand combat, in 1815, most us will give up. The book makes the common mistake of confusing the two Ponsonbys, but also, throughout, repeats the Waterloo 1970 error of "Prussian black". Then there is the technology reintroduced by Napoleon, which was discussed here before, with much reasoning as to why it had been abandoned.

The book is indeed fantasy, but, for me, it beats Harry Potter any day (even if the latter is more plausible)

Sebastian Palmer14 Jan 2019 7:00 a.m. PST


I loved this book. If anyone feels inclined, they can read my Amazon UK review of it for more detail:


… the chief attraction? It's rollicking good fun!

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