All right, I wouldn’t have ever thought of a book on Napoleon’s German allies on my own, but this is a very good, if limited look at just that. This is a look at just the 1809 Danubian campaign. There’s a bit about the founding of the Confederation of the Rhine, and the 1808 events that lead into this campaign. And that’s it. There was continued fighting in 1809 in Spain, and a fair number of German troops were sent there before more had to be raised for the Danubian campaign. While that fact is discussed, that’s all that’s said except for some very passing mentions of how some of those contingents did in comparison with the with their brethren in this book.

Now, within that set of constraints, this is a very good book. The amount of detail is understandably high, even if the maps are at best lackluster, and often don’t back up the text well. There are two major sections, one of which mostly looks at the primary campaign, and the other goes into several subsidiary theaters, most notably an insurrection in the Tyrol and Vorarlberg. Bavaria gets (deservedly) a full, long chapter, with Württemberg, Baden, Hesse-Darmstadt, and Saxony also getting their own chapters.

Because he goes through each country in turn, the narrative of events is split up and gets a bit jumbled. But that’s not the purpose of this book; if you want a look at the campaign as a whole, look elsewhere (quite likely at Gill’s Thunder on the Danube series). You do get a look at the units themselves along with tables of organization for the units involved, and figures for the numbers of men.

For me, the most important part of this volume is the war in Tyrol. It is prominent in the Bavaria chapter, and also is the lead chapter in the second part. I hadn’t known anything about major insurrections during this campaign, and this one nearly overwhelmed the nearby German states. Since it was almost entirely left to German troops, it gets a full discussion here. The rest of the second part is about smaller events, winding down to some raids staged to get uprisings going in the rest of Germany, which did not happen, but the military security arrangements against these are gone into.

Overall, this is a well done book on a bit of a niche subject, but one that is more interesting than it would first seem. Unfortunately there are a few major flubs in the electronic version of the book. Mostly, it is in very good shape, but a large chunk of chapter 7 is missing, leaving you wondering exactly what just happened, with everything wrapping up right after a tense part of the campaign… and there’s eleven pages stuck after the chapter endnotes. (More signs that something went seriously wrong in there is a missing name, “an attack on ’s defences“.)