Today, we consider the Napoleonic Wars a total war, as whole nations were involved fighting against the enemy or working in the war economy. The beginning of the Industrial Revolution made it possible to mass-produce weapons. The largest single manufacturer of armaments was Britain. It supplied most of the weapons used by the coalition powers.

Securing victory required more than producing arms, of course: recruiting and training men, building fortifications, improving gun-powder, collecting information about the enemy, …  the list is endless. And the cost was high. It is estimated that the army alone cost 18,581,000 pounds in 1805.

Whatever the difficulties once were, I hope you enjoyed reading about the strategies and challenges.


You might want to continue with the following related articles:



Baker, Ezekiel: “Twenty-three Years Practice and Observations with Rifle Guns”, published 1804 (https://archive.org/details/twentythreeyear00bakegoog ).

Edwards, Eric W.: The Baker Rifle; at: England, the other within – Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum: http://web.prm.ox.ac.uk/england/englishness-baker-rifle.html

Knight, Roger: Britain against Napoleon. The organization of victory 1793 – 1815; Penguin Books, 2014.

Ricciardelli, Stephen: “Ezekiel Baker”; at: http://stevespages.com/baker-ezekiel.htm

The 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion / Australia (living history re-enactors): “Development & Description of the Baker Rifle”; at: https://www.95thriflesaustralia.com/development-description-of-the-baker-rifle

Baker Rifle (UK), small arms of the Napoleonic War; at: http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_baker_rifle.html

Muskets at the Battle of Waterloo, the Brown Bess”, The Field June 17, 2015; at: http://www.thefield.co.uk/shooting/muskets-at-the-battle-of-waterloo-the-brown-bess-28421