1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign

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9780070527317: 1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign

This groundbreaking new study employs primary sources never before translated from the German and the French, and contains vivid recreations of battles and troop movements as well as the political alliances of the Napoleonic age. Illustrated.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This major study of one of history's most decisive military campaigns richly details the invasion of Russia in June 1812 by Napoleon's army of 600,000. Although the emperor expected to blitz the Tsar's forces into rapid surrender, five months later he was fortunate to escape with a tattered remnant of 8000 followed by some 40,000 starving stragglers. Riehn, a translator and freelance writer on military topics, analyzes Napoleon's miscalculation of Russian resources and resolve, his poorly conceived logistics and uncharacteristic indecisiveness at Smolensk and Borodino where he missed his two chances to destroy the enemy. Included is a review of French and Russian military establishments of the day, showing how the two forces were mobilized, trained and deployed in the field. Riehn reveals how severe winter conditions during the last part of the retreat enabled Napoleon to claim that "only God and the elements" had proved stronger than his Grand Army. Napoleon actually came away from the 1812 catastrophe with his reputation enhanced. Recommended for military student and general reader alike. Military Book Club selection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Most historians writing about Napoleon's 1812 debacle succumb to the inherent drama of the tragedy: Moscow in flames, dashing Cossacks, and lines of infantry suffering in the frigid Russian winter. Riehn takes a more hard-eyed professional approach, weighing the technical, strategic, and diplomatic factors in this serious study of the military elements of the campaign. His examination of the historiography, line tactics, and late-Napoleonic battlefield dynamics alone will make this a treatise of lasting importance. Casual readers will still do best with Curtis Cate's popular but respectable The War of the Two Emperors: The Confrontation Between Napoleon and Alexander (LJ 10/1/85). Military Book Club selection.
- Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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