Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1814

Frontline Books
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Russia played a decisive role in the Napoleonic wars and the success in the struggle against France allowed Russian leaders to profoundly influence the course of European history. Over the last 200 years, the Napoleonic era has been discussed and analysed in numerous studies, but many fail to fully portray the Russian side of events due to the relative scarcity of Russian sources in English. Only a handful of Russian memoirs have been translated, while dozens remain unknown outside Russia. This book seeks to fill this gap by providing, in English, previously unavailable memoirs of Russian participants.??Defeat at Leipzig in 1813 had driven Napoleon back across the borders of France, and in January 1814 the Russians, Austrians, Prussians and their other German allies stood poised to cross the Rhine. But the French Emperor was far from beaten, and the ensuing campaign saw desperate fighting, with the outcome very much in the balance. This book is the first to bring together dozens of letter, diaries and memoirs of Russian participants of the 1814 Campaign. Reading these documents we see both what Russian officers and soldiers experienced during the final months of the three-year-long campaign as well as their joy at defeating Russia’s most dangerous enemy. We follow them not only through the heat of battle but also on delightful tours of Paris which they describe as the pleasure and entertainment capital of the world.
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Publisher
Frontline Books
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Published on
Jul 10, 2013
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781473828629
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Modern / 19th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Popular and scholarly history presents a one-dimensional image of Napoleon as an inveterate instigator of war who repeatedly sought large-scale military conquests. General Franceschi and Ben Weider dismantle this false conclusion in The Wars Against Napoleon, a brilliantly written and researched study that turns our understanding of the French emperor on its head. Avoiding the simplistic clichés and rudimentary caricatures many historians use when discussing Napoleon, Franceschi and Weider argue persuasively that the caricature of the megalomaniac conqueror who bled Europe white to satisfy his delirious ambitions and insatiable love for war is groundless. By carefully scrutinizing the facts of the period and scrupulously avoiding the sometimes confusing cause and effect of major historical events, they paint a compelling portrait of a fundamentally pacifist Napoleon, one completely at odds with modern scholarly thought. This rigorous intellectual presentation is based upon three principal themes. The first explains how an unavoidable belligerent situation existed after the French Revolution of 1789. The new France inherited by Napoleon was faced with the implacable hatred of reactionary European monarchies determined to restore the ancient regime. All-out war was therefore inevitable unless France renounced the modern world to which it had just painfully given birth. The second theme emphasizes Napoleon’s determined efforts (“bordering on an obsession,” argue the authors) to avoid this inevitable conflict. The political strategy of the Consulate and the Empire was based on the intangible principle of preventing or avoiding these wars, not on conquering territory. Finally, the authors examine, conflict by conflict, the evidence that Napoleon never declared war. As he later explained at Saint Helena, it was he who was always attacked—not the other way around. His adversaries pressured and even forced the Emperor to employ his unequalled military genius. After each of his memorable victories Napoleon offered concessions, often extravagant ones, to the defeated enemy for the sole purpose of avoiding another war. Lavishly illustrated, persuasively argued, and carefully illustrated with original maps and battle diagrams, The Wars Against Napoleon presents a courageous and uniquely accurate historical idea that will surely arouse vigorous debate within the international historical community.
As soon as Napoleon and his Grand Army entered Moscow, on 14 September 1812, the capital erupted in flames that eventually engulfed and destroyed two thirds of the city. The fiery devastation had a profound effect on the Grand Army, but for thirty-five days Napoleon stayed, making increasingly desperate efforts to achieve peace with Russia. Then, in October, almost surrounded by the Russians and with winter fast approaching, he abandoned the capital and embarked on the long, bitter retreat that destroyed his army. The month-long stay in Moscow was a pivotal moment in the war of 1812 _ the moment when the initiative swung towards the Tsar's armies and spelled doom for the invading Grand Army _ yet it has rarely been studied in the same depth as the other key events of the campaign.??Alexander Mikaberidze, in this third volume of his in-depth reassessment of the war between the French and Russian empires, emphasizes the importance of the Moscow fire and shows how Russian intransigence sealed the fate of the French army. He uses a vast array of French, German, Polish and Russian memoirs, letters and diaries as well as archival material in order to tell the dramatic story of the Moscow fire. Not only does he provide a comprehensive account of events, looking at them from both the French and Russian points of view, but he explores the Russians' motives for leaving, then burning their capital. Using extensive eyewitness accounts, he paints a vivid picture of the harsh reality of life in the remains of the occupied city and describes military operations around Moscow at this turning point in the campaign.
Winner, 2018 PEN/E.O. Wilson Prize for Literary Science Writing
Short-listed for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize
A Top 10 Science Book of Fall 2017, Publishers Weekly
A Best History Book of 2017, The Guardian

"Warning: She spares no detail!" —Erik Larson, bestselling author of Dead Wake

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery and shows how it was transformed by advances made in germ theory and antiseptics between 1860 and 1875. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, who, working before anesthesia, were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically reconstructs Lister’s career path to his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection and could be countered by a sterilizing agent applied to wounds. She introduces us to Lister’s contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and leads us through the grimy schools and squalid hospitals where they learned their art, the dead houses where they studied, and the cemeteries they ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.

Presented here, for the first time in any language, are more than 800 detailed biographies of the senior Russian officers who commanded troops in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, together with 440 b&x portraits. This amazing study spans the critical years of 1792 to 1815, but also includes those officers whose service fell before and after this period. Dr. Mikaberidze's The Russian Officer Corps is based upon years of research in Russian archives. Each biography includes the subject’s place of birth, family history, educational background, a detailed description of his military service, his awards and promotions, wounds, transfers, commands, and other related information, including the date and place of his death and internment, if known. In addition to the biographies is an introductory chapter setting forth in meticulous detail the organization of the Russian military, how it was trained, the educational and cultural background of the officer corps, its awards and their history and meaning, and much more. This outstanding overview is supported and enhanced by three dozen charts, tables, and graphics that illustrate the rich history of the Russian officer corps. This study also includes a Foreword by Dr. Donald H. Horward, and an annotated bibliography to help guide students of the period through the available Russian sources. Stunning in its scope and depth of coverage, The Russian Officer Corps will be of tremendous use to historians, scholars, genealogists, hobbyists, wargamers, and anyone working or studying late 18th and early 19th-century European history. Every student of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, as well as every academic library, will find this impressive reference work absolutely indispensable. Serious readers of this momentous period of history cannot afford to be without this exceptional reference work. About the Author: Alexander Mikaberidze is an assistant professor of history at Mississippi State University. He holds a law degree from the Republic of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University, where he worked at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. He serves as president of the Napoleonic Society of Georgia. In addition to his numerous articles on various Napoleonic-related topics, Dr. Mikaberidze's publications include a biography of Napoleon in Georgian, two volumes on the Russo-Turkish War of 1806-1812, and the forthcoming Lion of the Russian Army: Life and Career of General Peter Bagration
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