Cover of: 1812 | Richard K. Riehn
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Last edited by mountainaxe
February 1, 2020 | History
An edition of 1812 (1990)

1812

Napoleon's Russian Campaign

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This edition published in by McGraw-Hill in New York.

Written in English

525 pages

A masterful and mildly revisionist assessment of Napoleon's disastrous attempt to make Russia a part of his empire. Drawing on archival sources newly translated from the French and German as well as standard references (including Clausewitz), military historian Riehn offers a richly detailed account of a great captain's comeuppance. Setting the stage with background on the martial arts in Europe during the early 19th century, as well as with big-picture perspectives on the continent's geopolitical alignments, he provides a coherent explanation of the objectives that induced Napoleon to invade Russia in mid-1812. At no small cost, the emperor marched his Grand Army across trackless wastes to Moscow, the motherland's spiritual hub, only to find it evacuated and ablaze. With his flanks vulnerable and forces depleted, Napoleon belatedly turned for home. He made it back to Paris, but most of his multinational legions perished on The Steppes. Napoleon himself attributed his defeat to ""General Winter,"" a verdict widely accepted by contemporaries and posterity. As Riehn makes clear, however, the bitter cold and snow came late that year, i.e., during the latter stages of the retreat. Miscalculations and errors, he argues, were the real causes of the campaign's failure. To begin with, Napoleon expected to win a set-piece battle early on and then negotiate an advantageous treaty with Tsar Alexander. Instead, he was obliged to tramp through backwaters that could not support his troops or horses in vain pursuit of a foe who would not stand and fight. Beset by logistical woes largely of his own making, moreover, Napoleon exhibited unwonted hesitancy in making command decisions at critical junctures. As a practical matter, Riehn concludes, the Corsican usurper was not prepared to sustain the kind of plodding offensive required to conquer Russia. While he did show flashes of his former brilliance, the calamitous outcome proved as inevitable as that of any classic tragedy where hubris plays a leading role. Military history of a very high order. The text has helpful maps, line drawings that illustrate tactical formations, a glossary, and a wealth of appendices enumerating the manpower of participating commands.

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Previews available in: English

Edition Availability
Cover of: 1812
Cover of: 1812
1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
April 4, 1991, Wiley
in English
Cover of: 1812
1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
1990, McGraw-Hill
Hardback in English
Cover of: 1812
1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
March 1990, Mcgraw-Hill
in English
Cover of: 1812
1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
March 1990, Mcgraw-Hill
Hardcover in English

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1812

First published in 1990



Work Description

A masterful and mildly revisionist assessment of Napoleon's disastrous attempt to make Russia a part of his empire. Drawing on archival sources newly translated from the French and German as well as standard references (including Clausewitz), military historian Riehn offers a richly detailed account of a great captain's comeuppance. Setting the stage with background on the martial arts in Europe during the early 19th century, as well as with big-picture perspectives on the continent's geopolitical alignments, he provides a coherent explanation of the objectives that induced Napoleon to invade Russia in mid-1812. At no small cost, the emperor marched his Grand Army across trackless wastes to Moscow, the motherland's spiritual hub, only to find it evacuated and ablaze. With his flanks vulnerable and forces depleted, Napoleon belatedly turned for home. He made it back to Paris, but most of his multinational legions perished on The Steppes. Napoleon himself attributed his defeat to ""General Winter,"" a verdict widely accepted by contemporaries and posterity. As Riehn makes clear, however, the bitter cold and snow came late that year, i.e., during the latter stages of the retreat. Miscalculations and errors, he argues, were the real causes of the campaign's failure. To begin with, Napoleon expected to win a set-piece battle early on and then negotiate an advantageous treaty with Tsar Alexander. Instead, he was obliged to tramp through backwaters that could not support his troops or horses in vain pursuit of a foe who would not stand and fight. Beset by logistical woes largely of his own making, moreover, Napoleon exhibited unwonted hesitancy in making command decisions at critical junctures. As a practical matter, Riehn concludes, the Corsican usurper was not prepared to sustain the kind of plodding offensive required to conquer Russia. While he did show flashes of his former brilliance, the calamitous outcome proved as inevitable as that of any classic tragedy where hubris plays a leading role. Military history of a very high order. The text has helpful maps, line drawings that illustrate tactical formations, a glossary, and a wealth of appendices enumerating the manpower of participating commands.

1812

Napoleon's Russian Campaign

This edition published in by McGraw-Hill in New York.


Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
940.2/7
Library of Congress
DC235 .R43 1990

The Physical Object

Format
Hardback
Pagination
ix, 525 p. :
Number of pages
525

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL2206327M
Internet Archive
isbn_9780070527317
ISBN 10
0070527318
ISBN 13
9780471543022
LC Control Number
89028432
Library Thing
576733
Goodreads
3388405

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February 1, 2020 Edited by mountainaxe Edited without comment.
February 1, 2020 Edited by mountainaxe Added new cover
July 28, 2015 Edited by ImportBot import new book
July 31, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user Imported from Scriblio MARC record.