Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Aug 3, 2004 - History - 644 pages
16 Reviews

Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his ensuing terrible retreat from Moscow played out as military epic and human tragedy on a colossal scale -- history's first example of total war. The story begins in 1811, when Napoleon dominated nearly all of Europe, succeeding in his aim to reign over the civilized world like a modern-day Charlemagne. Part of his bid for supremacy involved destroying Britain through a continental blockade, but the plan was stymied when Russia's Tsar Alexander refused to comply. So he set out to teach the Tsar a lesson by intimidation and force. What followed was a deadly battle that would change the fate of modern Europe.

By invading Russia in 1812, Napoleon was upping the ante as never before. Once he sent his vast army eastward, there was no turning back: he was sucked farther and farther into the one territory he could not conquer. Trudging through a brutal climate in hostile lands, his men marched on toward distant Moscow. But this only galvanized the Russians, who finally made a stand at the gates of the city. The ensuing outbreak was a slaughter the likes of which would not be seen again until the first day of the Somme more than a century later.

What remained of Napoleon's army now had to endure a miserable retreat across the wintry wastes of Russia, while his enemies aligned against him. This turned out to be a momentous turning point: not only the beginning of the end for Napoleon's empire, but the rise of Russia's influence in world affairs. It also gave birth to Napoleon's superhuman legend -- the myth of greatness in failure that would inspire the Romantic poets as well as future leaders to defy fate as he had done.

In this gripping, authoritative account, Adam Zamoyski has drawn on the latest Russian research, as well as a vast pool of firsthand accounts in French, Russian, German, Polish, and Italian, to paint a vivid picture of the experiences of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. He shows how the relationship between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander came to distort their alliance and bring about a war that neither man wanted. Dramatic, insightful, and enormously absorbing, Moscow 1812 is a masterful work of history.

  

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Review: Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March

User Review  - Anthony Ryan - Goodreads

Fascinating and highly accessible account of Napoleon's most disastrous campaign. Zamoyski writes clear and compelling prose, mercifully free of any academic tedium, without allowing the vast scale of ... Read full review

Review: Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March

User Review  - Dan Harvey - Goodreads

After reading heaps of fiction books in a row, I thought it was time to mix in a non-fiction. I previously did not know much about Napoleon's march on Moscow, other than that it did not go well for ... Read full review

Contents

Kutuzovs retreat from Moscow
333
The Distractions of Moscow
337
The March to Nowhere
358
Maloyaroslavets
372
Retreat
377
The retreat
382
The Mirage of Smolensk
406
The view from Smolensk
413

The French advance
167
Courteous War
174
The advance to Vitebsk
181
The Heart of Russia
198
The Rudnia offensive and Napoleons Smolensk manoeuvre
210
LubinoValutina Gora
224
n Total War
227
Kutuzov
245
The Russian positions at Borodino
253
The Battle for Moscow
265
Borodino The morning attacks
269
Borodino The final assault
279
Hollow Triumph
296
Stalemate
323
Krasny 1516 November
421
Krasny 1719 November
428
The End of the Army of Moscow
431
The closing trap 21 November
437
The Berezina
458
Empire of Death
481
The End of the Road
501
His Majestys Health
520
The Legend
544
Notes
558
Sources
597
Index
623
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Adam Zamoyski was born in New York and educated at Oxford. He is the author of Moscow 1812. He lives in London.

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