1812, Through Fire and Ice with Napoleon: A French Officer's Memoir of the Campaign in Russia
This reprint of an important French narrative is sure to generate a considerable amount of interest, as Napoleon's epic 1812 Russian Campaign continues to fascinate and enthrall.
Out-of-print for 150 years, Labaume's text presents a superb evocation of the Grande Armee in 1812. We follow this French officer of engineers as he marches with Eugene de Beauharnais' IV Corps deeper and deeper into Russia, and experience the strange fascination this mysterious land held for Napoleon's soldiers. Battles follow, Labaume relating his experiences at the bloody Moskwa, or Borodino, in particular detail, before the army reaches Moscow.
Soon, events take a more unfortunate turn for the French, and Labaume begins his part in the disastrous Retreat from Moscow, recounting the appalling miseries endured by the soldiers, including the crossing of the Beresina. Somehow, Labaume survives to tell the tale - making his way back over the River Niemen to safety.
A vivid and fascinating personal account of one of the great campaigns in military history.
The author kept daily notes during the Retreat from Moscow by mixing gunpowder with snow to produce ink.
This reprint makes a very scarce work available again to a whole new readership, representing a major contribution to the library of Napoleonic literature.
"Arrived at the opposite bank, like ghosts returned from the infernal regions, we fearfully looked behind us, and beheld with horror the savage countries where we had suffered so much. No person would then easily believe that we had once regarded these climates with envy..." (Labaume commenting upon his safe return from Russia
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abandoned advanced-guard aid-de-camp approached arms arrived artillery attack August baggage banks Barclay de Tolly Bavarian Belluno Beresina bivouac Borovsk brave bridge camp carriages cavalry centre chateau colonel commanded compelled cossacks Count courage crossed crowd dreadful duke of Reggio Dwina Eckmuhl Elchingen eminence emperor encamped endeavoured enemy fatal fatigue field of battle fire flames followed forced formed fourteenth division fourth corps French halted heard Hetman honour horses houses imperial guard infantry inhabitants Kaluga king of Naples Kowno Krasnoe league Liozna Lithuania manoeuvre miserable misfortunes Moscow Moskwa Napoleon Niemen Nieper night November o'clock officers Orcha passage passed perceived perished pieces of cannon Poland position prince Kutusoff prince of Eckmuhl redoubt regiment remained retreat river road royal guard ruins Russian army scarcely side Smolensko soldiers soon staff thirteenth thousand tion town troops Viazma viceroy village whole Wilna Witepsk wood wounded wretched Zazele