At Napoleon's Side in Russia: The Classic Eyewitness Account

Overview

“I beat the Russians every time,” said Napoleon, “but that doesn’t get me anywhere.”

Armand de Caulaincourt was one of the highest officials in the French Empire, constantly riding at Napoleon’s side. His memoirs are hailed as the most accurate and best written eyewitness account of Napoleon’s disastrous attempt to conquer Russia. The cycle of Napoleonic conquests ended in Russia’s winter of ice and snow. Nowhere is that awful event described as vividly as in these memoirs. Napoleon entered Russia triumphantly on...

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At Napoleon's Side in Russia: The Classic Eyewitness Account

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Overview

“I beat the Russians every time,” said Napoleon, “but that doesn’t get me anywhere.”

Armand de Caulaincourt was one of the highest officials in the French Empire, constantly riding at Napoleon’s side. His memoirs are hailed as the most accurate and best written eyewitness account of Napoleon’s disastrous attempt to conquer Russia. The cycle of Napoleonic conquests ended in Russia’s winter of ice and snow. Nowhere is that awful event described as vividly as in these memoirs. Napoleon entered Russia triumphantly on June 18, 1812, with over 500,000 men, while the remnants that staggered back out were merely a few ragged thousand. It was the greatest military disaster in history.

With an introduction by Dr. Jacques-Olivier Boudon, president of the Institut Napoléon, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
First published in French in 1933 and last translated into English two years later, the memoirs of General de Caulaincourt remain one of the most important documents of Napoleon's reign in general and the 1812 invasion of Russia in particular. De Caulaincourt, a member of the old nobility who survived and prospered in the French Revolution, was a born soldier and politician. Coming to Napoleon's attention in 1809, he was appointed aide-de-camp and promoted to brigadier general one year later. Subsequently serving as master of the horse, ambassador to Russia, and twice minister for foreign affairs, he was Napoleon's political adviser. His revealing eyewitness accounts give readers a close-up of Napoleon's thoughts and strategies during the disastrous Russian campaign and will prove invaluable for scholarly research. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries. Gengembre's is not yet another biography of Napoleon Bonaparte but more a lush iconography of his life and the effect it had on history down to the 20th century. Lavishly illustrated on heavy paper stock and well bound, the book depicts every political view of the charismatic emperor in over 300 images, almost all of them in color. It includes many images of memorabilia used by Napoleon, such as, for example, pencils, hats, swords, books he read and annotated, even the clothing he wore when he died. Sculptures, film stills from many (if not all) of the movies concerning the emperor, and multiple books about him tell this well-known story in a new and original way. Gengembre (Univ. of Caen, Normandy, France) weaves an enthralling narrative through all these images, carrying the complex story of Napoleon's influence well beyond his death in 1821. Recommended for all libraries.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929631476
  • Publisher: Enigma Books
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 1,355,981
  • Product dimensions: 9.02 (w) x 6.02 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Armand de Caulaincourt, as Master of the Horse, was one of the highest officials in the French Empire, riding constantly at Napoleon's side and was one of his closest confidantes.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. I Preparation
I The Ambassador's Return 3
II On the Eve: 1812 21
Pt. II Advance
III First Blood 39
IV Smolensk 55
V Borodino 71
Pt. III Moscow
VI The Fire 93
VII Indecision 109
VIII No Truce 126
Pt. IV Retreat
IX Sauve-Qui-Peut 143
X Hunger 166
XI Ice 182
XII The Beresina 205
Pt. V Flight
XIII By Sledge to Warsaw 233
XIV Warsaw to Dresden 278
XV Dresden to Paris 320
Biographical Data 344
Notes 353
Index 364
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2003

    A Close-Up of Napoleon in Defeat

    This amazing account by a close member of his entourage is the most vivid portrait of the man and the leader. It is the most illuminating view of the autocrat and warlord of the 19th century I have ever read.

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