Napoleon's Campaign in Poland, 1806-1807by Pickle Partners Publishing, Francis Loraine Petre O.B.E
F. Lorraine Petre was at the forefront of a number of British historians who wrote at the turn of the 20th Century who advanced the knowledge, understanding of Napoleonic times and warfare hugely. Petre
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F. Lorraine Petre was at the forefront of a number of British historians who wrote at the turn of the 20th Century who advanced the knowledge, understanding of Napoleonic times and warfare hugely. Petre wrote a number of books on the subject, particularly because of the dearth of information focusing on Napoleon’s “lesser-known” campaigns, with a depth of research unheard of at the time. His writings have stood the test of time and have been re-printed a number of times, as recently as the last ten years.
In this book his second in his series, shines the spotlight of the Napoleon’s quest to vanquish his last remaining continental enemy, Russia. Having smashed Prussia in 1806, Napoleon eagerly sought out his Russian opponents, however his tactics of lightning advances and strategic envelopment founded in the mud and cold of Poland. Extended over a vast area, his troops acutely suffered from shortages and played a deadly game of cat and mouse with the last of the Prussian forces under Lestocq whilst waiting for the thaw that would enable them to come to grips with the enemy. As it transpired they did not have to wait as long as they might have imagined, fighting the bloody slugging match in the snow with the Russians at Eylau and although they held the field, it was a field covered by their own comrades’ corpses.
After another brutal but more successful engagement at Heilsberg, during which the Russians lost heavily, Napoleon finally ran his quarry to the ground at Friedland. After a sterling delaying action by Lannes’ corps and supporting cavalry under Grouchy, Napoleon found his opponent pinned with his back to a river. After an abortive attack by Marshal Ney, General Sènarmont drove a battery of thirty guns into canister range of the Russian centre leaving a red ruin, and allowing a victory for the French turn into a bloody rout for the Russians as many drowned trying to reach their lines on the other side of the river.
The peace of Tilsit was to be signed soon after, marking arguably the highpoint of the French Empire.
Author – Francis Lorraine Petre OBE - (1852–1925)
Text taken, whole and complete, from the edition published in 1901, London, Sampson, Low and Company.
Original – 339 pages.
MAPS – due to their size have not been included
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