French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger: 1812-14

French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger: 1812-14


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French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger: 1812-14 by Laurence Spring, Mark Stacey

After Napoleon's abandonment of Moscow on 18 October 1812, throughout the subsequent Wars of Liberation that saw most of Europe turn against the French and right up to the capitulation of Paris on 31 March 1814, it was the vast armies of Imperial Russia that bore the brunt of the fighting against forces of France and her dwindling list of allies. The Russian Jaegers - nominally skirmishers, but in reality spearhead troops tasked with a host of different and demanding battlefield roles, from storming villages to defending strongpoints - were a relatively new arm of service that gained enormously in combat experience and prestige in the bitter struggle to rid Europe of Napoleon's armies. The French Emperor's Young Guard - elite assault troops hand-picked from the best conscripts available - expanded hugely in the first months of 1813, eventually forming four divisions, and became the main strike force of the French field armies in the battles for Germany and France in 1813-14.

These two forces clashed repeatedly during the period. At Krasnoe, southwest of Smolensk, the Russian forces overtook the retreating French army and threatened the invaders' road home, and so on 17 November 1812 the 1er Tirailleurs and 1er Voltigeurs of Roguet's 2nd Guard Infantry Division were ordered to take and hold the town of Uvarovo to cover the retreat of other French troops, clashing with the Tsar's Lifeguard Jaegers among others; although they held off the Russians and allowed Napoleon's decimated forces to evade capture, the two senior Young Guard regiments suffered appalling casualties. At the climactic battle of Leipzig nearly a year later the Finland Lifeguard Regiment, equipped and trained as Jaegers, took part in the Russian 2nd Lifeguard Infantry Division's successful counter-attack on the hotly contested Saxon village of Gossa on 16 October 1813, ejecting the French garrison, which included several Voltigeur regiments of Oudinot's I Infantry Corps of the Young Guard. At Craonne, near Reims, the veteran 14th Jaegers played a key role in frustrating Napoleon's plans to advance on Laon; these crack troops defended their well-sited emplacements for several hours, throwing back the Tirailleurs and Voltigeurs of Meunier and Curial's Young Guard divisions, which had attacked prematurely over difficult ground under heavy artillery fire.

Featuring specially commissioned artwork, expert analysis and carefully chosen first-hand accounts, this absorbing study traces the evolving trial of strength between Russia's Jaegers and France's Young Guardsmen by examining three key clashes at unit level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781782003625
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 11/19/2013
Series: Combat Series
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 800,537
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Laurence Spring holds a degree in History from London University, and is the co-ordinator of the Russian Army Study Group, an organisation with a world-wide membership. He is the translator of A.V. Viskovatov's seminal Historical Description of the Clothing and Arms of the Russian Army, published by the Group, and the author of 1812: Russia's Patriotic War (History Press, 2009). Laurence currently works at the Surrey History Centre, formerly the Surrey Record Office, UK. The author lives in Surrey, UK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The Opposing Sides 10

Origins and combat role

Enlistment and training

Motivation, morale and logistics


Weapons and tactics

Krasnyi: 17 November 1812 31

Leipzig: 16 October 1813 46

Craonne: 7 March 1814 61

Analysis & Conclusion 73

Unit Organizations 76

Orders of Battle 77

Select Bibliography 78

Index 80

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French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger: 1812-14 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
((I just got back too, ha.)) "I don't play any instruments, actually. Never had the time to learn."