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Napoleon's Russian Campaign

French invasion of Russia, 1812Created by: PICRYLDated: 2017
Vziatie Polotska 6 Oktiabria 1812 goda
The French invasion of Russia, "Russian Campaign", "Patriotic War of 1812", was a turning point in the Napoleonic Wars. The Grande Armée, made up of French and allied invasion forces, was reduced to a fraction of its initial strength. The campaign effectively ended on 14 December 1812, not quite six months from its outset, with the last French troops leaving Russian soil.
24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée of 680,000 soldiers (including 300,000 of French departments) crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. Napoleon hoped to compel Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies in an effort to pressure the United Kingdom to sue for peace.
The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia. Napoleon pushed the army rapidly through Western Russia in an attempt to bring the Russian army to battle, winning a number of minor engagements and a major battle at Smolensk, but the Russian army slipped away from the engagement and continued to retreat, leaving Smolensk to burn while Russian cossacks were burning villages and crops to deny the invaders the option of living off the land. These scorched-earth tactics disturbed the French and forced them to rely on a supply system that was incapable of feeding the large army in the field.
The Russian army retreated into Russia for almost three months. On 7 September, the French caught up with the Russians near a small town called Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow. The battle that followed was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the Napoleonic Wars, involving more than 250,000 soldiers and resulting in 70,000 casualties. The French gained a tactical victory, but at the cost of 49 general officers and thousands of men. The Russian army withdrew, leaving the French without the decisive victory.
Napoleon entered Moscow a week later. The Russians had evacuated the and burned the city. After staying in Moscow, Napoleon tried once more to engage the Russian army, but the Russians retreated again. In the weeks that followed the Grande Armée starved and suffered from the onset of the Russian Winter. Lack of food and fodder for the horses, bitter cold and persistent attacks upon isolated troops from Russian peasants and Cossacks led to great losses and a loss of discipline in the army. When the remnants of Napoleon's army crossed the Berezina River in November, only 27,000 effective soldiers remained; the Grand Armée had lost some 380,000 men dead and 100,000 captured. Following the crossing of the Berezina, Napoleon left the army after much urging from his advisors and with the unanimous approval of his Marshals. He returned to Paris to protect his position as Emperor and to raise more forces to resist the advancing Russians.
These events triggered a major shift in European politics. France's ally Prussia, soon followed by Austria, broke their imposed alliance with France and switched sides. This triggered the War of the Sixth Coalition.
1802
1802
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1911
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1911
469 Media in collectionpage 1 of 5
Le cauchemar Jeu jeu jeune homme, prends ces gou gou gouttes.

Le cauchemar Jeu jeu jeune homme, prends ces gou gou gouttes.

Print shows an author lying on a bed being comforted by a friend after being accused of plagiarism by Truth hovering overhead; on the left is a male figure wearing a horned crown labeled "Plagiar[...]; on the l... more

People from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

People from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second e...

This image has been taken from scan 000285 from volume 02 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second...

This image has been taken from scan 000151 from volume 01 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Ryssland from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Ryssland from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second...

This image has been taken from scan 000255 from volume 01 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second...

This image has been taken from scan 000287 from volume 01 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second...

This image has been taken from scan 000187 from volume 01 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Fashion from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Fashion from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second ...

This image has been taken from scan 000213 from volume 01 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates"

Portrait from "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second...

This image has been taken from scan 000233 from volume 02 of "Travelling Sketches in Russia and Sweden ... The second edition, with forty-one plates". The title and subject terms of this image have been generat... more

Alexander I., Kaiser von Russland

Alexander I., Kaiser von Russland

Radierer: Höfel, Blasius (1792) Verlag: Artaria und Compagnie<Wien> Verlagsort: Wien

A description of a view of the city of Moscow

A description of a view of the city of Moscow

Illustration shows the procession of Alexander II into the Kremlin. Illus. in: Description of a view of the city of Moscow, with the gorgeous entry of His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Alexander II into the Krem... more

map from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]"

map from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napole...

This image has been taken from scan 000288 from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]". The t... more

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph"

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleo...

This image has been taken from scan 000314 from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph". The titl... more

map from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]"

map from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napole...

This image has been taken from scan 000262 from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]". The t... more

Decoration from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]"

Decoration from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by...

This image has been taken from scan 000461 from "[Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph.]". The t... more

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph"

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleo...

This image has been taken from scan 000246 from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph". The titl... more

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph"

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleo...

This image has been taken from scan 000262 from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph". The titl... more

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph"

map from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleo...

This image has been taken from scan 000458 from "Narrative of events during the invasion of Russia by Napoleon Buonaparte, and the retreat of the French Army. 1812. Edited by ... the Rev. H. Randolph". The titl... more

[The Isaac Cathedral from Alexander's Garden, St. Petersburg, Russia]

[The Isaac Cathedral from Alexander's Garden, St. Petersburg, Russia]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "8807". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites primarily in Poland,... more

[Alexander Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia]

[Alexander Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "8916". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites primarily in Poland,... more

[The Winter Palace Place and Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia]

[The Winter Palace Place and Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russi...

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "8804". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites primarily in Poland,... more

[St. Alexander's Church, Warsaw, Russia (i.e. Warsaw, Poland)]

[St. Alexander's Church, Warsaw, Russia (i.e. Warsaw, Poland)]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "8953". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites primarily in Poland,... more

[Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia]

[Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia]

Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., catalogue J foreign section, Detroit, Mich. : Detroit Publishing Company, 1905. Print no. "8929". Forms part of: Views of architecture and other sites primarily in Poland,... more

Chained!! / Keppler.

Chained!! / Keppler.

Print shows the Roman god "Mars" bound to rocks, imprisoned with shackles and clamps labeled "Russo-German Commercial Treaty", fastened with spikes driven by Nicholas II of Russia and William II of Germany usin... more

Map of the Russian Campaign 1812 /

Map of the Russian Campaign 1812 /

Shows invasion "Route of Napoleon to Moscow" (Königsberg to Moscow) and route of "Retreat from Moscow". Relief shown by hachures. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. LC co... more

Campagnes du contingent du Hesse-Darmstadt sous le premier empire.

Campagnes du contingent du Hesse-Darmstadt sous le premier empire.

Appears in v. 6 of Les Allemands sous les aigles françaises: essai sur les troupes de la Confédération du Rhin,1806-1814 ... Paris : R. Chapelot et Cie, 1802-[12?]. Available also through the Library of Congres... more

Alexander I., Kaiser von Russland

Alexander I., Kaiser von Russland

Stecher: Boettger, Gottlieb (1796)

Napoleon Bonaparte from "[Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire, etc. [With plates.]]"

Napoleon Bonaparte from "[Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire, etc. [W...

This image has been taken from scan 000165 from volume 01 of "[Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire, etc. [With plates.]]". The title and subject terms of this image have been generated from tags, created by use... more