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1812 : Napoleon's fatal march on Moscow by…
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1812 : Napoleon's fatal march on Moscow (original 2004; edition 2012)

by Adam Zamoyski

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7301323,874 (4.25)22
Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history. In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia - history's first example of total war - had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing first-hand accounts of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. The result takes the reader beyond the invasion of Russia to present both a poignant tale of the individual foot soldier and a sweeping history of a turbulent time.… (more)
Member:mohanlon
Title:1812 : Napoleon's fatal march on Moscow
Authors:Adam Zamoyski
Info:London : Harper Press, [2012]
Collections:Your library
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Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March by Adam Zamoyski (2004)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Both the entrancing and horrifying tale of Napoleon's 1812 march to Moscow, his defeat, and the retreat back to Paris. I must admit about half-way through the book (the battles had not even began yet) I started skimming through the various maneuvers, formations, cannon, etc. Once the battle began I was spellbound. I liked the actual account of the soldier's lives more than the accounts of the actual battles. Soldiers on both sides suffered horrifically. Zamoyski did a very good job collecting accounts on both sides. His research and footnotes were top-notch. His background information on Tsar Alexander was superb. The French defeat here was a momentous moment in European history. My only complaint: too long (for me), the preparations for and the battles just took hours to read. I guess if you are a war historian, this would be a treasure-trove for you! 656 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Feb 23, 2020 |
A fascinating and thoroughly researched book about Napoleon's battle against Russia; horrifying at a human level especially as it seems that neither side was particularly keen to go to war and neither had any real territorial aspirations for it.
  Cinnamon_Heart | May 9, 2016 |
Absolute classic! ( )
  PhilipKinsella | Oct 12, 2015 |
This book was so well written this is probably down to meticlous research. For me Adam Zamoyski's expressive phrases stood out more than the events of 1912. Put it this way i'll now read anythig Zamoyski has written the subject is a side issue compared to the skillful use of language.
The following is a short paraphrase of one of the andedotes of the retreat chapter.
On a night of sub 25 degree temperture some French soldiers had to go and find some forage for their mounts. After many hours they became fatigued and some kind Russian peasants took pity on them. They were given comfortable beds and plenty of food. In early morning they heard a baby crying for its mother what amazed them was it had an undeniable French accent.
They then found out the father was a French colonel and that he and the mother had been killed one night. The girl now caring for the orpan was the wet nurse to the baby from birth. And the natural bond was far greater than any polictical nonsence. As often happened throughout this book ordinary folk respected one and another. Even the generals tried to neogoiate before going into battle.
It all proves how pointless the war was.
1 vote mickmc | Jul 31, 2012 |
Magnificent work of narrative history bringing home the sweep of historical events and many individual stories of suffering and horror experienced by the members of Napoleon's multinational Grande Armee. In the end Napoleon's defeat was down to a complete mis-estimation of the logistics involved in invading Russia and his elevation of his will and self-belief over the reality of conditions there. The Russian side does not come over well either, with constant bitter rivalry between mediocre or incompetent generals, including Marshal Kutuzov, still thought of as a Russian hero today, but nowhere near as great a general or leader of men as Napoleon. Great military history that really gives a feel for the ghastly experiences endured by the common soldier and civilian especially during the infamous retreat from Moscow. ( )
3 vote john257hopper | Oct 25, 2010 |
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Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history. In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia - history's first example of total war - had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing first-hand accounts of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. The result takes the reader beyond the invasion of Russia to present both a poignant tale of the individual foot soldier and a sweeping history of a turbulent time.

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