t was a fine night in Dresden. With these simple words Alan Palmer begins a fascinating account of Napoleon's disastrous adventure into Russia that left nearly a half a million men dead, not to mention the widespread destitution of Polish and Russian territory and the burning of Minsk and Moscow. Palmer brings out the geo-politics behind this decision to invade but is best in his description of the battle of Borodino `the most terrible of all my battles' Napoleon is quoted as saying.

Many history tracts on Napoleon give a one sided account of Napoleon who towers over all his other generals in this narrative. However Palmer had access to Russian archives and describes the contradictions within the Russian commanders about a suitable defensive strategy until Kutuzov decides to stand before Moscow. Then we are treated to description of the rapid destruction of the French forces mainly through the efforts of `General Winter'. Palmer brings in other first-hand accounts to present this most fascinating tale of what was to become the first steps in Napoleon's downfall.

Napoleon in Russia The 1812 Campaign

  • 1967 Simon and Schuster NY


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