From charlesreid1


With all this going on against a background of the most utter misery, the effect was to promote the most far-reaching cynicism: liberty, fraternity and equality might still be paid lip service, but it was clear that, at best, they had become mere slogans. Nor was any of this lost on Napoleon. To quote a letter he wrote to Joseph, ‘There is only one thing to do in this world, and that is to keep acquiring money and more money, power and more power. All the rest is meaningless.’

- Highlight on Page 49 , Loc. 750-54 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 11:26 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

At the same time, the ‘whiff of grapeshot’ was formative in another sense. From the very beginning of the Revolution it is clear that Napoleon was contemptuous of the crowd as a political force. In his eyes it was a mere mob, lacking in organization, that could easily be overawed by an opponent possessed of military discipline and firm leadership. Had Louis XVI appeared on horseback to defend the Tuileries in 1792, he told Joseph, the palace would never have fallen. But the principle was political as much as it was military: the mob had to be defeated. Uncivilized and brutal, in Napoleon’s eyes it would inevitably run amok the moment the bounds of order and discipline were relaxed.

- Highlight on Page 51 , Loc. 780-85 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 11:30 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

On the one hand, the crowd had been crushed: faced by 25,000 insurgents, 8,000 government troops had broken the uprising in little more than twenty-four hours of serious fighting with the loss of perhaps 100 casualties. And, on the other, most of the insurgents had not taken part in the actual fighting but given themselves over to drunkenness and pillage. If they had been called on to the streets at all, meanwhile, it was the result of a political factionalism born solely of what Napoleon saw as selfish ambition. As he had written to his brother Lucien in 1792, ‘Those at the top are poor creatures . . . Everyone wants to succeed at the price of no matter what horror and calumny; intrigue is as base as ever.’

- Highlight on Page 52 , Loc. 789-94 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 11:32 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

For over a hundred years before 1789 there had hardly been a year when the whole of Europe had been at peace. Why this was so is again a question that need not detain us here for too long. However, in brief, for all the monarchies of Europe the battlefield was at one and the same time a gauge of their power and a theatre for their glorification and, by extension, an important means of legitimizing their power at home where they were frequently challenged by feudal aristocracies and powerful religious hierarchies.

- Highlight on Page 58 , Loc. 889-92 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 03:44 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

In 1789 the standing armies of Europe may have been much bigger than they had been in 1700, but new crops, better transport, improved bureaucracies, more productive fiscal systems, harsher discipline and tighter procedures in the field all ensured that the horrors of the Thirty Years War, in which masses of unpaid men had simply surged from one side of Germany to the other, living off the country and denying the authority of political masters that had lost all ability to pay and supply them, would not be repeated.

- Highlight on Page 61 , Loc. 933-37 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 03:49 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

But in reality Europe was no more getting safer than she was becoming more civilized. Given that every possible territorial solution that could be worked out for the Continent of Europe was bound to upset one or other of the great powers, continual conquest led not to perpetual peace but rather perpetual war, and therefore produced not security, but insecurity. As the Seven Years War had shown, as the stakes grew ever higher, so rulers with their backs against the wall would habitually resort to battle rather than simply accepting the logic of superior numbers or generalship, just as they would be inclined to put fortress governors under great pressure to resist the enemy to the utmost: this was the conflict that gave rise to the phrase ‘pour encourager les autres’.

- Highlight on Page 62 , Loc. 941-47 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 03:50 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

And there was certainly no diminution in the sufferings of the civilian population, nor in the damage which an army’s passage could inflict on a district. On the wilder fringes of warfare - the Balkans, the frontiers of the American colonies - torture and massacre were very much the order of the day while large parts of Germany had been devastated by the Seven Years War. The overall picture is a grim one: war may not have been the monster of the seventeenth century, but it was still a savage beast.

- Highlight on Page 62 , Loc. 949-53 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 03:51 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

there emerged the makings of the strong bond between Napoleon and his soldiers that was to sustain the French army right through to 1815. By the middle of 1797, in fact, the Army of Italy no longer served France but Napoleon, who in consequence felt safe to employ the most ambiguous bombast: ‘Mountains separate us from France, but were it necessary to uphold the constitution, to defend liberty, to protect the government and the Republicans, then you would cross them with the speed of an eagle.’

- Highlight on Page 75 , Loc. 1141-44 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 04:59 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Action, in fact, was essential, for, as he remarked, ‘In Paris nothing is remembered for long. If I remain doing nothing . . . I am lost.’57 To suggest that this restless energy and ambition now became the only factor in the determination of French policy would be incorrect, but the fact was that Napoleon had already had a massive impact on France’s relations with the rest of Europe and imparted a direction to the international history of the Continent that would otherwise have been lacking.

- Highlight on Page 80 , Loc. 1224-28 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 11:18 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Austria was almost bankrupt, and even Britain was finding the demands of the war difficult to bear. Individual members of the Directory may have taken a different line, but no general plan of conquest - or, if it is preferred, liberation - was under consideration. And, when conquests were suddenly showered on Paris (from a totally unexpected direction), the plan was still to use them as bargaining counters that could be exchanged for France’s real aims. What changed all this was Napoleon. By embarking on a course of republicanization in Italy, while at the same time cynically partitioning the neutral Republic of Venice with Austria, he set off a chain reaction.

- Highlight on Page 81 , Loc. 1232-37 , Added on Monday, November 02, 2015, 11:19 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Even if the Austrian army did eventually have to appear before the Tuileries, it would not be with the intention of opening the gates to a Bourbon who had, in the old phrase, learned nothing and forgotten nothing, for to do so would simply be to run the risk of a second 1789 and with it a second war.

- Highlight on Page 106 , Loc. 1624-26 , Added on Tuesday, November 03, 2015, 11:41 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

The First Consul . . . continued a few days longer at Milan to settle the affairs of Italy, and then set out on his return to Paris . . . I shall say but little of the manifestations of joy and admiration with which Bonaparte met throughout his journey . . . On arriving at Lyons we alighted at the Hotel des Celestins, where the acclamations of the people were so great and the multitude so numerous . . . that Bonaparte was obliged to show himself at the balcony . . . We left Lyons in the evening, and continued our journey by Dijon, and there the joy of the inhabitants amounted to frenzy.18 At the same time, if the events of 14 June 1800 did not in themselves bring the First Consul any extra power in France, they did shatter all chance that the various politicians who had found themselves outmanoeuvred in the aftermath of Brumaire might put the Napoleonic jack back in its box.

- Highlight on Page 121 , Loc. 1851-57 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:17 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Thanks to a variety of political circumstances in the United States, including, not least, the manner in which the war was tending to strengthen the position of Adams’s enemies, the Federalists, these moves achieved the desired effect. Diplomatic relations were restored and a peace settlement was elaborated that effectively annulled the treaty of 1778- thereby cementing the principle of American neutrality - in exchange for the rejection of Britain’s claims with regard to neutral shipping and the de facto surrender of United States claims for compensation for the losses inflicted on her shipping since 1793. For the time being, all was quiet, but such were the contradictions between the French and American positions that further trouble was likely. In short, the acquisition of Louisiana remained essential.

- Highlight on Page 132 , Loc. 2014-19 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:31 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Nor was the settlement itself so very bad as a basis for an end to the ‘age of war’ that had characterized the eighteenth century. As Schroeder points out, the settlement reached in the period 1801-2 was in fact remarkably realistic in global terms. Britain, France and Russia were effectively recognized as the three leading powers of Europe, and each of them was accorded dominance in one particular sphere. Britain was allowed to retain her supremacy at sea: even Napoleon did not demand the dismantling of the Royal Navy, and this meant that France’s colonial presence was one that existed on sufferance and could always be closed down. France stood supreme in Western Europe and was bolstered by much enlarged frontiers and an unassailable sphere of influence in Italy and Germany. And Russia was seemingly assured that the Ottoman Empire would be her exclusive preserve, and that she would have a major voice in the reorganization of Germany that now loomed.

- Highlight on Page 140 , Loc. 2140-46 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:46 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

As for Austria and Prussia, while clearly less well favoured than Britain, France and Russia, they too might hope for compensation in Germany. And if it was theoretically the case that no one power would be allowed to dominate Germany - one possible bone of contention amongst the powers - a similar situation was reached in the Mediterranean: France had her base at Toulon, Britain hers at Gibraltar, and Russia hers - at least potentially - in the Ionian islands, while Malta was denied to everybody. In short, what we see is a compromise settlement that was no more unstable than earlier general European peace treaties, and we must therefore find other reasons for its failure to produce anything other than a mere truce.

- Highlight on Page 140 , Loc. 2146-51 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:47 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

What, though, should we make of the war that had just terminated? Put in a nutshell, what it showed was that France was so strong in the wake of the Revolution and, more particularly, the coming of Napoleon Bonaparte, that there was no way that she could be contained except by a general alliance amongst the powers. For that to be workable, Britain would have to accept a continental commitment, Austria and Prussia set aside their endless rivalry over Germany, and Russia lift her eyes from Poland and the Ottoman Empire. In other words, the powers would have to evolve a new approach to international relations that was based on common interest rather than mutual rivalry and the pursuit of traditional ambitions. In 1802, however, this development was still far away, blocked by obstacles so entrenched that only the most cataclysmic of forces could have swept them aside.

- Highlight on Page 141 , Loc. 2151-57 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:47 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

In addition there were serious worries about civilian society. Napoleon had come to power ostensibly offering France peace, but he also wished to offer her prosperity, and this too seemed to demand the continuation of a belligerent foreign policy that would give la grande nation resources and markets that she could not otherwise command. And only thus could Napoleon seek to counter the growing chorus of voices accusing him of overthrowing liberty and establishing himself as a despot. By the time of the peace of Amiens this opposition was starting to make itself felt.

- Highlight on Page 148 , Loc. 2266-70 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 12:01 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Equally, if an emasculated legislature continued to meet in Paris, it was in part because it acted as a forum in which Napoleon could justify his policies and extol his successes. And if plebiscites were repeatedly used to legitimize changes in government - in 1800 to approve the consular constitution and in 1802 to make Napoleon First Consul for life and usher in constitutional changes that increased his powers still further - it was to create an image of national unity and pay lip-service to the principle of the sovereignty of the people. In this respect, moreover, every aspect of cultural life was pressed into service as a mouthpiece of the government. With regard to the press, for example, Napoleon on the one hand imposed rigid censorship, and on the other ensured that his message reached the widest possible audience by having papers produced in cheap editions and read aloud in public places.

- Highlight on Page 160 , Loc. 2448-54 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 06:26 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Bonaparte lacked education and good manners: it was as if he had been irrevocably destined to live out all his life either in a tent, where anything goes, or on a throne, when anything is permitted. He did not know how to enter or to leave a room; he did not know how to greet people, how to get up, how to sit down. His gestures were rapid and abrupt, as was his manner of speaking . . .

- Highlight on Page 163 , Loc. 2486-89 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 06:31 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

On his return from the battle of Leipzig he came across Monsieur Laplace. ‘It looks as if you’ve lost weight.’ ‘Sire, I have lost my daughter.’ ‘Well, that’s no reason. You are a geometrician: measure what’s happened with a ruler and you will find that it comes to precisely nothing.’ It is to this insensibility that one must attribute many of the actions of his rule . . .

- Highlight on Page 165 , Loc. 2526-29 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 06:35 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Taking all this together, it is difficult to see how the Treaty of Amiens could have contained Napoleon. An unquiet soul, he needed military glory on personal and political grounds alike, while as ruler of France he controlled a state that was the richest and most populous in continental Europe and whose internal problems he was in the process of getting under control. Buoying him up, too, was immense confidence in his own abilities, an unblemished record of military success and contempt for the potential opposition.

- Highlight on Page 168 , Loc. 2563-66 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 06:38 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

‘Conscription forms armies of citizens,’ he remarked. ‘Voluntary enlistment forms armies of vagabonds and criminals.

- Highlight on Page 168 , Loc. 2566-67 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 06:39 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

But it was in Germany that Napoleonic intervention was at its most dramatic. Thus, within a matter of months the Holy Roman Empire was effectively dismantled. So important was this last development that it must needs be looked at in some detail. Essentially a heterogeneous collection of independent kingdoms, principalities, bishoprics, abbeys, free cities and feudal fiefs united only by the theoretical allegiance of their rulers to the house of Habsburg, the Empire was a major bastion of Austrian influence, and as such had become the object of Napoleon’s ire. Yet it was also threatened with destabilization from within, for many of the rulers of the larger and middling states were increasingly determined to absorb the free cities, the territories of the Church and the host of petty principalities and baronial estates. Such a policy could not but prove disastrous for Austria, whose strongest supporters in the Empire had traditionally been the bishops, abbots and imperial knights,

- Highlight on Page 172 , Loc. 2623-29 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:13 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Despite apparent difficulties, achieving Napoleon’s goals proved almost ridiculously simple. In the first instance, as France was a guarantor of the constitution of the Holy Roman Empire by virtue of the treaty of Westphalia of 1648, the First Consul had a legitimate right to intervene in German affairs. At the same time, the French ruler had long since correctly identified gaining the support of Alexander I as the key to the situation, and all the more so as the tsar was for a variety of reasons closely involved in the fate of Germany. Thus, by virtue of the treaty of Teschen of 1779, which had seen Catherine II mediate an Austro-Prussian peace settlement in the wake of the War of the Bavarian Succession, he could claim to be the guarantor of the Holy Roman Empire’s constitution, while he also had numerous connections among the rulers of the states of Germany: his mother was a princess of Hesse, his wife was a princess of Baden, his brother-in-law was Duke of Oldenburg and a cousin the ruler of Württemberg.

- Highlight on Page 173 , Loc. 2639-46 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:16 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Within days there followed the treaty with France that formally put an end to Russia’s participation in the Second Coalition. This agreement being accompanied by a secret codicil that effectively promised Napoleon Russian support for his German plans, the way was open for the First Consul to remake Germany, so long, that is, as he respected the interests of Alexander I.

- Highlight on Page 174 , Loc. 2665-68 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:19 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Yet of this he did stand accused, and he had borne the accusation in silence . . . because he was conscious it was undeserved and because he felt within his own breast a complete vindication of his conduct . . . The time was now near when this justification would become manifest . . . His maxim, he declared, from the moment he took office was, first, to make peace, and then to preserve it, under certain reservations in his mind, if France chose and as long as France chose, but to resist and bear all clamour and invective at home till such time as France (and he ever saw it must happen) had filled the measure of her folly, and had put herself completely in the wrong, not only by repeated acts of unprovoked insolence and presumption, but till these acts were, from their expressions and inference, declaratory of sundry intentions the most hostile and adverse to our own particular interest, a violation of treaty and dangerous to the interest of Europe . . .

- Highlight on Page 188 , Loc. 2871-77 , Added on Wednesday, November 04, 2015, 11:43 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Hardly able to believe their luck, the Americans snapped it up, and on 30 April the whole territory - an area over four times the size of France, stretching all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian frontier, embracing modern-day Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska - duly passed into the orbit of the Stars and Stripes at a price of $80 million. At a stroke Napoleon had cut his losses in the West while at the same time filling his war chest in Europe and hamstringing Britain. It was beyond doubt a major coup and one that makes it even harder to acquit Napoleon of blame for the events of

- Highlight on Page 194 , Loc. 2961-66 , Added on Thursday, November 05, 2015, 12:03 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

May 1803.

- Highlight on Page 194 , Loc. 2966 , Added on Thursday, November 05, 2015, 12:03 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Far from respecting the very favourable balance that had been secured at Lunéville and Amiens, he continued to expand French influence in the most ruthless fashion. This in turn destabilized the Addington administration, which was then forced to breach the Treaty of Amiens and demand concessions that in the last resort the First Consul’s pride would not allow him to accept. Finally, what it came down to was that Napoleon could not accept the notion that there should be curbs on his freedom of action. At the same time, however, Britain had no means of imposing those curbs except through war. With neither Britain nor France prepared to make fundamental concessions, there could in the end be but one outcome.

- Highlight on Page 195 , Loc. 2975-80 , Added on Thursday, November 05, 2015, 12:04 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

In May 1803, the whale went to war with the elephant. Possessed of the most powerful navy in the world, Britain stood supreme at sea, but on land she was a comparative weakling capable of fielding only puny expeditionary forces of a few thousand men, drawn from an army that had in the 1790s been notorious for the poverty of its human and material resources. With France, however, the picture was completely reversed. Though by no means the invincible force of legend, the French army was an impressive military machine with many victories to its credit, whereas the French navy was in a truly pitiable condition and virtually incapable of putting to sea. How the two belligerents were to strike at one another was therefore most unclear. Particularly outside Europe, ways were naturally found of doing so, but in the end the resolution of the struggle would necessarily revolve around one issue and one issue alone. To overcome France, Britain had to put together a continental coalition that could overthrow Napoleon or, at the very least, bring him to the peace table, while to defeat Britain Napoleon had to frustrate these aims and mobilize a substantial part of Europe against London. Even then victory was not guaranteed for either side.

- Highlight on Page 195 , Loc. 2982-90 , Added on Thursday, November 05, 2015, 12:05 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

One of the chief difficulties faced by London in 1803 was its distinctly unimpressive war record: on land the British army had hardly a victory to its credit, while at sea its ships had won only four major victories - victories, what is more, that seemed to have more to do with enshrining Britain’s commercial monopoly than they did with defeating the French. As late as the Waterloo campaign of 1815, bitter distrust of Britain continued to be rampant, and this despite all Wellington’s victories in Spain and Portugal.

- Highlight on Page 197 , Loc. 3010-13 , Added on Thursday, November 05, 2015, 12:08 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Taking Napoleon and his allies first of all, France had emerged from the Revolution immensely strengthened. With over 29 million inhabitants, she was second only to Russia in terms of population, and by far the most advanced state in continental Europe. Though political paralysis and widespread unrest had done much to nullify these advantages under the Directory, Napoleon had put an end to these disorders and was now in an excellent position to capitalize upon the very considerable financial and demographic resources at his disposal. Making full use of the military advances of the ancien régime and Revolution, he was in the process of building an army that in size and quality had no equals, consisting of 265 infantry battalions, 322 cavalry squadrons and 202 batteries of artillery, the whole amounting to perhaps 300,000 men. At

- Highlight on Page 207 , Loc. 3173-78 , Added on Friday, November 06, 2015, 12:03 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Command, too, was important. The generals of the ancien régime were for the most part neither superannuated dodderers nor the products of gilded aristocratic youth, but rather tough professionals who often had substantial records of success. Many, indeed, were commanders of talent, and a few men of genius: one thinks here of Wellington, the Archduke Charles and, for all his oddities, Suvorov. But all too often they were operating with one hand tied behind their back thanks to the imposition of a variety of political controls. For example, in the summer of 1799 allied operations in Italy, Switzerland and southern Germany were disrupted disastrously by interference from both London and Vienna.

- Highlight on Page 213 , Loc. 3252-57 , Added on Friday, November 06, 2015, 12:12 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

And, in the second, though fearful of France in the long term - as he told the Swedish ambassador, ‘We will be the last to be eaten: that is the limit of Prussia’s advantage’38 - Haugwitz was at the moment more concerned with Vienna than Paris.

- Highlight on Page 230 , Loc. 3518-20 , Added on Friday, November 06, 2015, 05:17 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

it is no coincidence that a few days after Austerlitz, an isolated Bavarian enclave on the right bank of the Rhine, centred on the city of Düsseldorf, was given to Napoleon’s brother-in-law, Joachim Murat, as the Grand Duchy of Berg, nor that in February Joseph Bonaparte was proclaimed King of Naples - that we should see, in other words, the first steps in the creation of the so-called ‘family monarchies’. On one level it is possible to defend all these actions on strategic grounds: Berg, for example, was a useful ‘bridgehead’ in northern Germany. Yet serious questions must be asked of Pressburg and the other treaties with which it is associated. ‘The system that Napoleon then adopted . . . was the first act to be reckoned among the causes of his fall,’ wrote Talleyrand, who rightly went on to point out that there was something ‘impolitic and destructive in this method of overthrowing governments in order to create others which he was not slow to pull down again, and that in all parts of Europe’.34

- Highlight on Page 285 , Loc. 4362-69 , Added on Monday, November 09, 2015, 02:56 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

With the treaty signed, Hardenberg had good reason to expect that he would soon replace Haugwitz once more. Not for the first time, then, ancien-régime foreign policy was influenced by power struggles played out in cabinet and chancellory.

- Highlight on Page 300 , Loc. 4591-92 , Added on Monday, November 09, 2015, 11:55 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

The struggle that followed is all but unknown to anglophone readers. Yet it is doubtful whether the rest of the Napoleonic Wars can match it in terms of savagery. Emblematic of the style in which it was waged is the fate of the Danubian provinces’ large community of Muslim Tartars.

- Highlight on Page 311 , Loc. 4763-65 , Added on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 11:56 AM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

In the summer of 1806 Europe was temporarily more or less at peace, or, at least, experiencing a period of ‘phoney war’. Technically speaking, both Britain and Russia remained at war with France, and there was some fighting in both Italy and the Balkans. At sea and in the wider world, too, operations went on unabated: the Royal Navy kept watch on Europe’s coasts; a British expeditionary force seized Buenos Aires; and French commerce raiders based in ports as widely spaced as Brest and Mauritius raided the sea lanes and on occasion achieved considerable success. Serious peace negotiations, however, were in place, and, although these soon broke down, it is difficult to see how anything comparable to the campaign of 1805 could have been revived.

- Highlight on Page 316 , Loc. 4837-42 , Added on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 12:16 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

With Napoleon in control of much of the European coastline, the future was distinctly uncertain. What would occur next was, of course, impossible to say. But such was Britain’s predicament it is entirely possible that she would have been forced to give in. Fortunately for the Portland administration, however, their opponent was not a rational European statesman, but Napoleon. If he had only allowed Russia to believe that she was a French partner rather than a French vassal, the emperor might have won the war, but, exactly as had been the case in 1803, he could not let matters be.

- Highlight on Page 372 , Loc. 5699-5703 , Added on Friday, November 13, 2015, 03:32 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

As the British ambassador to Vienna remarked most prophetically to Stadion, ‘these fresh successes [will] lead probably to fresh pretensions on the part of France’, and persuade Napoleon, ‘to whom no project [seems] preposterous or impossible’, to ‘adopt that of carrying his army into the heart of Russia and attempt to dictate the law even at Saint Petersburg’.

- Highlight on Page 372 , Loc. 5704-6 , Added on Friday, November 13, 2015, 03:32 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

There are few historians who would deny the significance of the period immediately after Tilsit in the history of Napoleon Bonaparte. It was at this point that the emperor was drawn to intervene in the affairs of the Iberian Peninsula, and thereby to spark off a chain of events that are traditionally held to have had a major role, if not the major role, in the downfall of the French imperium.

- Highlight on Page 373 , Loc. 5708-11 , Added on Friday, November 13, 2015, 03:33 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

These difficulties were doubly unfortunate for they forced Britain back on methods of war - above all, blockade and colonial aggrandizement - that both antagonized potential partners on the Continent and confirmed suspicions that the British were avoiding the sort of commitment they themselves required of their allies. Nor were the methods of warfare on which they relied particularly cost-effective.

- Highlight on Page 391 , Loc. 5991-94 , Added on Saturday, November 14, 2015, 04:01 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

It was a key moment - possibly the key moment. Agreement with St Petersburg offered the only real hope of defeating Britain, so why did Napoleon not give Alexander what he wanted? On one level, the answer was primarily economic and strategic. With Russia in control of the Dardanelles, the tsar would be able to challenge France’s commercial presence in the Orient; restrict or even cut off the supply of Egyptian cotton; build up an unassailable naval and military presence in the Levant; and completely block the overland route to India (not that this was of any real value: the French mission that had been dispatched to Persia had been sending back a stream of reports that suggested that it would at best have been a road paved with bones). But it was not just that. Also important was the issue of psychology. To give the tsar the principal objective sought by all of his predecessors was simply a concession too far for Napoleon, while there was much pleasure simply in denying Alexander the object of his desire.

- Highlight on Page 417 , Loc. 6381-88 , Added on Saturday, November 14, 2015, 04:32 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Then came another shock. In a long memorandum dated 24 February, Napoleon denounced the anarchy in the royal household, accused Spain of bad faith and announced that he no longer considered himself bound by Fontainebleau. Spain was now promised the whole of Portugal, true, but in exchange she would have to surrender all the territory between the river Ebro and the Pyrenees and sign a permanent and unlimited alliance with France. In acting thus, Napoleon hoped both to justify his conduct hitherto and to provoke the Spaniards into a resistance that would provide the pretext he needed to overthrow the monarchy. If this was his intention, then he was certainly successful: Charles IV agreed with Godoy and his other advisers that he should flee to America by way of Seville.

- Highlight on Page 418 , Loc. 6397-6402 , Added on Saturday, November 14, 2015, 04:33 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

In May 1808 Napoleon Bonaparte was truly at the pinnacle of his power. From September 1805 until June 1807 his forces had fanned out across the Continent driving all before them. But in the early months of 1808 the tempo of French aggression was raised to fresh levels. Two dynasties - the Bourbons of Naples and the Braganças - had already been driven from their thrones and a third had now been physically sequestered and forced to give up its rights. Not for nothing, then, did the Ottomans accord Napoleon the title of padishah - ‘King of kings’.

- Highlight on Page 428 , Loc. 6551-55 , Added on Monday, November 16, 2015, 05:01 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

According to traditional British accounts of the Napoleonic Wars, if the French hegemony that had been established at Tilsit was eventually challenged, it was in large part because of the events that the overthrow of Charles IV and Ferdinand VII unleashed in Spain and Portugal.

- Highlight on Page 429 , Loc. 6569-71 , Added on Monday, November 16, 2015, 05:04 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

However, also at issue was Britain’s ability to sustain her allies. Over and over again expectations were confounded by developments elsewhere: in 1807 Sicily found that troops stationed there were sent to Egypt; in 1808 Sweden found that Britain’s attention was distracted by the outbreak of insurrection in Portugal; in 1809 Spain and Portugal saw large numbers of troops that might otherwise have fought in the Peninsula sent to Walcheren (see below); and from 1810 onwards troops from Sicily fought in Spain. Added to this was a further issue. With British troops very thin on the ground, Moore and Wellington alike were well aware that defeat had to be avoided at all costs and were therefore inclined to adopt a cautious line that again did not sit well with the expectations of their allies. In the absence of supporting forces, however, Spaniards especially died by the thousand and this could not but fan the flames of anglophobia.

- Highlight on Page 472 , Loc. 7234-40 , Added on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 04:43 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

Even by the standards of Napoleonic peace settlements, it was a massive blow. Deprived not just of much of her territory and population, but also unable even to levy tolls on the entire length of such frontiers as remained to her, Prussia was economically ruined. Still worse, she was seemingly forever in Napoleon’s pocket: with her main fortresses in the hands of the French, her army a mere shadow of its former self and Frederick William resolutely opposed to any move that might incur the emperor’s ire, there was no chance of the national uprising of which a few diehard officers dreamed, and, indeed, no guarantee of Prussia’s continued existence other than Napoleon’s will.

- Highlight on Page 475 , Loc. 7269-74 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 04:58 PM Napoleon's Wars (Charles Esdaile)

This is logistics, in other words the equipment and feeding of the armies. Commissariat officers had little status in any of the rival armies and societies. Their efforts have won little attention from historians. This is unfortunate because their role was often crucial. Napoleon destroyed his army in 1812 in large part because of logistical failures. By contrast, one of the key triumphs of the Russian war effort was its success in feeding and supplying more than half a million troops outside Russia’s borders in 1813–14. How this was done in a European continent which in those days only had two cities with populations of more than 500,000 is a key part of the present book. The contrast with the Seven Years War (1756–63), when logistics helped to cripple the Russian military effort, is very much to the point.14

- Highlight on Page 17 , Loc. 256-62 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:13 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

In 1812 Napoleon lost not just almost all the men but virtually all the horses with which he had invaded Russia. In 1813 he could and did replace the men but finding new horses proved a far more difficult and in the end disastrous problem. Above all it was lack of cavalry which stopped Napoleon winning decisively in the spring 1813 campaign and persuaded him to agree to the fatal two-month summer armistice, which contributed so much to his ultimate defeat.

- Highlight on Page 18 , Loc. 267-70 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:14 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

the Russian light cavalry had been superior from the start and totally dominant after September 1812. But this dominance was not an act of God or nature. The historian needs to study the Russian horse industry and how it was mobilized by the government in 1812–14.

- Highlight on Page 18 , Loc. 272-74 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:15 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

There were, however, important differences between Wellington and the Russian leaders. Although the duke had many political enemies in the 1820s and 1830s, by the time he died he was a national icon. The same was far from true of the Russian generals who lived as long as him. Just after Alexander I’s death in 1825 a group of officers, the so-called Decembrists, attempted to overthrow the absolute monarchy and install a constitutional regime or even a republic. Among them were officers such as Mikhail Orlov and Prince Serge Volkonsky who had distinguished themselves in the wars. The coup was crushed. Key heroes of the wars such as Aleksandr Chernyshev, Alexander Benckendorff and Petr Volkonsky played a part in its suppression and went on to serve as ministers under Nicholas I well into the mid-nineteenth century.

- Highlight on Page 19 , Loc. 289-94 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:16 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

The Decembrist revolt and its suppression was the beginning of the exceptionally bitter split between right and left in Russia which ended in the revolution of 1917.

- Highlight on Page 20 , Loc. 294-95 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:17 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

many of the generals were first-rate and staffs were performing much better than at the beginning of the 1812 campaign. On the battlefield in 1813–14 reserves were often utilized and cavalry, infantry and artillery coordinated much more effectively than had previously been the case. Given the enormous distance of military operations from the army’s bases, the reinforcement and supply of the field armies was managed with remarkable skill.

- Highlight on Page 24 , Loc. 364-67 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:33 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

In reality, however, the Napoleonic Wars were largely confined to Europe because the British were getting closer to winning their hundred-years-war with France for global supremacy. The most basic fact about the Napoleonic Wars was that British seapower locked French imperialism into Europe. For many reasons it was far harder to create any species of empire in Europe than overseas. As a number of Russian observers understood, it was in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic eras that Britain consolidated its hugely powerful global empire, both territorial and commercial. Looked at from one angle, Napoleon’s attempt to create a European empire was simply a last, heroic effort to balance British imperialism and avoid defeat in France’s century-long conflict with Britain. The odds were very much against Napoleon, though by 1812 he had come seemingly very close to success.

- Highlight on Page 28 , Loc. 429-35 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:42 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Here, too, for example, one finds discussion of the events of the afternoon of 21 May 1813, when Marshal Michel Ney’s mistakes robbed Napoleon of decisive victory in the battle of Bautzen and probably thereby denied him the chance to decide the 1813 campaign and keep Austria out of the war.

- Highlight on Page 29 , Loc. 439-41 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:43 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

On the battlefield an opportunity for victory that existed at two o’clock in the afternoon had often gone by four. Chance, misperception and confusion accounted for much of what happened. Decisions had consequences which rippled through the following days and weeks.

- Highlight on Page 30 , Loc. 447-49 , Added on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 11:44 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

For the tsarist state, as for all the other great powers, the great challenge of the Napoleonic era was to mobilize resources for war. There were four key elements to what one might describe as the sinews of Russian power.9 They were people, horses, military industry and finance. Unless the basic strengths and limitations of each of these four elements is grasped it is not possible to understand how Russia fought these wars or why she won them.

- Highlight on Page 38 , Loc. 574-78 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 11:25 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

By European standards, therefore, the Russian population was large but it was not yet vastly greater than that of its Old Regime rivals and it was much smaller than the human resources controlled by Napoleon. In 1812 the French Empire, in other words all territories directly ruled from Paris, had a population of 43.7 million. But Napoleon was also King of Italy, which had a population of 6.5 million, and Protector of the 14 million inhabitants of the Confederation of the Rhine. Some other territories were also his to command: most notably from the Russian perspective the Duchy of Warsaw, whose population of 3.8 million made a disproportionate contribution to his war effort in 1812–14. A mere listing of these numbers says something about the challenge faced by Russia in these years.10

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Next only to men as a military resource came horses, with which Russia was better endowed than any other country on earth. Immense herds dwelt in the steppe lands of southern Russia and Siberia. These horses were strong, swift and exceptionally resilient. They were also very cheap.

- Highlight on Page 41 , Loc. 619-21 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 11:29 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Given the problems it faced, the Russian arms industry performed miracles in the Napoleonic era. Despite the enormous expansion of the armed forces in these years and heavy loss of weapons in 1812–14, the great majority of Russian soldiers did receive firearms and most of them were made in Tula. These muskets cost one-quarter of their English equivalents. On the other hand, without the 101,000 muskets imported from Britain in 1812–13 it would have been impossible to arm the reserve units which reinforced the field army in 1813.

- Highlight on Page 45 , Loc. 685-89 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 11:35 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

The fourth and final element in Russian power was fiscal, in other words revenue. Being a great power in eighteenth-century Europe was very expensive and the costs escalated with every war. Military expenditure could cause not just fiscal but also political crisis within a state. The most famous example of this was the collapse of the Bourbon regime in France in 1789, brought on by bankruptcy as a result of the costs of intervention in the American War of Independence.

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Similarly, in 1809 Austria was faced with the choice of either fighting Napoleon immediately or reducing the size of its army, since the state could not afford the current level of military expenditure. The Austrians chose to fight, were defeated, and were then lumbered with a war indemnity which crippled their military potential for years to come. An even more crushing indemnity was imposed on Prussia in 1807. In 1789 Russia had a higher level of debt than Austria or Prussia. Inevitably the wars of 1798–1814 greatly increased that debt. Unlike the Austrians or Prussians, in 1807 Russia did not have to pay an indemnity after being defeated by Napoleon. Had it lost in 1812, however, the story would have been very different.

- Highlight on Page 47 , Loc. 709-14 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 11:39 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Even before 1800 most of the deficit had been covered by printing paper rubles. By 1796 the paper ruble was worth only two-thirds of its silver equivalent. Constant war after 1805 caused expenditure to rocket. The only way to cover the cost was by printing more and more paper rubles. By 1812 the paper currency was worth roughly one-quarter of its ‘real’ (i.e. silver) value. Inflation caused a sharp rise in state expenditure, not least as regards military arms, equipment and victuals. To increase revenue rapidly enough to match costs was impossible.

- Highlight on Page 47 , Loc. 718-21 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 11:40 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

In 1807–14 Constantine was not just the heir to the throne but, apart from Alexander, the only adult male in the Romanov family. In the Russia of that time, it was unthinkable to overthrow the monarchy or displace the Romanov family by other candidates for the throne. Memories of the anarchy two hundred years before – the so-called Time of Troubles – when the extinction of the ruling dynasty had led to civil war, foreign invasion and the state’s disintegration, put a taboo on any such ideas. But however frustrated Russian aristocrats might be with Alexander, few would dream of putting Constantine on the throne in his place.

- Highlight on Page 67 , Loc. 1022-27 , Added on Thursday, November 19, 2015, 04:43 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

The inherently unpredictable nature of foreign policy under an autocracy was already sufficient reason to worry about relying on Russia, even without a personality such as Constantine’s lurking in the wings.54

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Alexander had no such reason for pretence when writing to his sister Catherine, who was probably the person whom he trusted more than anyone else in the world. After departing from Erfurt and bidding an unctuous farewell to Napoleon he wrote to her that ‘Bonaparte thinks that I am nothing but an idiot. “They laugh longest who laugh last!” I put all my trust in God.’23

- Highlight on Page 98 , Loc. 1492-95 , Added on Friday, November 20, 2015, 07:47 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

The real value of the government’s tax income that year was 73 per cent of what it had been five years before. At a time when Russia needed to prepare for war against Napoleon’s empire this was nothing short of a potential catastrophe.29

- Highlight on Page 102 , Loc. 1562-64 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 11:44 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Dire financial crisis as well as Russian pride was involved in his stubbornness. Both the emperor and Rumiantsev might have been more inclined to compromise had they not come to the correct conclusion that the Continental System had largely been transformed from a measure of economic war against Britain into a policy whereby France bled the rest of Europe white in order to boost its own trade and revenues. At a time when Napoleon was demanding the virtual elimination of Russian foreign trade, he was issuing more and more licences for French merchants to trade with Britain.

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it was crucial to have large reserve forces held well in the rear so that the war could not be lost by a single battle. But if the Russians could ‘sustain this war for three campaigns then the victory will certainly be ours, even if we don’t win great victories, and Europe will be delivered from its oppressor’. Chernyshev added that this was very much his own view too. Russia must mobilize all its resources, religion and patriotism included, to sustain a long war. ‘Napoleon’s goal and his hopes are all directed towards concentrating sufficient strength to deliver crushing blows and decide the matter in a single campaign. He feels strongly that he cannot remain away from Paris for more than one year and that he would be lost if this war lasted for two or three years.’37

- Highlight on Page 110 , Loc. 1676-82 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 11:54 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Rostopchin was a sharp and amusing conversationalist. He could be unguarded. It is said that he once commented that Austerlitz was God’s revenge on Alexander for the part he had played in his father’s overthrow. The emperor took his own high-mindedness very seriously and did not take kindly to sly comments at his expense. His father’s murder and his own role in the disaster at Austerlitz were the bitterest memories of his life.

- Highlight on Page 112 , Loc. 1716-19 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 11:58 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

To Frederick William, Alexander was even more explicit. In May 1811 he wrote to the king: We have to adopt the strategy which is most likely to succeed. It seems to me that this strategy has to be one of carefully avoiding big battles and organizing very long operational lines which will sustain a retreat which will end in fortified camps, where nature and engineering works will strengthen the forces which we use to match up to the enemy’s skill. The system is the one which has brought victory to Wellington in wearing down the French armies, and it is the one which I have resolved to follow.

- Highlight on Page 119 , Loc. 1821-26 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:11 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Perhaps the only comparison in the Napoleonic Wars was the siege of Saragossa, which the French finally took after immense bloodshed and resistance. The terrain of the Balkans helps to explain why siege warfare often prevailed in this theatre. Unlike in western Europe, there were few good roads and population densities were low. A good fortress could block the only viable invasion route into a district. The Ottomans were also experts at ravaging the countryside, and at raids and ambushes. An army which sat down to besiege a fortress would find its supply columns raided and its foraging parties forced to scatter over great distances.

- Highlight on Page 121 , Loc. 1853-58 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:28 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

In the famous expression of the American historian Paul Schroeder, Napoleon could never see a jugular without going for it.

- Highlight on Page 124 , Loc. 1893-94 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:31 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

The Napoleonic empire was above all the result of the sudden increase in French power brought about by the Revolution of 1789. This increased power took everyone by surprise. French expansion was partly driven by the army’s desire for plunder and the French government’s wish that other countries should pay this army’s costs. Napoleon’s personality was also a major factor.

- Highlight on Page 124 , Loc. 1895-98 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:32 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

After 1793 British naval superiority more or less confined French imperialism to the European continent. The enormous gains made by the British outside Europe since 1793, not to mention their ever-growing economic power, meant that, unless Napoleon created some form of French empire within Europe, the struggle with Britain was lost.

- Highlight on Page 124 , Loc. 1899-1901 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:32 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

despite the triumphs of France and its current dominance, within less than fifty years nothing will remain to it but the empty glory of having overthrown and oppressed Europe. It will have acquired no real benefits from this for the French nation, which will find itself exhausted of men and treasure once it can no longer raise them from its neighbours. France’s immense current influence depends wholly on the existence of a single individual. His great talents, his astonishing energy and impetuous character will never allow him to put limits on his ambition, so that whether he dies today or in thirty years’ time he will leave matters no more consolidated than they are at present.

- Highlight on Page 127 , Loc. 1945-50 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:37 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Meanwhile, added Pahlen, as a new European Thirty Years War continued, the Americas would grow enormously in strength. Of the European powers only the English would be in a position to derive any advantages from this.57

- Highlight on Page 128 , Loc. 1950-52 , Added on Monday, November 23, 2015, 12:37 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

It is a truism among military historians that armies can only fight wars in line with their ‘military doctrine’, which is elaborated in the pre-war years. In the early nineteenth century formalized military doctrine in the modern sense existed nowhere. This would have to wait for staff colleges and the whole paraphernalia of modern military education and training. In an informal sense, however, the Russian army did have a ‘doctrine’ in 1812 and it was wholly committed to offensive strategy and tactics. From his first moments in his regiment the young officer was encouraged to be daring, fearless, confident and aggressive. Every lieutenant was expected to believe that one Russian was worth five Frenchmen. Male pride was at stake in the ‘game’ to capture trophies such as flags and drive the enemy off the battlefield.

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private secretary to Alexander’s wife Empress Elizabeth, Nikolai Longinov, wrote in July that ‘although I am convinced that our people would not accept the gift of freedom from such a monster, it is impossible not to worry’. In December 1812, with the danger passed, John Quincy Adams wrote that among the Petersburg elite there was great relief that ‘the peasants had not shown the least disposition to avail themselves of the occasion to obtain their freedom…. I see this is what most touches the feelings of all the Russians with whom I have conversed on the subject. This was the point on which their fears were the greatest, and upon which they are most delighted to see the danger past.’

- Highlight on Page 169 , Loc. 2585-90 , Added on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 12:32 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Whichever Russian army was threatened by Napoleon’s main body must withdraw and refuse battle, while the other Russian armies must strike into the ever-lengthening enemy flanks and rear. But this strategy was only fully realizable by the autumn of 1812 when Napoleon’s armies had been hugely depleted and their immensely long flanks were vulnerable to the Russian armies brought in from Finland and the Balkans. Launching Bagration into the flank of Napoleon’s main body in June 1812 was almost as sure a recipe for disaster as allowing him to mount a diversion into the Duchy of Warsaw.

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In the thick of the fire Ostermann-Tolstoy sat unmoved on his horse, sniffing his tobacco. To messengers of doom requesting permission to retreat or warning that more and more Russian guns were being put out of action, Ostermann-Tolstoy responded by his own example of calm and by orders to ‘stand and die’. Radozhitsky commented that ‘this unshakeable strength of our commander at a time when everyone around him was being struck down was truly part of the character of a Russian infuriated by the sufferings being inflicted on his country. Looking at him, we ourselves grew strong and went to our posts to die.’31

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the Russian army had made its retreat, always covered by its numerous Cossacks, and without abandoning a single cannon, cart or sick man.’ The Count de Segur was on Napoleon’s staff and recalls an inspection of Barclay’s camp on the day after the Russians had departed: ‘nothing left behind, not one weapon, nor a single valuable; no trace, nothing in short, in this sudden nocturnal march, which could demonstrate, beyond the bounds of the camp, the route which the Russians had taken; there appeared more order in their defeat than in our victory!’34

- Highlight on Page 195 , Loc. 2987-91 , Added on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 05:09 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Anyone who has been through the experience of a first hot, dangerous and noisy battle can imagine the feelings of a soldier of my age. Everything seemed incomprehensible to me. I felt that I was alive, saw everything that was going on around me, but simply could not comprehend how this awful, indescribable chaos was going to end. To this day I can still vividly recall Neverovsky riding around the square every time the cavalry approached with his sword drawn and repeating in a voice which seemed to exude confidence in his troops: ‘Lads! Remember what you were taught in Moscow. Follow your orders and no cavalry will defeat you. Don’t hurry with your volleys. Shoot straight at the enemy and don’t anyone dare to start firing before my word of command.’45

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Predictably, the Grand Duke Constantine’s was the loudest and most hysterical voice, screaming out within earshot of junior officers and men that ‘it isn’t Russian blood that flows in those who command us’. Barclay de Tolly also knew that his decision to retreat would anger Alexander and probably wreck his standing with the emperor. It took great resolution, unselfishness and moral courage for Barclay to act in the way he did. Perhaps Napoleon cannot be blamed for failing to predict this.47

- Highlight on Page 204 , Loc. 3127-30 , Added on Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 05:26 PM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)

Unfortunately, however, confusion on the Moscow road very nearly allowed the French to get first to Lubino, block the paths out of the forest, and undermine everything Eugen and his men had achieved. Barclay had just made what arrangements he could to deal with the emergency facing Eugen, when he was informed that Second Army had retreated eastwards along the Moscow road without waiting for First Army, leaving the vital crossroads near Lubino open for the French to seize. Friedrich von Schubert was alone with Barclay when the message was delivered and he recalled that the commander-in-chief, normally so self-controlled and calm in crisis, said out aloud: ‘Everything is lost.’ Barclay can be forgiven his temporary loss of composure because this was one of the most dangerous moments for the Russians in the 1812 campaign.51

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More probably, Kutuzov and Toll were unwilling to weaken the force guarding their vital line of communication until absolutely convinced that Napoleon did not intend to strike in this direction. The price of defensive tactics is that troops must be deployed on the basis of assumptions and fears about where the enemy will strike. Given Napoleon’s reputation for surprise and daring this might result in many units being wasted far from the battlefield.

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Napoleon had entered Moscow on 15 September, and left the city on 19 October. During that period the relative strength of the rival armies changed in ways that had a decisive impact on the autumn campaign. While in Moscow Napoleon was reinforced by substantial numbers of infantry, which brought his overall numbers back over 100,000 and filled most of the gaps left by Borodino. Some of these infantry units were of good quality. They included, for example, the First Guards division, which had not been present at Borodino. By definition, infantry which had marched all the way from central and western Europe to Moscow was relatively tough. The core of Napoleon’s army was his Guards. Very few of these excellent troops had seen any action since the beginning of the campaign, as Kutuzov knew.

- Highlight on Page 305 , Loc. 4665-70 , Added on Thursday, December 03, 2015, 11:47 AM Russia Against Napoleon: The True Story of the Campaigns of War and Peace (Dominic Lieven)