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1812: The Great Retreat (Paperback)

Napoleonic All Frontline Books Frontline: Napoleonic Era

By Paul Britten Austin
Frontline Publishing
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781848326958
Published: 3rd December 2012



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1812: The Great Retreat – the third and final volume in Austin's magisterial trilogy – concludes the story of one of history's most disastrous campaigns. The author's previous books brought the Grand Army to the head-on battle at Malo-Jaroslavetz after withdrawing sixty miles from the burnt down capital, and for the first time in his meteoric career Napoleon had to order a retreat.

This volume follows the army's withdrawal through 800 miles of devastated countryside, crossing the horrific relics of the Borodino battlefield, fighting its way through the Russian General Kutusov's successive attempts to cut it off, and winning, against overwhelming odds, the three-day battle of the Berezina crossing. First-hand narratives, many published in English for the first time, describe Marshal Ney's astounding achievement in holding together the rear-guard until he himself, musket in hand, was the last man to re-cross the Niemen into Poland.

Using the words of the participants themselves, Paul Britten Austin brings unparalleled authenticity and immediacy to his unique account of the closing stages of Napoleon's dramatic and tragic 1812 campaign.

Heralded as a classic . . . The text is enriched with first-hand accounts which bring the whole narrative to life with an air of stark realism . . . Britten Austin’s trilogy truly ranks as a masterpiece.

Waterloo Journal

A brilliant insight into men at war. The book is almost as epic as the campaign.

David G. Chandler

The 1812 campaign was the single most important cause of Napoleon’s downfall. Austin’s volumes are a magnificent contribution to the history of that mighty enterprise.

Andrew Uffindell

What a vivid account this is! . . . Thoroughly enjoyable.

Military Illustrated

This trio is built up of interwoven excerpts from original accounts of this campaign . . . the total effect is compelling.

Colonel John R. Elting

A closely-knit and totally compelling account of this huge endeavour as seen by the French and their allied participants from Napoleon to the private soldier.

The British Army Review
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At the gates of Moscow, Napoleon's Grand Army prepares to enter in triumphal procession. But what it finds is a city abandoned by its inhabitants – save only the men who emerge to fan the flames as incendiary fuses hidden throughout the empty buildings of Moscow set the city alight. For three days Moscow burned, while looters dodged the fires to plunder and pillage. And so begins 1812: Napoleon in Moscow, Paul Britten Austin's atmospheric second volume in his acclaimed trilogy on Napoleon's catastrophic invasion of Russia. After the fires died down the army settled in the ruins of Moscow; for…

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