In 1812 Napoleon's magnificent army invaded Russia. Among the half a million men who crossed the border was Albrecht Adam, a former baker, a soldier and, most importantly for us, a military artist of considerable talent. As the army plunged ever deeper into a devastated Russia Adam sketched and painted. In all he produced 77 colour plates of the campaign and they are as fresh and dramatic as the day they were produced. They show troops passing along dusty roads, bewildered civilians, battles and their bloody aftermath, burning towns and unchecked destruction. The memoirs which accompany the plates form a candid text describing the war Adam witnessed. Attached to IV Corps, composed largely of Italians, he was present at all the major actions and saw the conquerors march triumphantly into Moscow. But, from then on, the invading army's fate was sealed and the disastrous outcome of the war meant that the year 1812 would become legendary as one of the darkest chapters in history.
The book is a fantastic source for any student of military history, particularly anyone interested in the Napoleonic period. It is especially of interest to wargamers with its eyewitness studies of terrain, armies and command. As the examples that I have presented illustrate, the text is genuine and touching and provides the sort of insight that can only come from someone who was an eyewitness. It is a tribute to Jonathan North’s translation that this is conveyed so strongly.Avon Napoleonic Fellowship
This is not the sort of book that you will read from cover to cover, but rather one that you will dip into at different times, opening at a random page, leafing through the pages or re-visiting a particular plate. Each ‘exploration’ rewards with a new insight, a new detail, a delightful aside of war or a harsh and often horrible reality.
To see the full review please visit the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship Blog at http://avonnapoleonicfellowship.blogspot.com/2011/07/napoleons-army-in-russia-illustrated.html