Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1814 (ePub)
Russia played a decisive role in the Napoleonic wars and the success in the struggle against France allowed Russian leaders to profoundly influence the course of European history. Over the last 200 years, the Napoleonic era has been discussed and analysed in numerous studies, but many fail to fully portray the Russian side of events due to the relative scarcity of Russian sources in English. Only a handful of Russian memoirs have been translated, while dozens remain unknown outside Russia. This book seeks to fill this gap by providing, in English, previously unavailable memoirs of Russian participants.
Defeat at Leipzig in 1813 had driven Napoleon back across the borders of France, and in January 1814 the Russians, Austrians, Prussians and their other German allies stood poised to cross the Rhine. But the French Emperor was far from beaten, and the ensuing campaign saw desperate fighting, with the outcome very much in the balance. This book is the first to bring together dozens of letter, diaries and memoirs of Russian participants of the 1814 Campaign. Reading these documents we see both what Russian officers and soldiers experienced during the final months of the three-year-long campaign as well as their joy at defeating Russia's most dangerous enemy. We follow them not only through the heat of battle but also on delightful tours of Paris which they describe as the pleasure and entertainment capital of the world.