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The Russian Campaign of 1812 (Hardback)

The Memoirs of a Russian Artilleryman

Military > Memoirs Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic P&S History > By Century > 19th Century

By Dr Alexander Mikaberidze, Peter G A Philips
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 25 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399067942
Published: 6th March 2023

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The first of three volumes, this book represents the first English translation of the memoirs that rank among the best in the vast Napoleonic memoir literature. The author, Ilya Timofeyevich Radozhitskii, served with distinction during the wars against Napoleon and wrote down his reminisces shortly after the war based on the notes that he kept while campaigning. Born in 1788, Radozhitskii studied at the Imperial Orphanage, enlisted in the artillery unit in 1806, and steadily rose through the ranks, earning a reputation of a capable officer. Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 changed his life. Serving as an artillery lieutenant, he saw action in virtuall every major battle of that historic campaign. Wounded at the battle of Ostrovno, he remained in ranks and later fought at Smolensk, Lubino (Valutina Gora) and Borodino, lamented the surrender of Moscow, and celebrated Russian victories at Vyazma and Krasnyi. He watched in bewilderment the catastrophe that engulfed Napoleon’s forces that winter, an event he vividly describes in his memoirs.

Radozhitskii offers fresh insight into the life and daily experiences of Russian officers during the Napoleonic Wars. Starting in the summer of 1812 and following the travails of his unit over the next six months, Radozhitskii’s narrative contains striking descriptions of the wartime experiences of soldiers and officers, vivid accounts of the battles, and heartrending stories from the French retreat. When published in Russia, these memoirs garnered considerable public attention and Leo Tolstoy consulted them extensively while writing his famous “War and Peace”.

The second and third volumes, entitled The German Liberation 1813 and The Invasion of France 1814, will be published by Pen & Sword Books later this year.

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, October 2023
Dr Alexander Mikaberidze

About Dr Alexander Mikaberidze

Alexander Mikaberidze is Professor of History and the Ruth Herring Noel Endowed Chair at Louisiana State University-Shreveport. He is an internationally acclaimed historian of the Napoleonic Wars, and the author and editor of two dozen books, including The Napoleonic Wars: A Global History (Oxford, 2020) and a trilogy on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.


About Peter G A Philips

Peter G A Philips is a recently retired veteran of the British Defence Establishment and now spends his time translating Russian Napoleonic histories and memoirs.

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