The Burning of Moscow

The Burning of Moscow

Alexander Mikaberidze

Cultural / Russia / History

As soon as Napoleon and his Grand Army entered Moscow, on 14 September 1812, the capital erupted in flames that eventually engulfed and destroyed two thirds of the city. The fiery devastation had a profound effect on the Grand Army, but for thirty-five days Napoleon stayed, making increasingly desperate efforts to achieve peace with Russia. Then, in October, almost surrounded by the Russians and with winter fast approaching, he abandoned the capital and embarked on the long, bitter retreat that destroyed his army. The month-long stay in Moscow was a pivotal moment in the war of 1812 – the moment when the initiative swung towards the Tsar’s armies and spelled doom for the invading Grand Army – yet it has rarely been studied in the same depth as the other key events of the campaign. Alexander Mikaberidze, in this third volume of his in-depth reassessment of the war between the French and Russian empires, emphasizes the importance of the Moscow fire and shows how Russian intransigence sealed the fate of the French army. He uses a vast array of French, German, Polish and Russian memoirs, letters and diaries as well as archival material in order to tell the dramatic story of the Moscow fire. Not only does he provide a comprehensive account of events, looking at them from both the French and Russian points of view, but he explores the Russians’ motives for leaving, then burning their capital. Using extensive eyewitness accounts, he paints a vivid picture of the harsh reality of life in the remains of the occupied city and describes military operations around Moscow at this turning point in the campaign.
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The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov

The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon Against Kutuzov

Alexander Mikaberidze

Cultural / Russia / History

On 7 September 1812 at Borodino, 75 miles west of Moscow, the armies of the Russian and French empires clashed in one of the climactic battles of the Napoleonic Wars. This horrific - and controversial - contest has fascinated historians ever since. The survival of the Russian army after Borodino was a key factor in Napoleon's eventual defeat and the utter destruction of the French army of 1812. In this thought-provoking new study, Napoleonic historian Alexander Mikaberidze reconsiders the 1812 campaign and retells the terrible story of the Borodino battle as it was seen from the Russian point of view. His original and painstakingly researched investigation of this critical episode in Napoleon's invasion of Russia provides the reader with a fresh perspective on the battle and a broader understanding of the underlying reasons for the eventual Russian triumph. REVIEWS "Alexander Mikaberidze is one of the most important young Napoleonic scholars in the US, and this book is just another reason why that is the case. ... does an outstanding job of telling the story. ... ...will be interesting to scholars and the 'just interested' alike. ... augmented by some outstanding graphics. ... What makes this book especially important, is the incredible breadth of sources used to produce it. ...gives readers at any level everything they could possibly want--and more. It belongs in anyone's Napoleonic library. " J. David Markham, Historian/Author, www.NapoleonicHistory.com
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