Napoleon Series Archive 2005

A quote from Napoleon

Kevin,

Wasn't it Tolly's aim to evade a great battle as long as he couldn't unite his forces with those of Bagration and was a cooperation between those two possible to fight a major battle in september-oktober ?

Wasn't it the wish of the Tsar, who had seen the destruction of his army at Austerlitz, not to risk his army in an uneaqual battle against the French and to wait until their communication lines were stretched out ? Can't this be seen as to lure him into the deep of Russia ?
It was only by the pressure of the entourage of the Tsar that Tolly was replaced by Kutusov to loose the battle of Borodino, but the French victory was only the beginning of the end, as the following events proved.

Was Napoleon aware of the vastness of the Russian country and the difficulties of living off the land for his Grande Armée ? Was he even aware of the conditions of the roads in rainy weather - I don't even mention snow and ice.
Why did he start his 1812 campaign when the oats for his horses was still on the fields and not ripe enough to harvest - or did he think that harvest conditions in Russia were the same as in Germany ? Didn't his army loose thousand of horses by feeding them unripe oats, horses who were needed to bring in the necessary stores for his troops ?
I even wonder that the French could avance that much in these conditions - but you can also see the rate of losses from 500.000 to a bare 200.000 in the first 2-3 months of the campaign, not because of the minor battles that were fought but because of the of the sicknesses of his men, not at least by having not enough food. It was in that period that he lost the bulk of his Grande Armée, and the only possible conclusion is that he was not prepared for that campaign.
You can ask a lot of such questions when you regards the 1812 campaign, a task that was to big for him.

In loosing his army in 1812, he lost his empire, there is no doubt at that. All the rest was only gambling and postponing the ultimate defeat.

Didn't he ask in the beginning of 1813 for units who didn't even exist any more. If you look into his correspondence of that period you can easily see that he didn't fully realise in the beginning that he had no troops left any more, what can be seen as another sign of loosing control of his reign.

And maybe he forgot also his own quote
"Don't fight to much the same enemy, otherwise he will learn your tactics"
- Napoleon Bonaparte.

Kind regards as always

Marc

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