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Moscow 1812: Napoleon's Fatal March (2004)

de Adam Zamoyski

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8561425,512 (4.25)23
Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history. In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia-history's first example of total war-had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing firsthand accounts of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. The result takes the listener beyond the invasion of Russia to present both a poignant tale of the individual foot soldier and a sweeping history of a turbulent time.… (més)
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» Mira també 23 mencions

This book was brutal.

The author manages to tell the story of Napoleon's invasion of Russia in a factual but still engaging manner, both with compassion for the players but without shying away from the horror.

As he mentions in his introduction, this event still echoes in our global consciousness as the memetic mother of all bad ideas, but which few people really understand. And as he notes in our conclusion, the outcome of this campaign perhaps changed the course of world history.

I was deeply affected by the book and it will be in my mind for a long time to come. ( )
  weemanda | Nov 2, 2023 |
Both the entrancing and horrifying tale of Napoleon's 1812 march to Moscow, his defeat, and the retreat back to Paris. I must admit about half-way through the book (the battles had not even began yet) I started skimming through the various maneuvers, formations, cannon, etc. Once the battle began I was spellbound. I liked the actual account of the soldier's lives more than the accounts of the actual battles. Soldiers on both sides suffered horrifically. Zamoyski did a very good job collecting accounts on both sides. His research and footnotes were top-notch. His background information on Tsar Alexander was superb. The French defeat here was a momentous moment in European history. My only complaint: too long (for me), the preparations for and the battles just took hours to read. I guess if you are a war historian, this would be a treasure-trove for you! 656 pages ( )
  Tess_W | Feb 23, 2020 |
A fascinating and thoroughly researched book about Napoleon's battle against Russia; horrifying at a human level especially as it seems that neither side was particularly keen to go to war and neither had any real territorial aspirations for it.
  Cinnamon_Heart | May 9, 2016 |
Absolute classic! ( )
  PhilipKinsella | Oct 12, 2015 |
This book was so well written this is probably down to meticlous research. For me Adam Zamoyski's expressive phrases stood out more than the events of 1912. Put it this way i'll now read anythig Zamoyski has written the subject is a side issue compared to the skillful use of language.
The following is a short paraphrase of one of the andedotes of the retreat chapter.
On a night of sub 25 degree temperture some French soldiers had to go and find some forage for their mounts. After many hours they became fatigued and some kind Russian peasants took pity on them. They were given comfortable beds and plenty of food. In early morning they heard a baby crying for its mother what amazed them was it had an undeniable French accent.
They then found out the father was a French colonel and that he and the mother had been killed one night. The girl now caring for the orpan was the wet nurse to the baby from birth. And the natural bond was far greater than any polictical nonsence. As often happened throughout this book ordinary folk respected one and another. Even the generals tried to neogoiate before going into battle.
It all proves how pointless the war was.
1 vota mickmc | Jul 31, 2012 |
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As the first cannon shot thundered out from the guns drawn up before the Invalides on the morning of 20 March 1811, an extraordinary silence fell over Paris.
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Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history. In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia-history's first example of total war-had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing firsthand accounts of soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. The result takes the listener beyond the invasion of Russia to present both a poignant tale of the individual foot soldier and a sweeping history of a turbulent time.

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