Additional Reading in English

As noted in the Introduction, the literature on Russia’s war effort is sparse and often unreliable, mostly being derived from French and German sources. An exception is Alexander Mikaberidze, The Battle of Borodino, Barnsley, 2007. The same author has compiled a useful work on the Russian officer corps in the period: The Russian Officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1795–1815, Staplehurst, 2005. Also valuable is Alexander and Iurii Zhmodikov, Tactics of the Russian Army in the Napoleonic Wars, 2 vols., West Chester, 2003, but this is a very limited edition and hard to get hold of. Christopher Duffy has made a great contribution to English-language readers’ understanding of the Russian army but his main work covers the period before the Napoleonic wars:Russia’s Military Way to the West, London, 1981, and Eagles over the Alps: Suvorov in Italy and Switzerland 1799, Chicago, 1999. He has also written two short books on the battles of Austerlitz and Borodino: Austerlitz and Borodino and the War of 1812, both reprinted in new editions by Cassell in London in 1999.

A number of Western scholars have written often excellent books in English which provide a background to the empire’s war with Napoleon. See in particular William Fuller’s splendid Strategy and Power in Russia, 1600–1914, New York, 1992, and Patricia Grimsted, The Foreign Ministers of Alexander I, Berkeley, 1969; Janet Hartley, Alexander I, London, 1994, and Russia, 1762–1825: Military Power, the State and the People, London, 2008; John Keep, Soldiers of the Tsar, 1462–1874, Oxford, 1985; John Le Donne, The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, 1650–1831, Oxford, 2004; Alexander Martin, Romantics, Reformers, Reactionaries: Russian Conservative Thought and Politics in the Reign of Alexander I, De Kalb, Ill., 1997; Alan Palmer, Alexander I: Tsar of War and Peace, London, 1974; Richard Pipes, Karamzin’s Memoir on Ancient and Modern Russia: A Translation and Analysis, Ann Arbor, 2005; Nicholas Riasanovsky, A Parting of Ways: Government and the Educated Public in Russia 1801–1855, Oxford, 1976; David Saunders, Russia in the Age of Reaction and Reform 1801–1881, London, 1992; Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter, From Serf to Russian Soldier, Princeton, 1990.

Readers seeking background information on Russian government, society and culture might consult volume 2 of The Cambridge History of Russia, Cambridge, 2006, which I edited, and which contains many excellent contributions by experts in the field of Russian imperial history. Both in this volume and in the books listed in the previous paragraph can be found bibliographies that will lead the interested reader to the rather few academic articles in English on the era of Alexander I and relevant to the wars with Napoleon.

A number of memoirs originally written by Russians who participated in the wars have been translated into English: Nadezhda Durova, The Cavalry Maiden: Journals of a Female Russian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars, ed. and trans. Mary Fleming Zirin, Bloomington, Ill., 1989; Denis Davydov, In the Service of the Tsar against Napoleon: The Memoirs of Denis Davydov, ed. and trans. Gregory Troubetzkoy, London, 2006; Aleksei Ermolov, The Czar’s General: The Memoirs of a Russian General in the Napoleonic Wars, ed. and trans. Alexander Mikaberidze, London, 2006; Boris Uxkull, Arms and the Woman, trans. Joel Carmichael, London, 1966.

Some memoirs and commentaries by non-Russian participants in the wars are also available in English and are valuable for their insights into the Russian war effort. These include: C. F. Adams (ed.), John Quincy Adams in Russia, New York, 1970; A. Brett-James (ed.), General Wilson’s Journal 1812–1814, London, 1964; Lord Burghersh, The Operations of the Allied Armies in 1813 and 1814, London, 1822; the Hon. George Cathcart, Commentaries on the War in Russia and Germany in 1812 and 1813, London, 1850; A de Caulaincourt, At Napoleon’s Side in Russia, New York, 2003; Carl von Clausewitz, The Campaign of 1812 in Russia, London, 1992; the Marquess of Londonderry, Narrative of the War in Germany and France in 1813 and 1814, London, 1830; Baron Karl von Müffling, The Memoirs of Baron von Müffling: A Prussian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars, ed. Peter Hofschroer, London, 1997; Baron von Odeleben, A Circumstantial Narrative of the Campaign in Saxony in the Year 1813, 2 vols., London, 1820; Count P. de Ségur, History of the Expedition to Russia, 1812, 2 vols., Stroud, 2005.

English-language secondary literature on the Napoleonic wars as a whole is vast. As regards military operations the bible is David Chandler, The Campaigns of Napoleon, London, 1993, and, as regards diplomacy, Paul W. Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics, 1763–1848, Oxford, 1994. Charles Esdaile, Napoleon’s Wars: An International History 1803–15, London, 2007, is a good recent book on European international relations in this era. On the 1812 campaign an excellent recent work is Adam Zamoyski, 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow, London, 2004. Paul Austen’s 1812: Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia, London, 2000 is based on French and allied memoirs and is extremely readable and moving. The 1813 campaign is less well covered in English, perhaps in part because German nationalism – the year’s traditional theme – has not evoked much enthusiasm in anglophone circles since 1914. Jonathan Riley, Napoleon and the World War of 1813: Lessons in Coalition Warfighting, London, 2000, is thought-provoking. M. Leggiere, Napoleon and Berlin, Stroud, 2002; the three volumes by George Nafziger on 1813 (Napoleon at Lutzen and Bautzen; Napoleon at Dresden; Napoleon at Leipzig, Chicago, 1992, 1994, 1996); and Digby Smith, 1813 – Leipzig. Napoleon and the Battle of the Nations, London, 2001, are also useful. As regards the 1814 campaign, the place to start for the English-speaking reader is James Lawford, Napoleon: The Last Campaigns. 1813–15, London, 1976, not least because of its excellent maps. Much the fullest account is M. V. Leggiere, The Fall of Napoleon: The Allied Invasion of France 1813–1814, whose first volume was published in Cambridge in 2008.

* This does not include the Reserve Army, Duke Alexander of Wrttemberg’s Army Corps besieging Danzig, or other detachments blockading enemy fortresses.

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