Alan Palmer

His Empire For Some Horses

1812: Napoleon's Fatal March on Moscow

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The Age of Napoleon

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Two HUNDRED YEARS ago this May, General Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of the French. The bicentenary is the first in a succession of anniversaries of – Napoleonic triumphs to fall over the next eight years: the Notre Dame coronation on 2 December; ‘the sun of Austerlitz’, twelve months later to the day; the battles of Jena, Friedland and Wagram; the Habsburg marriage, and the birth of a King of Rome. Then, at midsummer 2012, will come the anniversary of Napoleon’s greatest display of (ultimately ineffective) military might, the massing of half a million men to pursue a phantom victory in the East. It is this ‘fatal march on Moscow’ that Adam Zamoyski describes so vividly in 1812.

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