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Old December 6th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #121

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duguesclin View Post
I should use the international napoleonic website, there's no reason not to use it. Showing positive aspects of Napoleon's reign does not mean that the content is wrong (as they plaid themselves their writings are supported by sources and facts).
My issue is not with the sources used, im aware that the organisation is formed of scholars, and im not opposed to people encouraging things about Napoleon, because reforms like his law code, did a lot of good.

My issue would be with the way that the information is presented. They don't go out of there way to make themselves very neutral.

Quote:
Figures as for every historical event varies a lot, but we could assume that Suvorov had around 18,000 troops, to which were added 5,000 irregular ones (mainly Cossacks). Overall he lost around 5,000 men as already said.
Yes, I agree, he lost between 5-7,000 soldiers. Which would constitute about a quarter of his army, depending on which end of the scale one chooses to go.

Quote:
Napoleon had around 690,000 men originally, around 200,000 died, 150,000 were prisoners and around 130,000 deserted, which lets him with barely half of his army crossing the Berezina.
I would agree on a figure of 120-150,000 that survived, not including the early deserters. That is close to 2/3 of his army destroyed.

Quote:
But anyways losing around 20% of his army cannot be a success when you failed to reach your objective. Moreover it is not the same thing to escape the Alps than to escape the Russian continent, especially with much more men. Suvorov's escape lasts 4 days (4th october-8th october) !
A success in the manner that his army arrived in winter quarters coherent, and intact for the most part.

Here is the problem. We are clearly defining defeats in different ways. If you want to put his escape over the Alps as a "defeat", then that is your prerogative. It is not a personal defeat though, but rather a strategic defeat for Russia.


Quote:
But it had to withdraw and ensure France's success against the Coalition. Not such a big difference in the end. Once again you direct the discussion on the tactical ground, ignoring the strategical consequences.
The withdrawal of Suvorovs army was not the end of the 2nd coalition. The Republican armies were still in a precarious position, even after Russia's withdrawal; which was done for political reasons.

It was Napoleons intervention that was decisive.



Quote:
Besieged ? When ? By which army ? Kutuzov's one ? Napoleon himself said that, would he have left Moskow two weeks before he would have beat this army that he knew was around Taroutino, and that this was the only threat to his army, being te only concentrated one. In other terms there was other force in position of "besieging" Napoleon while he was in Moskow.
Murat's defeat at Tarutino purportedly hastened Napoleon leaving Moscow. He lost approximately 38 canons in the battle, which was the first time that such a huge amount of artillery had been lost on the battlefield, during the campaign.


Quote:
Yes, this is exactly what I said. He understimated Russians's will to beat him at all costs, and to not capitulate. He based his whole strategy on a false assumption (but this was customary to usually capitulate at that time when the capital was seized by the enemy).
A big mistake.



Quote:
Please point out where I say that "weather was the only detriment to Napoleon". Still ,the winter undoubtedly took a lot of french lives, but even more were due to diseases and lack of food. Few casualties were actually due to battles, even during the retreat.
Battle_of_Maloyaroslavets Battle_of_Maloyaroslavets

French engaged: 20,000
Casualties: 5,000

Second_battle_of_Polotsk Second_battle_of_Polotsk

French engaged: 23-27,000
Casualties: 8,000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Czasniki_(1812)

French engaged: 10-18,000
Casualties: 1,200

Battle_of_Vyazma Battle_of_Vyazma

French engaged: 24,000
Casualties: 8,000 (4,000 prisoners)

Battle_of_Smoliani Battle_of_Smoliani

French engaged: 11,000 (over both days)
Casualties: 3,000

Battle_of_Krasnoi Battle_of_Krasnoi

French engaged: 81,000
Casualties: Roughly 39,000 (including captured)

Battle_of_Berezina Battle_of_Berezina

French engaged: 89,000
Casualties: Roughly 45,000


Total French engaged: Roughly 240-250,000
Total casualties: Roughly 110-115,000 (including prisoners/stragglers)


That seems a reasonably high figure taking into account engaged French soldiers.



Quote:
You're speculating. What would be the "long run" if not crossing the whole Russian country backwards ? The Berezin'as crossing is actually the only real battle that occured, and has been a tactical victory for Napoleon.
If you look at the figures above, there was some battles with sizable French soldiers engaged; especially the battle of Krasnoi.


Quote:
As I said before he could have done it earlier when he was in Moskow: another strategical error. Tactically once the retreat started he had no more mean to fight a decisive battle, being deprived of logistic support. How do you win a battle when almost all your horses - carrying guns especially - are dead ?
But he did fight major battles, its just that Borodino was the last time he went on the offensive. Every battle after, was defensive.



Quote:
Depends on what you call "decisive". Moreover with an enemy escaping almost all the time it is difficult to search for a decisive battle. Smolensk is a clear victory for Napoleon - but not decisive of course - , Borodino from my point of view is also a victory because this was the first time that the Russians did intend to stop Napoleon and they couldn't reach their objective. Now I know that there is a lot of controversy around that battle, so to conclude I would say: no decisive victory. But I still don't see your point.
My point is, that Napoleons army was getting worn down in attritional, set piece battles, which combined with disease, desertion and starvation were combined factors in the destruction of Napoleon's army.



Quote:
Mir ? Napoleon wasn't there ! This was a battle between let's say the Duchy of Warsaw (as a few Polish lancers only contributed) and some Cossacks. Polish lancers were outnumbered and had almost no artillery. As for the Berezina, as said this is maybe one of the greatest exploit of the french Grande Armee considering the conditions.
So? It was still a tactical defeat for the French. The Poles composed a sizable proportion of the French army, during the Russian campaign.


Edit: I dont think we should derail this thread anymore. I will make a thread sometime on the weekend, and we can discuss Napoleons Russian campaign there.

Which French units do you think were the most effective during the wars, overall?

Last edited by Mangekyou; December 6th, 2012 at 10:57 AM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 03:47 PM   #122

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  • Line Infantry
    (4th, 18th, 57th, 84th)
    4th Line
    4 Battle Honors: 1796 - Arcole, 1800 - Hohenlinden, 1806 - Jena, 1809 - Wagram
    37 Battles and Combats: 1791 - Expedition to Saint-Dominique, 1795 - Mannheim, 1796 - Mantoue, Castiglione, Verone, Primolano, La Brenta, Caldiero, Arcole, Tagliemento, 1798 - Expedition to the Iles Saint-Marcouf, 1800 - Engen, Moeskirch, Memmingen, Hohenlinden, 1805 - Ulm, Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, Heilsberg, Koenigsberg, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Aspern, Essling, Wagram, 1812 - Smolensk, Valoutina, La Moskowa, Krasnoe, 1813 - Dresden, Leipzig, Hanau, 1814 - Brienne, La Rothiere, Monterau, Troyes, 1815 - Ligny
    Notes: In 1804 their colonel was Joseph Bonaparte, Emperor's brother. In 1805 at Austerlitz the Russian Guard cavalry captured their flag. In 1807 at Heilsberg the 4th Line was part of St.Cyr's hard fighting division. In 1809 at Wagram the 4th Line was part of Massena's Corps and - again - lost Eagle, this time to the Austrians. In 1812 at Borodino the 4th was part of Ney's III Corps, attacking Russian formidable center. In 1813 at Leipzig the 4th Line was part of Dufour's 5th Infantry Division and was involved in heavy fighting for Wachau. In 1815 at Ligny (Waterloo Campaign) the 4th Line was part of Girard's 7th Division and attacked Blucher's Prussians flank. Solid but unlucky unit.


    18th Line "The Brave"
    3 Battle honors: 1796 - Rivoli, 1805 - Austerlitz, 1812 - Borodino (La Moskowa)
    38 Battles and Combats: 1792 - Jemmapes, 1796 - Dego, Lonato, Castiglione, Saint-Georges, Caldiero, Arcole, Tarvis, 1797 - Rivoli, 1798 - Fribourg, Alexandrie, Chebreiss, Pyramides, 1799 - Saint-Jean de Acre, Mont-Tabor, Aboukir, 1805 - Hollabrun, Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, Heilsberg, Friedland, 1809 - Ebersberg, Vienne, Essling, Wagram, Znaim, 1812 - Smolensk, La Moskowa, Krasnoe, 1813 - Dresden, Leipzig, Hanau, 1814 - Magdebourg, La Rothiere, Montereau, 1815 - Surbourg, Strasbourg
    Notes: in 1807 at Heilsberg the 18th was to outflank the Russian position, instead it found itself isolated and attacked by numerous Cossacks. Two more battalions and one battery were sent to support the 18th before it was able to withdraw. Near Eylau, the 18th Ligne lost its flag and Eagle to the Russian St.Petersbourg Dragoons. In 1809 the 18th had fought at Aspern-Essling and at Wagram, and lost 45 of 54 officers killed and wounded ! At Raab the 18th delivered am audacious charge that sent the Austrians reeling and took 5 cannons. In 1812 at Borodino this regiment was in Ney's III Corps, attacking Russian center. It was on 18th November 1812 at Krasne, that the 18th lost its eagle. Marshal Ney led his troops in a frontal attack that ended in failure. According to Col. Pierre Pelleport, the 18th Line was “virtually destroyed” by Russian Lifeguard Uhlans. By Pelleport's order, the eagle was placed at the head of the regiment although other troops sought to hide their own eagles by dismantling them or hurrying them to the rear. Approx. 600 of the Frenchmen became casualties, including 350 dead and few survived by the skin of their teeth. The infantry fled pell-mell across the white field, carrying with them the few officers who were trying vainly to rally them. Officers Koracharov and Bolchwing and uhlan Darchenko of the II Squadron captured the eagle and flag (drapeau) of the 18th Line and were awarded with the St. George order. The 18th Line had requested a replacement eagle for the one lost at Krasne and Napoleon approved the request in 1813. In 1813 at Leipzig this regiment was in Vial's 6th Infantry Division and was involved in heavy fighting for Wachau. One battalion of the 18th (made of raw recruits) was crushed by the Prussian landwehr and reserve infantry at Hagelberg.


    57th Line "The Terrible"
    3 Battle Honors: 1797 - La Favorite, 1805 - Austerlitz, 1812 - Borodino (La Moskowa)
    43 Battles and Combats: 1792 - Spire, 1793 - Mayence , 1794 - Fontarabie, Pampelune, 1797 - La Favorite, 1799 - Zurich, Diessenhofen, 1800 - Engen, Moeskirch, Biberach, Hochstedt, Nordlingen, Oberhausen, Neubourg, Landshut, Hohenlinden, 1805 - Memmingen, Ulm, Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, Lubeck, 1807 - Bergfried, Deppen, Hoff, Eylau, Lomitten, Heilsberg, 1809 - Thann, Abensberg, Eckmuhl, Ratisbonne, Essling, Wagram, 1812 - Mohilov, La Moskowa, Malojaroslavetz, Viasma, Krasnoe, 1813 - Dresden, Pirna, Kulm, Rachnitz, 1814 - Strasbourg
    Notes: Napoleon once said: "The Terrible 57th which nothing can stop." These words were proudly added to their flag. The Directory ordered such inscriptions removed, thereby proving once more that they knew nothing about soldiers. In 1805 at Austerlitz the 57th Line was in Vandamme's Division and participated in the storming of Pratzen Heights. It was one of the most decisive moments of this epic battle and Napoleon's greatest victory. In 1807 at Heilsberg the 57th was part of St.Cyr's Division. They stormed the Russian redoubts in the center of their positions. The fighting was tremendous. In 1809 at Wagram the 57th Line and 10th Light were part of Grandjean's Infantry Division (Oudinot's Corps) In 1812 at Borodino this regiment was part of Davout's I Corps and they captured one of Bagration Fleches. The 57th were awarded with a badge of Legion of Honor affixed to their Eagle. Today the Le terible is one of the most popular napoleonic infantry units in the English speaking world.


    84th Line "One Against Ten"
    2 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm 1805, 1812 - Wagram
    30 Battles and Combats: 1792 - Valmy, 1794 - Oneille, 1795 - Saint-Martin-de-Lantosca, 1796 - Borghetto, Mantua, Cerea, Bassano, 1800 - Engen, Moeskirch, Hochstedt, 1805 - Ulm, Austerlitz, 1809 - Sacile, Prewald, Graetz, Wagram, 1812 - Ostrowo, Smolensk, La Moskowa, Malojaroslawetz, Krasnoe, La Beresina, 1813 - Feistritz, Laybach, Isonzo, Caldiero, 1814 - Verone, Mincio, Plaisance, 1815 - Waterloo
    Notes: The 84th Line, in tribute to the victory over 10,000 Austrians at Graz (fight at Saint Leonhard) in 1809, had a silver plaque attached to the staff of its eagle with the inscription "Un Contra Dix" ("One Against Ten"). Here few details about this combat. Two battalions of the 84th Line with 2 guns entered the town of Graz, seized stable and cleared the streets, and took 450 prisoners. The Austrians held only the church and cemetery. Fierce musketry halted the 84e. At midnight the French scaled the cemetery's walls and took the defenders by surprise. Approx. 120 Austrians surrendered. The French realized that there were more Austrians in the neighbourhood. The 84th considered a withdrawal only to find that the whitecoats had surrounded them. The French put all prisoners into the church, and took cover behind cemetery wall. Although most of the Austrian forces were militia, they outnumbered the French by 10 to 1. The only first rate unit was the Simbish Infantry Regiment. In the morning the whitecoats attacked the cemetery several times. In one attack they penetrated the church to liberate their comrades, in another attack they dragged off one cannon before the French counterattacked and retook it. In one of the last attacks the whitecoats scaled the wall and captured one of 84th's eagles. Sergeant Legouge single-handedly entered the fight to save the eagle. Running out of ammunition the French decided to use bayonets and cut their way to safety. They escaped and met up with a relieving troops sent by Marshal Marmont.
    In 1809 at Wagram this regiment was part of the famous MacDonald's column. When its eagle and flag were destroyed in 1812 in Russia, its colonel saved the plaque.



    Light Infantry
    (1st, 6th, 9th, 10th. 11th, 13th,
    24th, 25th, and 26th)
    1st Light
    3 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm, , 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Friedland
    47 Battles and Combats: 1792 - Spiere, Mayennce, 1793 - Le Boulou, Collioure, Saint-Laurent-de-la-Muga, 1794 - Le Montagne-Noire, Rosas, 1795 - Loano, Bardinetto, 1797 - Armee du Nord, 1799 - Zurich, Stokach, 1800 - Moeskirch, Bregenz, Mont Tonale, Hohenlinden, 1806 - Lago-Negro, Monterano, Sainte-Euphemie, Sigliano, 1807 - Strongoli, 1808 - Valence and Tarragone, 1809 - Vals, Saint-Hilary, Raab, Presbourg, and Saint-Colomba, 1810 - Grenouillere, Montblanc, and Salona, 1811 - Tarragone, Saint-Celoni, and Serrat, 1813 - Bautzen, Lukau, Juterbock, Dessau, Leipzig, and Zara, 1814 - Chalons-sur-Marne, Mincio, Bar-sur-Aube, Saint-Georges, Saint-Romans, 1815 - Ligny, Waterloo
    Notes: Due to this regiments heavy involvement in the attacks on Hougoumont (Waterloo) the 1st Light is quite popular in the English-speaking world.

    6th Light
    7 Battle Honors: 1800 - Marengo, 1805 - Ulm, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, Friedland , 1809 - Essling, Wagram
    41 Battles and Combats: 1795 - Pirmassens 1796 - Mantua, Castiglione. 1800 - Romano, Montebello, Marengo, Gazzoldo, Goito, Pozzolo, 1805 - Elchingen, Ulm, Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, Lubeck, 1807 - Eylau, Peterswald, Guttstadt, Friedland, 1809 - Villafranca, San-Payo, Santiago, 1809 - Essling, Wagram, 1810 - Cuidad-Rodrigo, Almeida, Busaco, 1811 - Fuentes-de-Onoro, 1812 - Arapiles, 1813 - Lutzen, Bautzen, Buntzlau, Potznitz, Leipzig, 1814 - La Rothiere, Vauchamps, Montmirail, Craonne, Orthez, Toulouse, 1815 - Ligny, Waterloo
    Notes: In 1791 their colonel was Thomas O'Meara [Irishman]. Seven battle honors, this is not bad at all!

    9th Light "Incomparable"
    4 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm, 1807 - Friedland, 1809 - Essling and Wagram.
    35 Battles and Combats: 1793 - Neerwinden , Arlon, 1794 - Fleurus, Mayence, 1795 - Ehrenbreitstein, 1800 - Romano, Marengo, 1805 - Ulm, Durrenstein, Vienne, Halle, Lubeck, 1806 - Waren, 1807 - Mohrengen, Eylau, Braunsberg, Friedland, 1808 - Madrid, 1809 - Medellin and Talevera, 1809 - Essling and Wagram, 1811 - Chiclana and Fuentes-de-Onoro, 1812 - Badajoz and Bornos, 1813 - Vittoria, 1813 - Lutzen, Bautzen, Kulm, Peterswald, and Leipzig, 1814 - Toulouse, Santa-Maria de la Nieva, 1814 - Montmirail, 1815 - Ligny
    Notes: There were quarels between the Consular Guard and the 9th Light , which - Napoleon having dubbed it "The Incomparable" in Italy - was not about to be impressed by any "Praetorians." In 1808 the 9th participated in the storming of the Somosierra Pass in Spain.
    In January 1814 a 60-man detachment from the 9th Light crossed the Saar River, burned a farmhouses defended by Prussian infantry, and returned the river barges to the French bank. The lieutenant who commanded the mission received the chevalier of the Legion of Honor in recognition of the operation's success. (Leggiere - "The Fall of Napoleon" p 260)

    10th Light
    7 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm and Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Essling and Wagram.
    38 Battles and Combats: 1795 - Dusseldorf, 1796 - Rastadt, Neresheim, Kehl, Biberach, 1799 - Limmath, Zurich, 1800 - Engen, Hohenlinden, 1805 - Ulm and Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, Heilsberg, Friedland, 1809 - Thann, Landshut, Eckmuhl, Essling, and Wagram, 1812 - Alba, Carascal, Estella, 1812 - Smoliany, Borisow, 1813 - Pampelune and Roncal, Lutzen, Kulm, Buntzlau, Naumbourg, Dresden, Leipzig, Hanau, 1814 - Vauchamps, Bar-sur-Aube, and Arcis-sur-Aube, 1815 - Strasbourg
    Notes: In 1805 at Austerlitz the 10th was part of St.Hilaire Division and participated in the storming of Pratzen Heights. It was one of the most decisive moments of this epic battle. In 1807 at Heilsberg this regiment was part of St.Hilaire's Division and attacked the heavily fortified Russian center. In 1809 at Wagram the 10th and 57th Line "The Terible" were part of Grandjean's Infantry Division (Oudinot's Corps)

    11th Light
    - Battle Honors: none
    39 Battles and Combats: 1794 - Schanzel, Kaiserlautern, Mayence, Mombach, 1795 - Loano, 1796 - La Bochetta-di-Campione, La Corona, Lonato, Saint-Georges, Tyrol, Lavis, Brixen, 1797 - Rivoli, Mantua, Valvasonne, 1798 - Malta, 1799 - Offenbourg, Stockach, Trebbia, 1800 - Fischbach, 1802 - Gros-Morne, Crete-a-Pierrot, La Cap, Vertieres, 1812 - Sivotschina, Soolna, Polotsk, Beresina, 1813 - Dresden, Leipzig, Hanau, 1814 - Brienne, La Rothiere, Valjouan, Monterau, Troyes,
    Notes: In 1803 this unit was disbanded and the number 11th was remaining vacant until 1811. In 1811 the regiment was formed of several famous battalions: Bataillon de Tirailleurs Corses, Bataillon de Tirailleurs du Po, Bataillon de Tirailleurs de la Legion de Midi, and Bataillon Valaison.

    13th Light
    5 Battle Honors: 1805 - Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Wagram
    25 Battles and Combats: 1792 - Valmy, 1793 - Wattignies, 1795 - Dusseldorf, 1796 - Ireland, 1800 - Melagnano, Volta, Mincio, Passage of the Adige, 1805 - Austerlitz, 1806 - Auerstadt, 1807 - Landsberg, Eylau, 1809 - Rohr, Landshut, Ratisbonne, Dunaberg, Wagram, 1812 - Smolensk, Moskova, Viasma, Krasnoe, Beresina, 1813 - Dresden, Kulm, 1815 - Waterloo
    Notes: They often formed the spearhead of Davout's excellent corps. In 1809 at Wagram the 13th Light was in Morand's Division (Davout's Corps). In 1812 at Borodino still in Morand's Division (Davout's Corps) and participated in the ferocious attacks on Great Redoubt. In 1815 at Waterloo the 13th captured La Haye Sainte, in the very center of Wellington's positions.

    24th Light
    6 Battle Honors: 1805 - Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Essling, Wagram
    26 Battles and Combats: 1797 - Mayence, 1800 - Montebello, Marengo, 1805 - Austerlitz, 1807 - Bergfied, Eylau, Lomitten, Heilsberg, Friedland, 1808 - Andujar, 1809 - Essling, Wagram, Znaim, 1812 - Krasnoe, Smolensk, Valoutina, Borodino, 1813 - Bautzen, Dresden, Leipzig, 1814 - Commercy, Brienne, La Rothiere, Monterau, Bar-sur-Aube, Arcis-sur-Aube
    Notes: In 1807 at Heilsberg the 24th was part of St.Cyr's Division and was involved in some heavy fighting. In 1809 at Aspern-Essling the 24th in brilliant bayonet charge overran Austrian battery. The French took 700 prisoners and recaptured the church. Unfortunatelly at Wagram they lost their Eagle to the Austrians. In 1812 at Borodino this regiment was part of Ney's III Corps. One battalion of the 24th (made of raw recruits) was crushed by the Prussian landwehr and reserve infantry at Hagelberg.

    25th Light
    6 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau and Friedland, 1809 - Essling and Wagram
    30 Battles and Combats: 1796 - Altenkirchen 1799 - Stokach, Le Grimsel, 1800 - Hermette, Mincio, Valeggio, 1805 - Gunzberg, Scharnitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Allenstein, Guttstadt, Friedland, 1808 - Saragosse and Cascantes, 1809 - Tamammes, 1809 - Essling, Wagram, 1810 - Cuidad Rodrigo, Alcoba, 1811 - Redhina, Foz-do-Aronce, Miranda-del-Corvo, 1812 - Salamanca (Arapiles), 1813 - Lerin and Muz, 1813 - Lutzen, Wurschen, Buntzlau, Leipzig, 1814 - Toulouse
    Notes: In 1812 at Salamanca the 25th Light Light and 27th Line attacked while the British line hesitated and stood firm for a moment. The redcoats then broke and fled. Six battle honors.

    26th Light
    7 Battle Honors: 1805 - Ulm and Austerlitz, 1806 - Jena, 1807 - Eylau, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Essling and Wagram
    30 Battles and Combats: 1800 - Suze, Brunette, Bosano, 1805 - Ulm and Austerlitz, 1807 - Hoff, Eylau, Heilsberg, and Konigsberg 1808 - Saragosse, Andujar, Baylen, 1809 - Eckmuhl, Ebersberg, Essling, Wagram, Hollabrun, Znaim, 1812 - Oboiardszino, Polotsk, Torezacew, Borisow, Beresina, 1813 - Hambourg, Dresden, Leipzig, Freibourg, Hanau, 1814 - Ligny, Brienne
    Notes: At Austerlitz in 1805, the 26th Light Infantry Reguiment defended the southern flank of the French army. It was heavily outnumbered by the Russian and Austrian infantry and suffered heavy casualties. For more information on this combat read Robert Goetz's "1805: Austerlitz"
    In 1807 at Heilsberg the 26th was involved in the ferocious fighting for the redoubts. Adolphe Thiers writes: "General Legrand then detached the 26th Light to attack that of the three redoubts which was within his reach. That gallant regiment dashed off at a run, carried the redoubt in spite of General Kamenski's troops, and kept possession of it, after an obstinate fight. But the officer who commanded the enemy's artillery, having had his guns drawn off at a gallop, quickly removed them to the rear, to a spot which commanded the redoubt and covered the 26th with grape, which made prodigious havoc." Terrible grape fire decimated the 26th, it was followed by musket volleys fired by two battalions at the redoubt. To modern man, long accustomed to repeating and automatic firearms, one, two, or even three rounds per minute is nothing to write home about. However, once one comes to grips with the idea of 600 men, packed into front of about 200 paces, able to fire anywhere from 1000 to 3000 rounds per minute, then the image alters drastically, even in the eyes of a modern soldier. Nothing could stop the 26th, they carried the redoubt about 7 PM. According to Military Journal of the IV Army Corps it was the 26th Light, but according to Russians the 26th was repulsed and the redoubt was taken by the Guard Fusiliers. Shikanov thinks that the 26th could indeed take the redoubt but the Fusiliers held it while the 26th continued its advance. The Russians claimed that they saw the Fusiliers very near to the redoubt. Half of the Prussian Towarzysze Regiment attacked the 26th Light before being driven back by musketry.
    At Hoff in 1807 the French 26th Light Infantry captured Russian battery of 4 pieces. One battalion of the regiment was formed in square while the lead battalion formed line and advanced against the artillery. The canister made no impression on the French and they reached the guns. A bloody melee took place. The French bayoneted the gunners and horses, and cut the traces. Seeing Russian infantry counter-attacking the French fell back behind the second battalion. The fresh battalion deployed from square into line, charged, overthrown the infantry and recaptured the guns. Then Russian cavalry intervened forcing the victorious battalion to form square. Russian skirmishers moved up to join their cavalry.
    In 1808 at Baylen, the 26th Light Infantry surrendered to the Spaniards.
    In 1809 at Wagram, the 26th was part of Legrand's Division (Massena's Corps). In 1813 at Leipzig this regiment was part of Dufour's 5th Division and was involved in heavy fighting for Wachau. One battalion of the 26th (made of raw recruits) was crushed by the Prussian landwehr and reserve infantry at Hagelberg.



    Highest number of battles-93rd line.76 battles!!!!
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Old December 10th, 2012, 07:11 AM   #123
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Sorry to answer so late but I need some time to do my researchs (even though I have a quite good memory) and have less and less time to participate. I also agree with your final comment not to derail that post anymore but as you didn't create yet another post I prefer answer here for the last time.


Quote:
I would agree on a figure of 120-150,000 that survived, not including the early deserters. That is close to 2/3 of his army destroyed.
Of course...I was a little bit tired when I said half )

Quote:
Here is the problem. We are clearly defining defeats in different ways. If you want to put his escape over the Alps as a "defeat", then that is your prerogative. It is not a personal defeat though, but rather a strategic defeat for Russia.
It is both. The strategical defeat of Suvorov brought the final withdrawal of Russia. His escape by itself is only part of it, as already said being unable to join Korsakov on time is also part of it. As a contrast, at Waterloo Blucher successfully joined Wellington despite Grouchy and despite being badly beaten by Napoleon a few days after. He suffered a tactical defeat from Napoleon but in the end, by successfully concentrate his remaining forces and being there on time he maybe saved Wellington's army and got a strategical victory.

Quote:
The withdrawal of Suvorovs army was not the end of the 2nd coalition. The Republican armies were still in a precarious position, even after Russia's withdrawal; which was done for political reasons.
It was Napoleons intervention that was decisive.
Agreed, I meant from Russia's perspective as they signed peace with France.

Quote:
Murat's defeat at Tarutino purportedly hastened Napoleon leaving Moscow. He lost approximately 38 canons in the battle, which was the first time that such a huge amount of artillery had been lost on the battlefield, during the campaign.
Agreed also. This explains why Napoleon regretted not to have left Moskow earlier to eventually beat the last remaining Russian army. Kutuzov himself after Borodino recognized that his army could not sustain another regular battle.

Quote:
Total French engaged: Roughly 240-250,000
Total casualties: Roughly 110-115,000 (including prisoners/stragglers)

That seems a reasonably high figure taking into account engaged French soldiers.
But here you take into account only french soldiers right ? Why is that ?

You must take into account that most of those "battles" weren't really ones but rather harrassment from Russians troops.
Napoleon wrongly thought that the Russian army was too weakened to battle and let his army scattered on a 60km range.

Napoleon basically never gets the full strength of his army at his disposal during the retreat, only parts of it. In all the battles you mention he will not lead the french army in Maloyaroslavets, Polotsk, Czasniki, Vyazma, and Smoliani. This lets Krasnoe and the Berezina. I already gave my point of view for the latter.

About Krasnoe look at your own link:
"The Battle of Krasnoi (Krasny) (November 15 to 18, 1812) was a series of skirmishes"
Series of skirmishes. Not a real battle.

In the end, the Tsar will not consider that battle as a Russian victory because Koutouzov should have anihilated the french army or at least oblige Napoleon to surrender. He will finally concede the victory to the old fieldmarshal only because he was very popular.

Quote:
But he did fight major battles, its just that Borodino was the last time he went on the offensive. Every battle after, was defensive.
As said previously he did not except the Berezina and Krasnoe, first one being a french victory and the second one not a real battle.

Quote:
My point is, that Napoleons army was getting worn down in attritional, set piece battles, which combined with disease, desertion and starvation were combined factors in the destruction of Napoleon's army.
Yes, but for me set piece battles played a minor role in casualties and Napoleon wasn't for the greatest part involved in those battles. Only his marshalls were.

Quote:
So? It was still a tactical defeat for the French. The Poles composed a sizable proportion of the French army, during the Russian campaign.
It wasn't a tactical defeat for Napoleon as for the battles you mentioned previously, as he wasn't there. He cannot be considered as guilty for the incapacity of his generals (I mean it from a tactical point of view here).
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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:11 PM   #124

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Originally Posted by Duguesclin View Post
Sorry to answer so late but I need some time to do my researchs (even though I have a quite good memory) and have less and less time to participate. I also agree with your final comment not to derail that post anymore but as you didn't create yet another post I prefer answer here for the last time.
No Worries

Ill make a thread for the Russian campaign very soon. Its worth discussion, because it had severe ramifications for both sides. I was meant too on the weekend, but I was fairly busy

So, what do you think was the most effective French unit?
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Old December 10th, 2012, 03:52 PM   #125

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"give me 2000 croats and i will dinner in moscow. give me 100000 and i will conquer the world"

nuff said about light infantry. croat genzeres were very well famous.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 04:58 AM   #126

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Originally Posted by Duguesclin View Post







It is both. The strategical defeat of Suvorov brought the final withdrawal of Russia.
I would also argue that the Austria lack of support, was a contender for their withdrawal. t least that's how they viewed it.



Quote:
Agreed also. This explains why Napoleon regretted not to have left Moskow earlier to eventually beat the last remaining Russian army. Kutuzov himself after Borodino recognized that his army could not sustain another regular battle.
Agreed. But this also substantiates my view on military assets helping expunge Napoleon. His position becoming untenable.



Quote:
But here you take into account only french soldiers right ? Why is that ?
Because that is what we were contesting



Quote:

You must take into account that most of those "battles" weren't really ones but rather harrassment from Russians troops.
Napoleon wrongly thought that the Russian army was too weakened to battle and let his army scattered on a 60km range.

Napoleon basically never gets the full strength of his army at his disposal during the retreat, only parts of it. In all the battles you mention he will not lead the french army in Maloyaroslavets, Polotsk, Czasniki, Vyazma, and Smoliani. This lets Krasnoe and the Berezina. I already gave my point of view for the latter.

About Krasnoe look at your own link:
"The Battle of Krasnoi (Krasny) (November 15 to 18, 1812) was a series of skirmishes"
Series of skirmishes. Not a real battle.

In the end, the Tsar will not consider that battle as a Russian victory because Koutouzov should have anihilated the french army or at least oblige Napoleon to surrender. He will finally concede the victory to the old fieldmarshal only because he was very popular
They most probably were labelled as skirmishes, because they were a series of delaying/rearguard actions by the French, and did not entail the entire army; as well as the fact that some of them entailed a series of smaller operations within the battle.

They still involved large proportions of French troops, who were continuously worn down through attrition, and were fortunate not to be detroyed at Berezina.


Quote:
It wasn't a tactical defeat for Napoleon as for the battles you mentioned previously, as he wasn't there. He cannot be considered as guilty for the incapacity of his generals (I mean it from a tactical point of view here).
But like I said, it still doesn't matter whether he was there or not personally. The reason being that it was still a tactical defeat for the French army, which he led.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #127

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Originally Posted by CrazyShadowDami View Post
"give me 2000 croats and i will dinner in moscow. give me 100000 and i will conquer the world"

nuff said about light infantry. croat genzeres were very well famous.
He said the same about the poles and cossacks too.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:59 AM   #128

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Originally Posted by harbinger View Post
He said the same about the poles and cossacks too.
cossacks were 200000, and idk about poles. i also forgoy to mention "croats are by far the best soldiers in the world..." before the rest
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