Berezina 1812

Napoleon’s Hollow Victory

Berezina 1812 cover


A superbly illustrated narrative of how Napoleon skilfully extracted his Grande Armee from the clutches of the pursuing Russian armies.

Much has been written about the Battle of the Berezina and the 1812 Russian campaign in general, during which the cold winter devastated the Grande Armée. Historians often praise Napoleon for his actions at the Berezina and attribute his success to a brilliant strategic mind, laying a trap that deceived the Russians and resulted in a remarkable feat in the history of warfare.

Drawing on contemporary sources (letters, diaries, memoirs), and featuring an extensive order of battle, this book recreates in hourly detail one of the great escapes in military history, a story often told with embellishments that require a more critical examination. Although the core of Napoleon's army escaped, tens of thousands were killed in the battle, trampled in the rush for the bridge, drowned in the icy waters of the Berezina, or captured.

Written by an acknowledged expert on the period, and using a broad range of sources from all sides, this title brings to life in stunning visual detail, using maps, battlescene artworks and period illustrations, the events of late November 1812, as Napoleon's retreating, desperate Grand Armée extricated itself from the clutches of the Russian armies under Kutuzov, Wittgenstein and Chichagov in an epic feat of heroism and masterful tactics.

Table of Contents

Origins of the Campaign

French and allied

The Grande Armée
Orders of battle


Russian strategy
Napoleon's strategy

Day one: 26 November 1812
Day two: 27 November 1812
Day three: 28 November 1812

The Battlefield today

Product details

Published Dec 20 2022
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472850188
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Colour illustrations throughout, including battlescene artworks, maps, 3D diagrams and photographs.
Dimensions 248 x 184 mm
Series Campaign
Short code CAM 383
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Alexander Mikaberidze

Alexander Mikaberidze is Sybil T. and J. Frederick…


Adam Hook

Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his wo…


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