Napoleon at Friedland by Mark Churms. (AP)
The year is 1807, the French Empire is at the pinnacle of its power. Although not yet 38 years of age the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is marching towards the heights of his military career. It is the anniversary of his great victory against the Austrians at Marengo seven years before. Since then the soldiers of The Grand Armee have faithfully followed The Little Corporal from victory to victory across Europe. Now, in eastern Prussia, the Russians alone are holding out against the might of France. Bennigsens army is strung out on a four mile front along the banks of the river Alle, near the town of Friedland. With their backs to the unfordable river the brave Russian soldiers are drawn up in a poor position to give battle. It is already midday when Napoleon arrives on the field. Much of the French force is still some miles away but the commanders keen eye immediately perceives an opportunity for victory. He decides to attack. The vigourous assault on the Russian lines commences at about 5.30 pm. Bennigsen, anticipating an engagement on the following day, is completely surprised by this ferocious attack so late in the afternoon. The fighting begins as his divisions are preparing to withdraw across the river Alle, to a stronger position. Napoleons master stroke throws the enemy into confusion. By 8.30 pm the French are masters of the field, the Russians have lost nearly a third of their army and 80 cannons. The town of Friedland is ablaze and the Tsars army in full retreat. In simple attire and characteristically astride a nimble arab grey, Napoleon Bonaparte rides forward with his reserves of the Guard to survey the final victory. Within a few days the defeated Tsar Alexander will embrace the French Emperor on a raft anchored in the middle of the Niemen at Tilsit. At their monumental meeting they will talk of peace, co-operation against the British, the division of Prussian Territories and France with Russia will form their uneasy alliance that will quickly collapse into open hostility and present Napoleon with his greatest challenge: The invasion of Russia itself.
|Item Code : DHM0256AP||Napoleon at Friedland by Mark Churms. (AP) - This Edition|| Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price!|
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