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Memoirs of Sergeant Bourgogne

4.48  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
This is a fascinating account of Napoleon and his Grande Armee invading Russia and then the torturous retreat that is now a by-word for poor military leadership and even worse decision making. Written by an officer serving under Napoleon, it gives a heart stopping first person view of one of the most famous botched campaigns in military history, a campaign that ended with ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published February 1st 1998 by Trafalgar Square Publishing
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Jesse
Jun 16, 2011 Jesse rated it it was amazing
this book is a brilliant ground level look at one of histories most atrocious retreats. in the winter of 1812-1813, after successfully taking moscow, napoleon realized his supply line was too long and that his grande armee wouldn't last the winter in russia. instead of immediatly acting upon this, he waited a couple weeks before leaving, thinking that people were overestimated the decimating effects of the russian winter. within a month of leaving russia, the grande armee was already falling to ...more
Jonathan Hopkins
Nov 13, 2011 Jonathan Hopkins rated it liked it
Shelves: napoleonic
Much as I was determined to like Sergeant Bourgogne's diary, I read it after a couple of others by individuals involved in Napoleon's pretty horrific Russian campaign. So after chapters describing the freezing conditions and a lack of most basic necessities for human (or animal) existence, it began to lose its appeal.
Great if you're into detail on the French retreat from Moscow, but not straight after Barres, Coignet and Jakob Walter. Oh dear, Zamoyski's next!
Adhoc
Oct 31, 2014 Adhoc rated it liked it
I read the French version of this book as it's available free on Gutenburg. Here is a short and sweet synopsis: The French army captures and retreats from Moscow. That's all you need to know.

This book consists of a lots of misery followed by more misery but it was surprisingly difficult to put down. Like a train wreck it's hard to look away. Human nature I guess.

What really struck me was despite all his suffering Bourgogne's faith in Napoleon never falters. I would have been cursing Napoleon all
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