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Current Topic - Napoleonic Wars > Napoleon's Decline: 1812-1814

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message 1: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (last edited Sep 04, 2010 07:32PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Here are some possible topics for discussion.

1. Why did Napoleon invade Russia?

2. What was Napoleon's biggest mistake in invading Russia?

3. Why was the retreat from Russia such a disaster?

4. Why did Napoleon ignore his advisors' suggestion that the army follow a different route back to France?

5. What factors created the 6th coalition which included just about every European nation that had an army?

6. What strategic decision by the allies allowed them to continually defeat the French in the field during the fight for Germany in 1813-14.

7. How was Napoleon able to escape complete destruction of his army at the battle of Leipzig (Battle of Nations)?

8. How would history have changed if Napoleon had accepted the peace terms offered in early 1814?

9. Why did Napoleon finally have to accept unconditional surrender, even though he won most of the battles after France was invaded?


message 2: by Kendall (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 21 comments Okay, I didn't vote for the Napoleonic Wars because it isn't a period I've studied. So this is a chance to learn. Here's what little I know (yes, I can get most of it in a short post!)

1. because Russia abrogated it treaty with him
2. timing. same as Hitler's
3. He lost his army and his aura of invincibility.
4. ?


message 3: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
I've often wondered why Napoleon's Russian disaster didn't make the French lose confidence in Napoleon. If Russia had counter-attacked in 1813, would Napoleon have suffered the same fate as Hitler?


message 4: by Kendall (new)

Kendall (kendallfurlong) | 21 comments What did George H Bush call it? Big 'Mo'? Momentum, or, viewed from the downside, inertia.


message 5: by Ed, Chief Curmudgeon (last edited Sep 22, 2010 08:15PM) (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 622 comments Mod
Kendall wrote: "What did George H Bush call it? Big 'Mo'? Momentum, or, viewed from the downside, inertia."

I wonder if the National leaders of the time still feared Napoleon's military genius which contributed to the inertia.


message 6: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
Quite possible. He still had quite the aura.


message 7: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Ed wrote: "Here are some possible topics for discussion.

2. What was Napoleon's biggest mistake in invading Russia?


Other than timing, he undermined Kutuzov's ability as the Russian field marshal. He should've expected that the Moscow evacuation (a very hard decision indeed by Kutuzov) was a trap. And of course, he undermined the will of the Russians and the expanse of their territory. The combatants had plenty of time and space to withdraw and live to fight another day.


message 8: by Bettie (new)

Bettie FYI - Lithuania buries Napoleon's defeated soldiers

30 November 2010 Last updated at 04:02 GMT

The remains of 18 French soldiers killed during Napoleon Bonaparte's failed invasion of Russia have been buried in Lithuania. It is nearly 200 years since the French Emperor suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Russian army and the notoriously cold Russian winter. Tens of thousands of French soldiers died as they fled and now a handful of them have been honoured.



message 9: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 310 comments Mod
Wow.


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