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"Any reading recommendations for Borodino and Leipzig?" Topic

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Private Matter21 Jun 2018 7:55 p.m. PST

I am about halfway through Dominic Lieven's 'Russia Against Napoleon' and so far have found it interesting. However, while I am learning a lot about the logistics and such of the Russian fight with Napoleon, I would like to learn more about the details of the battles of the period, especially Borodino and Leipzig. Can I ask you folks to give me your reading recommendations it would be appreciated. If you can also let me know why you're recommending a particular read, that too would be appreciated.



Captain Avatar21 Jun 2018 8:51 p.m. PST

The Campaigns of Napoleon by David Chandler talks about the logistic of the battles.

Borodino: Napoleon Against Russia, 1812 by Christopher Duffy.

Both are out of print, but usually can be found on ebay or second hand sellers on Amazon.

Prince of Essling22 Jun 2018 1:29 a.m. PST

"1813: Leipzig – Napoleon and the battle of the Nations" published 2001 by Greenhill Books & Stackpole Books. author Digby Smith. An excellent detailed account of the battle.

"Europe against napoleon: the Leipzig campaign 1813" published London 1970. Author Anthony Brett James – good extracts from eyewitnesses to the battle.

I would second the Christopher Duffy book on Borodino, and add Nafziger's " ANapoleon's Invasion of Russia" – detailed account of the battle but not the easiest read due to his style of writing.

redbanner414522 Jun 2018 4:23 a.m. PST

For the Russian view of both battles try "Russia Against Napoleon" by Dominic Lieven

von Winterfeldt22 Jun 2018 5:14 a.m. PST

go for Mikaberidze – The Battle of Borodino, the best books are usually ignored

Sebastian Palmer22 Jun 2018 5:48 a.m. PST

My favourite books on the Russia 1812 campaign are currently:

Zamoyksi's '1812, Napoleon's Fatal March', which is a very colourful exciting account of the whole campaign. His coverage of Borodino will probably add some colour to what you've gleaned from Leiden.

And then there's Paul Britten Austin's trilogy of books on 1812, in which Borodino is (probably?) in the second volume. He describes his books as a 'word film', as he's collages together an account from first-hand testimonies, which again makes it very colourful and exciting. This trilogy can be found used, and there even a single volume edition, and has also been reprinted recently. I forget who by…

Digby Smith has written a book solely on Borodino, but I can't say how good or otherwise it is, not having read it as yet. But it should be worth checking out…

Regards Seb

Sebastian Palmer22 Jun 2018 6:04 a.m. PST

Oh, and for Leipzig: there's an Osprey title solely dedicated to it. And you can't go wrong with David Chandler's fabulous Campaigns of Napoleon, which contains an excellent account of Leipzig.

khanscom22 Jun 2018 6:04 a.m. PST

I found R.K. Riehn's "1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign" useful. A general overview of the campaign with descriptions of the course of battles (not in great detail, though)and a tremendous amount of organizational and order of battle information.

Lascaris22 Jun 2018 8:19 a.m. PST

Here's what I own for 1812 & 1813, all of which I think are reasonable works; note most of these have been mentioned previously but I'll include them for completeness.

For 1812:
1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign – Richard Riehn
Moscow 1812 – Adam Zamoyski
Russia Against Napoleon – Dominic Lieven
The Battle of Borodino – Alexander Mikaberidze

For Leipzig, and the entire 1813 campaign I have:
Napoleon's Last Campaign in Germany – Loraine Petre
Lutzen & Bautzen – George Nafziger
Dresden Campaign – Nafziger
Napoleon at Leipzig – Nafziger
Napoleon at Berlin – Michael Leggiere

steamingdave47 Inactive Member22 Jun 2018 8:30 a.m. PST

"The Fox of the North" by Roger Parkinson ( a biography of Kutuzov) and "Napoleon 1812" by Nigel Nicholson both have chapters on Borodino.

Wu Tian Inactive Member22 Jun 2018 8:33 a.m. PST

For Borodino,
Mikaberidze and Duffy, both used Russian, French and German sources.

For Leipzig,
In English, Nafziger of course. In French, Bruno Colson's Leipzig is very, very excellent. In German… just turn to Lieven's Bibliography and look for the general staff history.

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