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"End of Empire (1814) " Topic

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294 hits since 5 Sep 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2018 3:26 p.m. PST

"In January 1814 massive Allied armies invaded France. Napoleon, fighting for the survival of his empire, resisted and conducted one of his most brilliant campaigns. He inflicted defeat after defeat on the Allied columns but still they pressed on, converging on Paris. Eventually sheer weight of numbers would prevail and Napoleon was forced to abdicate in April 1814.

A key reason for the defeat was that France was tired of war. The 1813 campaign in Germany had been a disaster. Many of Napoleon's line regiments were reduced to handfuls of exhausted conscripts, he lacked cavalry and effective artillery. But he still retained the loyalty of the Imperial Guard and in 1814 he used these veterans, more than ever before, as shock troops who might pluck victory from the jaws of defeat.

Corporal Simeon Lamon, a native of Geneva, was one such veteran. Born in 1788 he volunteered to serve in the French armies in 1806. Sent to Italy he joined the 18th Light and fought in the 1809 campaign at Raab and Wagram. Then, packed off to Spain, he fought for four years in Catalonia until in early 1813 he, along with nine others from his regiment, was selected to join the Guard as part of a scheme to rebuild it after heavy losses in Russia…."
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