Help support TMP

"Napoleonís Army May Have Suffered From the Greatest" Topic

13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Ruleset

883 hits since 6 Sep 2019
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2019 9:12 p.m. PST

… Wardrobe Malfunction in History

"200 years ago, Napoleon's army took on the Russians in the Battle of Maloyaroslavets. Though a French victory, the battle marked a major strategic setback, as the Russians moved to block Napoleon's path of retreat out of their country. In the end, only 10,000 Frenchmen out of an initial half a million made it out of Russia alive.

Why did this happen? Historians still puzzle over this military catastrophe today, Big Think reports, but a new theory points to an unlikely culprit: the army's buttons…."
Main page


Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2019 1:59 a.m. PST

The tin buttons froze and crumbled it seems. The French did not think to tie a belt around their overcoat. They did not starve, die of disease or exhaustion, nor perish at the hands of Cossacks or jolly cross peasants. It was their buttons….

Garde de Paris08 Sep 2019 2:53 a.m. PST

WOW! "Button-counters" beware! TMP is coming for you!


Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2019 3:38 a.m. PST

Ignorant article.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2019 3:31 p.m. PST



4th Cuirassier09 Sep 2019 1:26 a.m. PST

A combination of typhus, battle casualties, adverse weather and inadequate supply arrangements, surely. I'm sure the buttons played their role, but I do wonder how Minard would have plotted button disintegration on his legendary graphic.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2019 1:35 a.m. PST

Funniest thing, but Wiki gives an alternative translation of Bouton as a knob. Could there have been a misunderstanding from the original French text? It did get very chilly some mornings in Russia and is quite possible that it was not the buttons that froze. Brass monkeys they say….

ConnaughtRanger09 Sep 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

Deadhead – don't give them yet another excuse!

4th Cuirassier10 Sep 2019 5:30 a.m. PST

As Clive James once wrote, the French lover is like the French soldier: he talks his performance up a storm, but when coming to grips with the other side, he discharges his weapon out of range and rolls over.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 7:10 a.m. PST

At least you did not say heads to the rear at the first opportunity.

4th Cuirassier10 Sep 2019 7:11 a.m. PST

That would be the German in my experience…

Bill N10 Sep 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

Weren't most of the losses in the Grand Army suffered before Maloyaroslavets?

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2019 11:38 a.m. PST

For sure. Very good point.

But the real Retreat from Moscow only started then.

That was what captured the imagination, then and to this day. No one cared about deaths from exhaustion and heat stroke, dehydration, disease, battle, all on the march to Moscow.

The legend is that is was the cold and Cossacks that did for Boney in Russia. Not truly gross indiscipline, chaotic staff work and supply admin, morale failure and let us not forget the Russians, who never ever give up when invaded (OK 1917 I admit)

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.