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Mémoires du sergent Bourgogne (1812-1813) ❮Read❯ ➲ Mémoires du sergent Bourgogne (1812-1813) ➵ Author Adrien Bourgogne – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Sergeant Bourgognewith Napoleon's Imperial Guard in the Russian campaign and on the retreat from Moscow Adrien Bourgogne was a seasoned veteran before the campaign of , but nothing in his experience p Sergeant Bourgognewith Napoleon's Imperial Guard in the Russian campaign and on the retreat from Moscow Adrien Bourgogne was a seasoned veteran before the campaign of , but nothing in his experience prepared him for the horrors of the infamous retreat from Moscow Believing he was settling into comfortable winter quarters, Bourgogne found himself together with his comrades Mémoires du PDF \ of the Velite FusilierGrenadiers of the Imperial Guardon the road to the west Bourgogne's account of the agonies of the Russian Winter exacerbated by hunger, brigands and the Russian enemy is graphic and without parallel This is a story far beyond the common military memoir It is almost surreal in its portrayal of the nightmarish scenes of the straggling column and the hellish infernos of burning towns A memoir of war in the raw and an utterly unforgettable classic Napoleonic experience of conflict.

10 thoughts on “Mémoires du sergent Bourgogne (1812-1813)

  1. Betsy Betsy says:

    This book contains the personal observations of a member of the Imperial Guard during the Russian campaign of 1812. It is not a military history as much as what happened to him and some of his friends so don't expect more than a mention on Borodino or other military engagements.

    It is interesting reading because you can't help but wonder how men survived the campaign even before the terrible days in Moscow, and then the horror of the retreat. Bourgogne encounters countless difficulties, but with the help of friends and some good-hearted women, he makes it back to France.

    It is a short but entertaining look at one of the great tragedies of Napoleon's reign, made even more so because of the devastation to the horses that so loyally served the French.

  2. Jesse Jesse says:

    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 pieces, from disease, hypothermia, and the ever-present cossacks, who attacked with guerilla warfare tactics. it is these hardships that bourgogne writes of. his narrative reads like the odyssey, where after a war a soldier and his men are just trying to get back home. but, before they can arrive there they must face down countless perils, and overcome mountainous obstacles. along they way, they encounter friends, who aid them in their retreat; but the also encounter manipulative souls looking out for anychance to rob, steal or simply terrorize soldiers who are suffering through the worst hardships. these were men who were so hungry they would cut a rump steak off of a horse while the horse was marching and because of the fierce cold the horse never noticed (until the open wound began to fester in the presence of any heat source). these men would betray their best friend over nine frozen potatoes, would were womans dresses and scarves as extra protection from the cold.
    this retreat is well documented in history books. i found bourgogne's book while doing research for 'war and peace'. and outside of that novel, this is the single most haunting and human document i have read about that cursed retreat from russia. there are countless small acts of mercy and cruelty that can be related, or unreal stories of treature found in the midst of despair, but bourgogne describes them much better than i can. this book seems random and disconnected form the lives we live, but this single document shows what makes humans a spectacular and awesome species, with all our capacity for hate, and love, whether it's for a stranger or a fellow soldier who has fought beside you through a decade of war. what allows a starving man to share a frozen piece of bread with another man? where does the strength come from to carry a fellow soldiers whose feet have frozen off? what does any of this to do with survival and the perpetuation of genes? this text forces you to analyze these questions and allows you a window into perfect desperation and the way a man can act when there is nothing to gain for himself but the fulfilling feeling of an honor upheld.

  3. Jonathan Hopkins Jonathan Hopkins says:

    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!

  4. Chris Lachman Chris Lachman says:

    If you enjoyed Xenephon's Anabasis you will love this book even more. Really excellent book which I could hardly put down. Pathos and humor - just wonderful !

  5. C. A. Powell C. A. Powell says:

    A compelling account of a French soldier in Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Sergeant Bourgogne tells of his monumental endeavour to survive a catastrophe. He is with the Grand Army when it invades Russia in 1812. He is in Moscow when the city is abandoned to the advancing French army and all the prisoners are released to loot and burn by order of the Russian Tsar. When there is no sign of a negotiation or treaty with the Tsar, the imperial French army decided to abandon the burning city. And so begins the diabolical retreat from Moscow. Sergeant Bourgogne gives an ordinary soldier's perspective of these historical events. Through it all, we see the depleting resources of the Grand Army. The following groups of Cossacks killing the stragglers of the Grand Army. Starvation killing the Grand Army. Soldiers of the Grand Army killing each other. Scattered remnants of more disciplined men try to fight a rearguard action all the way back. Everything seems to be collapsing, but some manage to reach the River Nieman. The journey takes many weeks and it is in bitter Russian winter conditions. Hordes of them freeze to death. For history buffs who like to learn about the Napoleonic Wars. This is a must. A compelling and biographical account of a man who lived every moment of the dreadful ordeal and tells his story about it in his old age.

  6. Max Max says:

    A vivid tale about one of the most famous military disasters in history lived through the eyes of a common soldier, sergent Bourgogne. The author/ narrator writes in simple words and style the hell the soldiers of the grande armee had to go through during a retreat that quickly turns into suicide. More than just a collection of horryfying annedocts, this books gives us through the candid eyes of Sergent Bourgogne a unique insight into the minds of the common French soldiers that formed the masses of Napoleon's Army, that he took to glory and ultimately to oblivion. At times pure horror, in its depiction of the hell and privation the soldiers of the Grande Armee had to go through, it is more often than not disarming with candor and sheer optimism. As the debris of the Army assemble on the shores of the Berezina , we have for example a glimpse of the unshakable faith they had in their leader as the remnant of the Army catches sight of Napoleon and cheers him. I would recommend that book to anybody who is interested in this period.

  7. Christopher Law Christopher Law says:

    A lot of this reads like a boy's own adventure - think Sharpe but from the French side. It's easy to forget at at times that the events were real, although I doubt they were quite as picaresque as the writing style makes them seem in places. Conversely, I also suspect the bleaker parts were far worse, and they're grim enough. A very interesting read.

  8. Peter Harrison Peter Harrison says:

    A fabulous first hand account of the retreat from Moscow. This is not a strategic military history, best reading something else for that (Esposito's and Elting's Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars is a good start for that). But for the human story of what the retreat was like I have read nothing better.

  9. Dennis Meier Dennis Meier says:

    As i have readed some german soldiers memories of the eastern front in ww2, i was keen for the memoirs of Sergant Bourgonge: 18-12-1813. Comparing it, the german soldiers experienced the same as Sergerant Bourgogne. Just airplanes, tanks and automatic guns are missing.

    It is close to wonder Adroem Bourgonge survived the horrors of the eastern front in the napoleonic war.

  10. Lucy Lucy says:

    a true story of a French soldier who (barely) survived Napolean's disastrous retreat from Russia--1812-1813
    he endured starvation, sleeping and walking outside for 2 months in below zero temps, having to eat horse flesh or drink their blood to survive....
    honest & well-written

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