email = emailprotectedpublish = yessubject = Historytitle = Reasons on why Napoleon had lost the Campaign of 1812papers = Please put your paper here.Napoleon’s Reasons for DefeatThe Campaign of 1812 should have been a another crusade for Napoleon,but he now faced 2 new policies that he had never faced before, the severe Russianwinter and the notorious scorched-earth policy. On June 23, 1812 Napoleon’sGrande Armee, over 500,000 men strong, poured over the Russian border. Anequal amount of Russian forces awaited them. The result of the campaign was asurprise. Two authors, General carl von Clausewitz and Brett James, showsimilarities in reasons why Napoleon had lost this campaign to Russia.
Napoleon believed that after a few quick victorious battles, he couldconvince Alexander to return to the Continental System. He also decided that if heoccupied Moscow, the Russian government would crumple and ask for peace.” A single blow delivered at the heart of the Russian Empire, at Moscow the Great,at Moscow the Holy, will instantly put this whole blind, apathetic mass at mymercy.
” pg 6, 1812 Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaThis was his belief he expressed in March 1812. However, when Napoleoneventually took over Moscow, the Tsar still did not surrender. Napoleon, sent amessage to the Tsar, demanding a immediate surrender. However, the Tsar couldnot surrender because if he did, he would be assassinated by the nobles.Clausewitz replies by saying, ” Napoleon was unable to grasp the fact thatAlexander would not, could not negotiate. The Tsar knew well that he would bedisposed and assassinated if he tried so.” pg 256, The Campaign of 1812 inRussiaGeneral Clausewitz said, “Napoleon believed if he defeated the Russian Army andoccupied Moscow, the Russian leadership will fall apart and the governmentwould call for peace.
” pg 253, The Campaign of 1812 in RussiaBrett James also agreed that Napoleon’s occupation had no result. ” Theoccupation of Napoleon in Moscow did not have a effect on the government.” pg13, 1812 Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaWith his battle plan set, Napoleon prepared his troops for the attack onRussia.
But, Napoleon did not consider the fierce Russian winter which awaitedhim. According to Ludwig Wilhelm Gottlob Schlosser, a onlooker, he describedthe army by saying,” The French, down to the lowliest drummer were very fastidious. These poorFrench devils were not satisfied with less than soup, meat and vegetables, roast,and salad for their midday meal, and there was no sign of their famous frugality.They were completely devoid of the coming winter.
” pg 13, 1812 Napoleon’sDefeat in RussiaNapoleon was even warned by General Rapp about the extremities of theoncoming winter in Russia.” The natives say we shall have a severe winter,” Napoleon retorted scornfully,”Bah! You and your natives! We shall see how fine it is.” pg 147, 1812Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaNapoleon should have heeded Rapp’s words. As the Grand Armee marched towardMoscow, many horses and men were lost in the freezing snow, and for those whoremained, their morale and effectiveness was at the nadir.General Clausewitz states his point by saying, ” With more precaution and betterregulations as to subsistence, with more careful consideration of his marches,which would have prevented the unnecessary and enormous accumulation ofmasses on one and the same road, he would have preserved his army in a moreeffective condition.
” pg 255, The Campaign of 1812 in RussiaBrett James also shared the same opinion, ” Napoleon appeared to have made noeffort to discover the facts in Russia, or prepare his troops for it.” pg 140, 1812Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaAs Napoleon and his army was making their way to Moscow, theyencountered typhus, colds, and dysentery. Even the mighty Napoleon had caughta mild case of the flu. However, his soldiers had received the brunt of the attack.Captain Thomas- Joesph Aubry relives this ordeal, ” After this the typhus madeappalling inroads in our ranks. We were fourty-three officers in our ward.
All ofthem died, one after the other, and delirious from this dreadful disease, most ofthem singing, some in Latin, others in German, others again in Italian – and singingpsalms, canticles, or the mass.” pg 210, 1812 Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaGeneral Clausewitz wrote, ” The bad water and the air-borne insects causeddysentery, typhus, and diarrhea.” pg 136, The Campaign of 1812 in RussiaBrett James also wrote, ” Bad water, bad air, and bad sanitation all contributed tothe vile diseases.” pg 213 1812, Napoleon’s defeat in RussiaNapoleon had lost about 80,000 men altogether from diseases alone. But therewere some remedies for the sick, doctors provided gruel for the dysentery andwarm soup for the colds. Napoleon could have lowered the casualties if he hadbrought more doctors and more supplies.When Napoleon had finally reached Moscow, he discovered it deserted.
Two days later, a great fire broke out in Moscow, temporarily forcing Napoleonand some of his troops out of Moscow. If Napoleon had reached Moscow with at300,000 men instead of 90,000, he could have continued his campaign and defeatthe weakened Russian army. The Emperor could have reached Moscow with atleast 300,000 men if he had taken better care of his troops and had not foughtevery battle that he came across. Brett James shows that Napoleon regarded hisarmy as mere numbers and did not contemplate that they would be affected byhunger and fatigue.” He would not have lost a 100,000 men if he had not chosen on every occasion totake the bull by the horns.” pg 86, 1812 Napoleon’s Defeat in Russia” Moscow was a good weeks march away, but already the army was alreadydisintegrating through sheer hunger.” pg 147, 1812 Napoleon’s Defeat in RussiaGeneral Clausewitz also relates with Brett by declaring, ” He reached Moscowwith 90,000 men, he should have reached it with 300,000.
This would havehappened if he treated his army with more care and forbearance.” pg 255, TheCampaign of 1812 in RussiaIf Napoleon only had at least 300,000 men, he could have waited for supplieswith the comfort of knowing that he was safe. Instead, Napoleon retreated andallowed his army to slowly wither under the attack of the Russian guerrillas.
Therefore I have shown some reasons why Napoleon had lost theCampaign of 1812 to Russia. However, Napoleon did not lose the war out ofmilitary errors but of a simple miscalculation – a miscalculation that was made byHitler a century later. Napoleon believed that if he occupied Moscow, the Russiangovernment would collapse and he would rule Europe with little opposition.
Butas history reveals, this tactic does not work and Napoleon is defeated, paving theway for other nations to deny Napoleon’s lust for power.by Jung Soo Kima.k.a Dennis