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With Napoleon in Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Faber Du Faur, 1812 [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Christian Wilhelm Von Faber Du Faur


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This handsome book is a unique record of Napoleon's invasion of Russia by Faber du Faur, a talented artist and front-line soldier. It combines his detailed, accurate and compelling illustrations of scenes recorded as they actually happened with his vivid and gripping memoirs of the campaign. The result is a superb and remarkably detailed evocation of 1812, from the sweeping battle scenes which capture the ordeal of Smolensk and Borodino, to the day-to-day struggle to keep campfires burning and famished men fed. Faber du Faur's plates - admired and highly-regarded primary source material - are here presented, for the first time, complete and in full colour. His moving and frank memoirs, edited and translated by Jonathan North, are accompanied by a detailed campaign history and biography of the artist. Napoleon's invasion of Russia is a legendary campaign and a captivating story of endurance, survival and the rigours of total war. Few of the 500,000 men to cross the Niemen in July 1812 were to survive - the French army was decimated by the advance into the heart of Russia, and almost completely destroyed in the epic retreat from Moscow.

With Napoleon in Russia is a unique presentation of this epic and an unforgettable depiction of the horrors of war.


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Amazon.com: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  6 Rezensionen
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen At Last! 1. Oktober 2001
Von Digby Smith - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I first saw a collection of these justifiably famous plates - alas, only in black and white - over 30 years ago and was at once struck by the great dramatic style, artistry and accuracy of the subjects portrayed. Anyone who has travelled in Russia will at once recognize the style of the wooden houses which can still be found there today. The author has captured the scale, drama and pathos of this historic campaign in a singularly effective and immediate manner, almost with the character of a modern war correspondent`s camera. The text sets the locations for all the pictures and is an invaluable adjunct to them. This book is a show-stopper. Greenhill are to be congratulated for publishing this work and making such rare witnesses to history available to a wide public. Jonathan North is also to be congratulated for his efforts in his handling of the translation of the text. It was worth waiting all this time to have the chance to acquire such an important historical document. Well done again! Digby Smith.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Great visuals 17. Juni 2008
Von danny boy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
The earlier two reviews are by established authors in the Napoleonic field.
This is actually a very nice pictorial book depicting numerous scenes as recorded by an artist Faber du Faur who accompanied Napoleon on that fateful 1812 campaign. The collected rare pictures are worth the price of the book alone. This book should be on hand when reading any other text on the 1812 campaign as it heightens the reading pleasure.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen With the Wurttemberg Artillery in Russia... 7. September 2001
Von Kevin F. Kiley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
With Napoleon in Russia by Wilhelm Faber du Faur, translated and edited by Jonathan North is one of the best memoirs of the ill-fated Russian campaign of 1812. This version is magnificent in that there are 93 full color paintings by the author, in addition to the written narrative, an eye-witness memoir of the campaign. This memoir is a gold mine of information, and covers it from muzzle to butt plate.

Faber du Faur was a lieutenant in the Württemberg artillery assigned to Ney's III Corps, in the Württemberg 25th Division. He was with the Grande Armee from the first, crossing the Nieman with his battery, through the long march to Moscow, fighting at Smolensk and Valutino, and on to Borodino. In Moscow, he saw all the bitterness of the fire (deliberately set by the half-insane mayor of the city before the French came in), the helpless plight of the Russian civilians, and the beginnings of the great and terrible retreat. He chronicles the dissolution of the army along its route of march out of Russia, and all the horror of the crossing of the Berezina.

He also notes with pride the successes the Grande Armee achieved, terming several of them 'glorious', as well as the problems encountered both on the way in and the retreat out of Russia. He also notes how the remnants of the Grande Armee fought their way out of the trap at the Berezina, the stern, greatly respected Eble building his bridges as the army fought its way through Tshitshagov's army on the other side of the river.

Faber du Faur's anecdotes and narrative are fascinating. Describing an artillery fight outside the walls of Smolensk, he describes the ricochet fire of the Russian artillery and how it was successfully dodged by the Württemberg gunners. What amazed them, and that hadn't been taken into account, was, because they had the city walls behind them, the roundshot bounced off the walls and came back at them, causing some casualties. The narrative of the Württemberg infantry fairly rescuing Murat and defeating the Russian cavalry at Borodino is dramatic and lively. The color plates that accompany these two descriptions are among the best of the collection.

The author's depiction of the French and allied troops is interesting. The French infantry is pictured in the pre-1812 uniforms, settling that long argument, and his depiction of horses and gun teams is also excellent, the detail of the horse harness particularly noteworthy. Two other interesting pictorials are of great interest. Napoleon is pictured no less than four times, and in no picture is he painted as being stout. That flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and Faber du Faur doesn't seem to be one to flatter unnecessarily. The other interesting picture is of a carabinier in campaign uniform, which is light blue instead of white, which was the undress uniform.

The paintings pull no punches, nor does the narrative. Losses are always described as heavy and debilitating (the death of the able, respected Gudin of Davout's I Corps is mentioned at the Battle of Valutino). The more gruesome side of warfare, death and civilian suffering, are also pictured throughout the text, the pictures of the aftermath of Borodino being particularly gruesome.

Another item is of great interest. In one of the paintings of the fighting in and around Smolensk there is an excellent rendering of troops fighting in skirmish order. The infantry are fighting in pairs, their officer and his drummer behind them controlling the action. This is textbook open order fighting and is interesting as both an observation and a testament.

This version of Faber du Faur's memoir is a true tour de force, and one that will remain a standard reference for years to come. It belongs on the bookshelves of all historians, wargamers, and modellers, as well as all students of this fascinating period. This volume has added greatly to our knowledge of the period and it is one of the best books on the Russian campaign available. This volume is enthusiastically recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Addition of Historic Detail for the Bicentennial 21. Juli 2012
Von Lee B Croft - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Because we are now as I write this (July 20, 2012) daily going through the bicentennial of Napoleon Bonaparte's Grande Armee's disastrous invasion into Russia in 1812, I decided to treat myself by ordering from Amazon two of Jonathan North's wonderfully presented books of first-hand illustrations of the campaign. First, here is the publication by Greenhill Books of London and Stackpole Books of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, of Lieutenant Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur's (1780-1857) sketches...and colorized plates from the sketches...together with North's able translation of Faber du Faur's journal commentary. North's foreword and introductions are concise, accurate, and superbly written. I can only agree with the other reviewers here that this book is a valuable historical treasure, filled with visual detail preserved for posterity. My purpose here is to add a thought about reviewer Kiley's statement that the "paintings pull no punches." Certainly the horrors are mostly shown, but there are still others relatively untreated. I'm thinking here about the consensus of scholars today that epidemic typhus killed even more French and Russian soldiers and citizens during the campaign than combat did. The historical sources DO mention this disease, but don't focus sufficient attention on it. The body lice Pediculi humanus, carrying the Rickettsia prowazekii organism, were a really major cause of the campaign's horrific death toll. I refer the reader here to Robert K. D. Peterson's American Entomology article, "Insects, Disease, and Military History: The Napoleonic Campaigns and Historical Perception," accessible online at <...>. The rank-and-file soldiers of both sides endured the entire six month campaign without bathing or changing clothes while in contact with flea, lice, tick, and roach-infested Russian villages and villagers. The lice infestation was rife virtually to the point of unanimity and was more destructive of life than even the Russian winter cold. Also, the route of the French march back out of Russia took their soldiers back through the battlefields, like Borodino, that they had experienced on the way in. And the bodies of both men and horses were, by and large, not removed, but were rotting in the field, teeming with maggots and raising such a stench that they couldn't be sanely approached. Frankly, I don't see this horror depicted in the works of the illustrators Jonathan North presents. They do their best to "pull no punches" in their depictions, but how does one sketch a smell? Also, we see no graphic depiction of cannibalism, yet we see it mentioned often in the memoirs of those who were there. What is depicted in this book is accurate and valuable to us indeed, but ALL the horror just isn't here. Perhaps it can't be.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent pictorial of Napoleon's greatest tradegy 4. November 2011
Von Andrew Migliore - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
With Napoleon in Russia is a very handsome book using the illustrations by Faber du Faur showing the consequences of Napoleon's disastrous march to Moscow and back again. It is a unique record and really gives you a feel of the ordeal the soldiers lived through or died from. The book is also an excellent accompaniment to probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, the map by Charles Joseph Minard visualizing the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in that fateful Russian campaign of 1812. Recommended.
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