How the Russians Managed to Defeat Napoleon's Grand Army

May 6th, 2015
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Several historians have similar beliefs as to why the Russians managed to defeat Napoleon. However, different historians place more weight to some reasons than others. In this essay I will present the viewpoints of three different historians, Lefebvre, Thompson, and Connelly, and discuss what they argue are the chief reasons for the defeat of Napoleon.

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How the Russians Managed to Defeat Napoleon's Grand ArmySeveral historians have similar beliefs as to why the Russians managed to defeat Napoleon. However, different historians place more weight to some reasons than others. In this essay I will present the viewpoints of three different historians, Lefebvre, Thompson, and Connelly, and discuss what they argue are the chief reasons for the defeat of Napoleon. This essay will also present the viewpoints of a Napoleonic foot soldier and compare and contrast the viewpoints of the Napoleonic foot soldier to that of the historians. After examining the three different historians viewpoints and comparing them to the viewpoint of the Napoleonic foot soldier, I argue that the Russians managed to defeat Napoleon's grand army during the Russian campaign of 1812 because the Russians repeatedly retreated deeper into Russia and because of the harsh conditions of the Russian winter. Napoleon's grand army was twice the size of any other army Napoleon had ever commanded (Connelly, 1999). According to Connelly (1999), it was Napoleon's hope that the size of his army would be so great that it would intimidate Alexander and as a result Alexander would make terms with him without a fight. However, this was not the case (Connelly, 1999). Of the roughly 600,000 troops that followed Napoleon into Russia, fewer than 100,000 made it out (Thompson, 1958). The Russians had managed to defeat Napoleon's grand army. The czar of Russia, Alexander, rec

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