-On This Day in War History-
In 1812, French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte launched his disastrous invasion of Russia in order to pressure Alexander I to stop trading with British merchants so the UK would sue for peace with France. Scorched-earth tactics were employed by the Russians consistently during the invasion, and as a result the French found it difficult to supply their massive army.
NAPOLEON CANNON, FRANCE 1806
Napoleon cannon, manufactured by Gribeauval, 1806
As Napoléon approached Moscow, Fyodor Rostopchin who was the Governor-General of the city, ordered several important buildings be burned. Most buildings in Moscow were made of wood, so what started as a series of small fires quickly turned into a city-wide conflagration.
NAPOLEON POWDER FLASK (19TH C.)€25.21 +VAT
Napoleon’s Dagger (France) – Nickel – Letter Opener.€14.28 +VAT
Napoleon’s Dagger (France) – Brass – Letter Opener.€14.28 +VAT
Napoleon entered the Kremlin on September 15, and was later relocated as the fires threatened the complex. The French army occupied the city for a month, waiting for a peace offer from the Tsar, which never came. It is estimated that 3/4 of all buildings in Moscow were destroyed, and more than 12,000 were dead. The French were devastated in Russia; their army was reduced to a fraction of its strength, and Napoléon’s reputation was significantly weakened.
Great Fire of Moscow burns out after 5 days, 75% of the city destroyed and 12,000 killed