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Berezina

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Berezina by J.E. van Embden Book Summary:

December 1840 - When Napoleon’s ashes are returned to Paris for reinterment in Les Invalides, Cornelius Spijker is reminded of a battle he’s spent his life trying to forget. But as the crowds cheer the rebirth of a legend, he is forced to confront the brutal realities of his past. November 1812 - In the final stages of the retreat from Moscow, soldiers from Europe’s least martial nation must build a bridge across the near impassable River Berezina. With little by way of equipment and material, it’s an almost impossible task, but if they fail, final annihilation awaits the remnants of Napoleon’s once mighty Grande Armée and the thousands of women and children who follow in its wake.In the struggle to survive, three Dutchmen play very different roles – Spijker, risking his life and sanity to build the vital bridges; Piet Kral, a war weary veteran who, despite his best efforts, cannot escape the call to arms; and Guido Demelle, a ruthless careerist who will stop at nothing to achieve his own ends.

Beyond the Berezina

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Beyond the Berezina by Glenn Kinyon Book Summary:

Captives are marched naked through the snow at 20 below; men are roasted on spits, buried alive or forced under the ice to drown; mothers strangle their own children out of mercy;suicide pistol-shots ring out like the bells of a crumbling Orthodox monastery—the world of “War and Peace” is something darker than Tolstoy would have us know. With Moscow incinerated and Napoleon ordering an evacuation of his occupying army, American-born Khristina Hess joins her fellow actors of the French theater and thousands of other Muscovites in the great exodus from war-torn Russia. She is soon separated from her group and left to her own ingenuities to survive in the freezing, starving convoy. Sir Malcolm has lived in Moscow since fleeing the Irish Rebellion after a British officer discovered his status as the rebellion’s mastermind. His Moscow home and factory in ruins, he has organized a convoy of his staff and employees—including his colorful, cudgel-to-skull Irish Catholic manservant, Thady, and his secretly-blue-blooded, love-struck Russian stable girl, Valeriya—to follow Napoleon’s retreating train, hoping to rebuild in Paris. Russian villagers and Cossacks attack the refugees relentlessly, stealing supplies and marching captives off to their deaths. When a band of Cossacks surrounds Khristina’s wagon, she expends her ammunition in a fight for her life. Malcolm disperses her assailants after stumbling upon the scene. She joins his convoy and nature takes its course between them. Malcolm’s entourage is likewise attacked, but these marauders aren’t coming for his supplies or people—they’re coming for him. When he captures an attacker, he learns that a Russian general has placed a bounty on him. But no one knows why. He gets his answer when Khristina goes missing. It’s now his life for hers. His past has caught up with him.Beyond the Berezina is the story of an epic journey, based on the diaries, journals and memoirs of those who survived the 1812 nightmare of Napoleon's exodus from a war-wasted Russia. The account includes historically-precise appearances of several true characters, such as Tsar Alexander I and Napoleon. It presumes to fill in the blanks of a number of history's mysteries; Alexander's alter ego, to name one. While the story-line and lead characters are fictional, the scenes they witness and the events that transform them are true.

Berezina 3. Snowfall

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Berezina 3. Snowfall by Richaud Book Summary:

In attempting to extend his fledgling empire eastward into Russia, Napoleon has misjudged both the enemy and the weather. Avoiding direct conflict, the Russian army frustrates his every move with "guerilla" tactics; it seems whichever way he turns, the Russians are lying in wait. As if that weren't enough to contend with, winter has arrived with a vengeance and the French forces are literally freezing to death. Must Napoleon admit defeat or sacrifice still more men to his dream of glory? Whatever he decides, he must cross the Berezina river--and the only bridge is in enemy hands...

Berezina (French Edition)

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Berezina (French Edition) by Sylvain Tesson Book Summary:

Des fulgurances littéraires sur fond d'histoire et d'autodérision, Sylvain Tesson signe un grand texte. Le lecteur, embarqué dans cette effraction du temps, enjambe les siècles, dans une épopée carnavalesque et réjouissante.En octobre 1812, littéralement piégé dans Moscou en flammes, Napoléon replie la Grande Armée vers la France. Commence la retraite de Russie, l'une des plus tragiques épopées de l'histoire humaine. La retraite est une course à la mort, une marche des fous, une échappée d'enfer. Deux cents ans plus tard, je décide de répéter l'itinéraire de l'armée agonisante, de ces cavaliers désarçonnés, de ces fantassins squelettiques, de ces hommes à plumets qui avaient préjugé de l'invincibilité de l'Aigle. Le géographe Cédric Gras, le photographe Thomas Goisque et deux amis russes, Vassili et Vitaly, sont de la partie. Pour l'aventure, nous enfourchons des side-cars soviétiques de marque Oural. Au long de quatre mille kilomètres, en plein hiver, nous allons dérouler le fil de la mémoire entre Moscou et Paris où l'Empereur arrivera le 15 XII 1812, laissant derrière lui son armée en lambeaux. Le jour, les mains luisantes de cambouis, nous lisons les Mémoires du général de Caulaincourt. Le soir, nous nous assommons de vodka pour éloigner les fantômes. Napoléon était-il un antéchrist qui précipita l'Europe dans l'abîme ou bien un visionnaire génial dont le seul tort fut de croire qu'il suffisait de vouloir pour triompher et que les contingences se pliaient toujours aux rêves ? Mais très vite, nous devons abandonner ces questions métaphysiques car un cylindre vient de rendre l'âme, la nuit tombe sur la Biélorussie et trois foutus camions polonais sont déjà en travers de la route.

Berezina (French Edition)

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Berezina (French Edition) by Sylvain Tesson Book Summary:

Il y a deux siècles, des mecs rêvaient d'autre chose que du haut-débit. Ils étaient prêts à mourir pour voir scintiller les bulbes de Moscou. Tout commence en 2012 : Sylvain Tesson décide de commémorer à sa façon le bicentenaire de la retraite de Russie. Refaire avec ses amis le périple de la Grande Armée, en side-car ! De Moscou aux Invalides, plus de quatre mille kilomètres d'aventures attendent ces grognards contemporains.

Berezina - Volume 1 - The Fire (Bérézina)

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Berezina - Volume 1 - The Fire (Bérézina) by Richaud Book Summary:

In 1812, in order to keep his stranglehold on Europe, Napoleon had no choice but to declare war on the Russian emperor, Alexander. After three months of marching, his men, starved and exhausted, finally made it to Moscow... only to discover that the city had been deserted. Thus Napoleon and his army took up residence in the Russian capital without even the slightest resistance. But by nightfall, Moscow was on fire. Houses, churches and even the Kremlin were ablaze, and the entire French army risked being reduced to ashes. Caught in the trap, Napoleon was forced to leave the city and get back on the road to face his enemy.

The Battle of the Berezina: Napoleon's Great Escape

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The Battle of the Berezina: Napoleon's Great Escape by Alexander Mikaberidze Book Summary:

In the winter of 1812, Napoleon's army retreated from Moscow under appalling conditions, hunted by three separate Russian armies, its chances of survival apparently nil. By late November Napoleon had reached the banks of the River Berezina - the last natural obstacle between his army and the safety of the Polish frontier. But instead of finding the river frozen solid enough to march his men across, an unseasonable thaw had turned the Berezina into an icy torrent. Having already ordered the burning of his bridging equipment, Napoleon's predicament was serious enough: but with the army of Admiral Chichagov holding the opposite bank, and those of Kutusov and Wittgenstein closing fast, it was critical. Only a miracle could save him ... In a gripping narrative Alexander Mikaberidze describes how Napoleon rose from the pit of despair to the peak of his powers in order to achieve that miracle. Drawing on contemporary sources - letters, diaries, memoirs - he recreates one of the greatest escapes in military history - a story often half-told in general histories of the Russian campaign but never before fully explored.

The Battle of the Berezina: Napoleon's Great Escape

Berezina [Pdf/ePub] eBook

The Battle of the Berezina: Napoleon's Great Escape by Alexander Mikaberidze Book Summary:

In the winter of 1812, Napoleon's army retreated from Moscow under appalling conditions, hunted by three separate Russian armies, its chances of survival apparently nil. By late November Napoleon had reached the banks of the River Berezina - the last natural obstacle between his army and the safety of the Polish frontier. But instead of finding the river frozen solid enough to march his men across, an unseasonable thaw had turned the Berezina into an icy torrent. Having already ordered the burning of his bridging equipment, Napoleon's predicament was serious enough: but with the army of Admiral Chichagov holding the opposite bank, and those of Kutusov and Wittgenstein closing fast, it was critical. Only a miracle could save him ... In a gripping narrative Alexander Mikaberidze describes how Napoleon rose from the pit of despair to the peak of his powers in order to achieve that miracle. Drawing on contemporary sources - letters, diaries, memoirs - he recreates one of the greatest escapes in military history - a story often half-told in general histories of the Russian campaign but never before fully explored.REVIEWS “In a gripping narrative, Alexander Mikaberidze describes how Napoleon rose from the pit of despair to the peak of his powers… Drawing on contemporary sources- letters, diaries, memoirs, he recreates one of the greatest escapes in military history- a story often half-told in general histories of the Russian campaign but never fully explored.” Spartacus Review, 04/2010

Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon's Epic Fail

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Berezina: From Moscow to Paris Following Napoleon's Epic Fail by Sylvain Tesson Book Summary:

Lire Magazine Best Travel BookTake four friends, put them on two Ural motorcycles (complete with sidecars), send them off on a 2,500-mile odyssey retracing history’s most famous retreat, add what some might consider an excessive amount of Vodka, and you’ve got Sylvain Tesson’s Berezina, a riotous and erudite book that combines travel, history, comradery, and adventure. The retreat of Napoleon’s Grande Armée from Russia culminated, after a humiliating loss, with the crossing of the River Berezina, a word that henceforth became synonymous with unmitigated disaster for the French and national pride for the Russians. Two hundred years after this battle, Sylvain Tesson and his friends retrace Napoleon’s retreat, along the way reflecting on the lessons of history, the meaning of defeat, and the realities of contemporary Europe. A great read for history buffs and for anyone who has ever dreamed of an adventure that is out of the ordinary.

Crossing the Berezina: A Victory During the Retreat (Great Battles of the First Empire)

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Crossing the Berezina: A Victory During the Retreat (Great Battles of the First Empire) by François-Guy Hourtoulle Book Summary:

Napoleon had failed to tame the Russian Bear and winter made that dream impossible. The Grande Armee was retreating under constant attack from the Cossacks. The Berezina was the last obstacle that had to be crossed. Discover how this terrible episode was a true victory for French military genius.