September 2, 2007 cameron

#27 – War of the Sixth Coalition

In our mighty 27th episode, almost another full 90 minutes, David and I look at the events leading to the War of the Sixth Coalition.

After the terrible losses Napoleon suffered on his “strategic withdrawal” from Russia, his political position in Europe was significantly weakened. In 1813, Prussia, who had been an ally of France since Prussia’s humiliating defeat in 1806, joined the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain and Portugal in The Sixth Coalition against Napoleonic France. This lead to the Battle of Dresden on 26–27 August 1813 where Napoleon had a terrific return to form, soundly defeating the combined forces of his enemies.

I must show you this marvelous photograph of David modeling the wonderful range of Napoleon 101 clothing available only at The Napoleon 101 Store
J. David Markham



Comments (12)

  1. Minh

    Hey Cam,
    I think you forgot to add this podcast as an “enclosure” in the feed. I don’t see the Google Reader default player. If that’s the case, iTunes may not download it automatically either.

  2. Cameron

    Minh, there seems to be an enclosure in the post and it seems to be working in iTunes and Netvibes. I tried loading it in Google Reader but their new interface isn’t working for me. Are you still having problems?

  3. Minh

    OK. I see. I took a look at the RSS XML source myself, and I do see that tag. It’s interesting how Google Reader doesn’t pick that up. Strange. It’s just an inconvenience for me. No biggie.

  4. Great podcast as ever guys. And a really illuminating one. I had always had the idea that the Napoleonic wars ended like WWII with a steady grinding advance along the Eastern front all the way to Paris. I had just assumed that Napoleon had lost his army in the snow and had no resources left. I have also had to revise my opinon about him abandoning the army. What I had taken to be an unforgivable act of betrayal seems to have been perfectly understandable in the context.

    I also hadn’t realised that he had a negotiated peace option at this stage either. Though having said that, I cannot imagine that the English would have been happy with Napoleonas a neighbour under any circumstances.

  5. Colin,

    Thanks for the kind comments. I think lots of people make the assumption that Napoleon was finished after Russia. But he had a lot of life left in him and with a few more horses or, better yet, with a bit more loyalty from his father-in-law and his brother-in-law, he might well have stopped the Russian advance and been able to continue in power. If he could have negotiated a peace on reasonable terms that didn’t include giving up everything gained since he became First Consul, that might have isolated Great Britain and forced her to come to terms with Napoleonic France. Who knows how that would have worked out, but it would have been better for all of Europe had it been successfully tried. Napoleon’s ultimate defeat didn’t do anyone but the old regimes any good; certainly not the people!

  6. Trevor Hardcastle

    Have you already talked about Kutuzov’s death?

    In the book “Moscow in Flames” written by Gregory Danilevsky there is a passage where Napoleon handles powers to Murat claiming that he had to go to Paris to raise another 300 000 army. Did this happen?

    By the way, this book is regarded as a historic one. Unlike War and Peace, it has Russians burning the Moscow under the orders of Rastopchin.


  7. Fiona

    There seems to be a problem through iItunes, it only dowloaded 41 minutes of the last podcast, and cut off in mid sentece. Is it just me?

  8. Fiona

    There seems to be a problem through iItunes, it only dowloaded 41 minutes of the last podcast, and cut off in mid sentece. Is it just me?

    PS I read War and PEace last Summer and I’m pretty sure it said the Russians burnt Moscow

  9. Cameron

    I think the file’s okay Fiona. Although we’ve had some server downtime over the last couple of days, perhaps your download might have been cut off during that? If so, sincere apologies. You can manually download it from the “download link”.

    Anyone else having problems?

  10. How the hell is it possible to train a horse to not freak out in the face of cannon fire? Do you give the horses opium? what is it?

    If I was a horse and things started exploding around me, I’d buck that silly simian off my back and run for the hills!

  11. Andrew Leeming

    I have a copy of Marshall Grouchy’s account of the Waterloo campaign (privately printed). have you ever seen it, and, if so, do you have any views as to Grouchy’s own account of his action (or inaction?)



  12. Cameron

    Andrew – wow! No, I havent seen it, don’t know about David. How does he defend himself?

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