Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kisah AKU n NTW : Napoleon's Invasion of Russia 1808

Peace treaty signed 2 years ago was actually the Emperor brilliant plan to mobilize his troops after defeating the Austrians and Prussians, while Ney and Besseries could concentrate on their march to Istanbul without being threaten by Kutuzov’s army. Lord Secretary of Army, Louis Alexander Berthier quickly proposed an invasion of England as Nelson’s ships was ordered by George III to assist the Russians, shall the French laid an invasion to her. Napoleon as being detailed about the invasion also ordered Berthier to prepare a plan to destroy Kingdom of Sicily and Naples. As a result, Marshal Nicolas Oudinot was given a task to invade England from Ireland, and then advanced towards Edinburgh. Marshal Victor Marie Moreau’s Army of Italia was being granted an access from Papal State to crush those two kingdoms.

Nicolas Oudinot managed to drive Alexander Abercrombie from Ireland and Scotland, but he suffered number of casualties, later he order his troops to rest and defend freshly captured Edinburgh. Far to the south, Italy – Moreau’s Army of Italia succeeded in capturing Naples and Sicily.

French-Russian border circa July 1808, a month before the invasion.

First France Empire (blue) and Russian Empire (green), before the invasion.

As being lay out by Berthier, an invasion of Russia was scheduled to take places before winter 1808 and a total number of 5 generals, a marshal and the Emperor himself needed to cover the whole Russians empire.

Army Corps A of the Army Group North command by General Edouard Mortier stationed at Konigsberg will advanced towards Courland and protects the left flank of the Army Group North.

Army Corps B of the Army Group North command by the Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte will leave their cantonment at Warsaw and then advance to the important city of Vilnius where a cream of the Imperial Russian Army stationed there.

Napoleon’s step son General Eugene de Beauharnais, commander of the Army Corps C of the North will secure the right flank of the army while make their way to Smolensk, deep into the Russian territory.

General Henri Francois Delaborde command the only corps of the Army Group Centre will act as reserve, shall one of the armies – North and South flank collapse but may receive an order to capture Minsk, the Russian supply depot at the heart of the empire.

Army Group South consisted of two corps – Army Group A led by General Jean Baptiste Besseries will protects Ney’s rear, shall Ney manage to capture Odessa unassisted, Besseries may turned left to Kiev.

Marshal Michel Ney, Hero of the Grand Armee will command the first corps of the Army Group South capture Odessa and make their way through Belgorod.

A special Polish corps commands by Polish commander, General Jozef Antoni Poniatowski will advance between Army Group Center and Army Group South from Krakow.

Army Group North, if they succeed on their objective – Moscow’s left flank and a portion of center will left expose.

Army Group Center, shall they manage to achieve on Berthier’s plan – both Napoleon and Ney able to receive reinforcement to strengthen their flank.

Army Group South, if Ney and Besseries able to cooperate well just like their campaign against the Ottoman, Moscow’s right flank will be on untenable position.

The French Navy under the command of Admiral Pierre Charles Villeneuve also being sent to protect the invasion from being hamper by Nelson’s ships.

The invasion begun on Early November 1808, the Russian winter unexpectedly arrive but Napoleon, fully aware about that ordered his corps to advanced towards Vilnius as soon as possible.

There, he defeated Russian marshal, Prince Pyotr Bagration in a furious hand to and fighting across the city.

To the north, Beauharnais destroyed a large number of Russian on the brilliant ambush near Polotsk .

Far to the south, Ney’s army managed to captured Odessa unassisted while Besseries crushed Kuznetsov’s near Kiev

Despite of heavy fighting of Napoleon, Beauharnais against the Russian– Mortier did not encounter heavy resistance and easily capture Courland.

On the center, Delaborde routed Paskevich’s army and advanced towards Minsk, due to miscommunication and bad weather – Poniatowski’s Polish Legion was separated from Delaborde and advanced towards Kiev before being encircled by Barclay De Tolly’s army.

On Late December 1808, the Polish Legion although being greatly outnumbered an outmatched – stood their ground and fends off a total of 4 squadron of Cossack.

De Tolly launched a full scale attack towards the Polish but despite their best effort – they failed to destroy the elite Polish Legion and being drove off. At the height of the battle, Poniatowski was being killed by a sniper, however, the Legion managed to capture Kamenets Podolsky.

Territorial changes on Late December 1808 after the first breakthrough launched by Napoleon.

The invasion stalled on Late December 1808 due to harsh winter, Napoleon gave an order to the entire armies to halt. Mortier continue to advance despite the winter and succeeded on captured St.Petersburg and Riga.

Beauharnais secured Smolensk on the Early February 1809 while Mortier who bravely command his army against the harsh winter successfully seized Novgorod and secured the French’s left flank on Late February 1809. Far to the south, Ney gave an order for Besseries to cover his advance to Moscow by taking Belgorod.

Moscow Guberniya was encircled by Napoleon, Beauharnais and Ney on Late March 1809,
Beauharnais drove back the Russian reinforcement under Miroslav Marin on Early April 1809, thus denied the only hope for Tsar Alexander to relieve the city.

While led the charge of 200 French heavy cavalry against Kutuzov army at the outskirt of Guberniya, Marshal Ney was being killed when his ribs struck by a cannon shot from Unicorn battery. Napoleon felt so sad about the incident on Early May 1809 which killed his best Marshal and then start to mobilize his troops against the defender of Moscow.

Finally, the campaign concluded in the aftermath of the fall of Moscow by Napoleon on Late May 1809

The fall of the Russian Empire – Vive Le France, Vive Le Emperuer.

Continue: now Napoleon’s must turn his vision against George III and England. The sole remaining enemy of the mighty France Empire.

Rest in Peace.

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