An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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In pictures : The crossing of the bridge at Arcole - Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile
Dossier thématiques : A close-up on: the Mexican campaign, 1862-1867
Bibliographies : The Mexican campaign, 1862-1867


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A timeline, an article or two, some biographies, a few images, and a bibliography, in short a close-up on a topic related to the First and Second French Empires. You can search for other close-ups either by keyword or by theme.

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A close-up on: Napoleon's Russian campaign - 1 - the march to the Niemen


Introduction | Commentary | Timeline | Biographies


The first in our three-part extended close-up of Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812 traces the build-up to the monumental conflict that would signal the beginning of the end for the French emperor. The war that saw Napoleon march about four hundred thousand troops - gathered from all over the empire and its allied states - across the Niemen and into the heartland of Russia was the result of a gradual deterioration in the Franco-Russian relationship, officially established after the Treaty of Tilsit. Russian concerns over France's involvement in Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire were exacerbated by Napoleon's Continental Blockade, which, coupled with Alexander's refusal to fall in with Napoleon's wishes, ensured that nothing but mutual suspicion reigned. As emperor and tsar sought to outmanoeuvre one another diplomatically, military preparations began in earnest.



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