Napoleon Bonaparte's Greatest Mistake

The French invasion of Russia of 1812 was known as Napoleon Bonaparte’s Greatest Mistake. It made French and France’s ally’s armies much smaller and weaker and France lost its dominant place in the continent. France was weakened so much, Prussia and Austria were encouraged to break their alliance with France.


During the year of 1811 Napoleon had an alliance with Russia. Throughout the year tensions were increasing between the two nations. Alexander I, the Czar of Russia had pressure being put on him from Russian Nobility to end the alliance with Napoleon. Napoleon also had similar feelings of ending the alliance with Russia because of some of the actions Russia took did not ...

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some sort of military formation, with perhaps another 35,000 stragglers, for a total of less than 70,000 known survivors.

Russian Imperial Army

The forces immediately facing Napoleon consisted of three armies comprising 175,250 Russians and 15,000 Cossacks. Thus, the grand total of all the forces was 488,000 men, of which about 428,000 gradually came into action against the Grand Army. This bottom line, however, includes more than 80,000 Cossacks and militiamen, as well as about 20,000 men who garrisoned the fortresses in the operational area.

Sweden, Russia's only ally, did not send supporting troops. But the alliance made it possible to withdraw the 45,000 men from Finland.


The invasion commenced on June 1812. Napoleon had sent a final offer of peace to Saint Petersburg shortly before commencing operations. He never received a reply, so he gave the order to proceed into Russian Poland. He initially met little resistance and moved quickly into the enemy's ...

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Napoleon Bonaparte's Greatest Mistake. (2011, September 20). Retrieved October 23, 2018, from
"Napoleon Bonaparte's Greatest Mistake.", 20 Sep. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2018. <>
"Napoleon Bonaparte's Greatest Mistake." September 20, 2011. Accessed October 23, 2018.
"Napoleon Bonaparte's Greatest Mistake." September 20, 2011. Accessed October 23, 2018.
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Added: 9/20/2011 10:48:39 AM
Submitted By: momo3420
Category: European History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1041
Pages: 4

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