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Osprey Warrior 51 : Russian Grenadiers and Infantry 1799-1815

The Russian army of the Napoleonic wars is arguably one of the most important of the period, and yet one of the least written about. The army that embarked on the European war in 1799 was hopelessly outdated, due to the backward military thinking of Czar Paul I. Following his murder, radical changes and modernisation were instigated. The Russian army was as vast as the territory from which it was drawn. A common assumption is that the officer class was dull and unenlightened - but the bravery of the fighting men countered this. Inspired by the icons paraded by their priests before battle, the Russian infantry were capable of astonishing feats and total, blind obedience to orders. Sir Robert Wilson, who campaigned with them, is often quoted: 'The infantry is generally composed of athletic men between the ages of 18 and 40, endowed with great bodily strength, but generally of short stature, with martial countenance and complexion; inured to extremes of weather and hardship; to the worst and scantiest food; to marches for days and nights, of four hours' repose and six hours' progress; accustomed to laborious toils, and the carriage of heavy burdens; ferocious, but disciplined; obstinately brave, and susceptible of enthusiastic excitements; devoted to their sovereign, their chief, and their country.'. This book provides a fact-filled and vivid account of life in the Russian infantry at the turbulent turn of the 19th century. It details recruitment, training, equipment, tactics and both the common and exceptional experiences of the ordinary soldier, in daily life and on campaign. Text by Laurence Spring with illustrations by Bill Younghusband.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Conscription
  • Training
  • Drill
  • Discipline and Punishment
  • Pay and Provision
  • Appearance
  • Daily Life
  • On Campaign
  • Tactics
  • The Soldier in Battle
  • Casualties
  • Parades
  • Aftermath
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Museums and Collections
  • Colour Plate Commentary
  • Index

 

Osprey Warrior


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