Russian Campaign, French Campaign 1812-1814

Bernard-Édouard Swebach, The retreat of Russia, 1838, photograph taken and posted online by Yelkrokoyade for the exhibition Les désastres de la guerre 1800-2014 [The Disasters of War 1800-2014], Musée Louvre-Lens. Loan from the musée des beaux-arts de Besançon, March 2015


The Russian campaign that began in June 1812 and ended in mid-December was—in spite of the troops committed to it—a catastrophe for the Grande Armée, which confronted both huge logistical problems as well as the resistance and patriotism of Russian troops. In January 1814, carried by the success of the German campaign, coalition troops penetrated into France. The campaign would prove to be fierce but short. On March 31, Alexander I entered Paris, which was a prelude to Napoleon’s abdication on April 6.