Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/31519
Type of publication: Straipsnis / Article
Author(s): Nawrot, Dariusz
Title: Didžioji Armija Kaune ir jo apylinkėse 1812 m. birželį
Other Title: The Great Army in Kaunas and its surroundings in June 1812
Is part of: Kauno istorijos metraštis, 2013, nr. 13, p. 73-89
Date: 2013
Keywords: 1812 m. Rusijos–Prancūzijos karas;Didžioji armija;Kaunas;Miestiečiai;Napoleonas;Karinės operacijos;1812 Franco-Russian war;Great Army (Grande Armée);Townsmen;Napoleon I;Military operations
Abstract: For crossing the borders of Russia, Napoleon deliberately chose a place near Kaunas, convenient for bridge building. Napoleon admitted that specifically Kaunas surroundings suited all the necessary conditions for a successful military operation. In June 1812, the emperor of France was planning an unexpected appearance of the Great Army at the river Nemunas and the defeat of the Russian army located near Vilnius. However, the famine became a great threat to Napoleon’s solders by the time they reached the borders of the Russian Empire. The inability to ensure provision for the soldiers and horses already during the first days of the war appeared to be the major problem, which lead to the fall of discipline in the army, and the failure of the military operation. Due to the planned actions of the Russian Empire, Lithuanians could not supply the troops of the Great Army. The soldiers were taking food from the local people by force, the numbers of the deserters grew, and the marauding bands were devastating the country. When the Nemunas was crossed (24th of June), rainstorms began. The temperature dropped from 35°C to several degrees above zero. The horses could not endure this sudden change in temperature, thus the roads reminded of swamps full of the odour of decaying animals. Though the emperor took certain precautions, due to the shortage of food, sudden meteorological changes and the resulting fall of the discipline, the troops of the Great Army devastated Kaunas and its surroundings. Napoleon’s sudden manoeuvre and the crossing of the Nemunas only partially surprised the leadership of Russia, which was expecting similar actions. A planned and orderly retreat of the Russian army ruined Napoleon’s plan to defeat the enemy at the battle near Vilnius. The scattered Great Army was not able to pursue the army of Alexander I. Moreover, marauding soldiers changed the opinion of Lithuanians about the Great Army as the saviours from the Russian Empire. In this way, although the defeat of the military campaign was still distant, the happenings in the first occupied Lithuanian city, Kaunas, became a sign of the defeat of the Emperor of France in the war with Russia in 1812.
Internet: https://eltalpykla.vdu.lt/1/31519
https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12259/31519
Appears in Collections:Kauno istorijos metraštis 2013, nr. 13

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