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The Cut Out Girl. A Chill in the Air.

A Unique Eyewitness Account of the Face of Battle from Inside the Ranks of Bonaparte’s Grand Army

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Read it Forward Read it first. Stay in Touch Sign up. We are experiencing technical difficulties. The narrative begins by conveying the life most soldiers experienced at this time in history, hurry-up-and-wait, uneventful. But as he moves into Russia, the horrors begin -- hunger, cold and the extroardinary inhumanity that followed.

Walter witness It is very unusual to find the memoirs of a foot soldier from the Napoleonic Wars. Walter witnesses the looting of the lame and weak by their fellow soldiers, the starvation, the disolution of Napoleon's forces.

DIARY OF A NAPOLEONIC FOOT SOLDIER

Hell on Earth was unleashed and Walter -- who was a devout Roman Catholic -- shares his experiences. He was an exceptional writer considering his station in life relatively uneducated draftee. All in all, a highly interesting insight into why the old saw of "never fighting a land battle against Russia in winter" is all too true. Oct 10, James rated it it was amazing Shelves: Choose a time to rad this void of distractions.

I could not stop reading this account. The human will to live is amazing. Jun 30, Jessica rated it liked it Shelves: Clunky translation from the original German and an unneeded section on authentication.

DIARY OF A NAPOLEONIC FOOT SOLDIER by Jakob Walter | oxivecakyhub.ga: Books

Otherwise an interesting perspective from the average soldier. Dec 18, Holly rated it it was amazing Shelves: It was fascinating to see familiar soldier behaviors like rifle pyramids, quartering, and soldier misery. However, this goes beyond standard soldier misery to the truly harrowing. Oct 09, Dave rated it it was amazing. My bellwether for misery has always been "Well, it was worse for Napoleon's men on the retreat from Moscow.


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  7. Sep 21, Rob Markley rated it really liked it Shelves: Another good Napoleonic memoir. This one probably less appealing to me than some even though it follows the main Napoleon thread better. Mar 04, Mike B rated it really liked it. Apr 16, Sean rated it liked it.

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    I am currently slogging through Adam Zamoyski's , which is a Antony Beevor-esq "topdown" overview of the whole sorry war. War must be awful yes, full points for that statement, I know , ping-ponging from terrifying, generally unpleasant, "why do all these people hate me" fighting to, well, tedium, as you wait for people to try to kill you again or spend days traveling to your next battlefield, where you get to wait for peopl I am currently slogging through Adam Zamoyski's , which is a Antony Beevor-esq "topdown" overview of the whole sorry war. War must be awful yes, full points for that statement, I know , ping-ponging from terrifying, generally unpleasant, "why do all these people hate me" fighting to, well, tedium, as you wait for people to try to kill you again or spend days traveling to your next battlefield, where you get to wait for people to try to kill you again.

    Couple that with Russia's famously warm and hospitable weather, and you've got all the ingredients for a stellar shit sandwich. Most of Jakob's diary are his stories as he meandered from one site to the next, the scrounging he had to do to survive and the efforts he had to go to to make sure his "comrades in arms" didn't nick his food. Every war story we see nowadays runs on the backbone of mateship and "struggling together". Jakob considered it a bonus if they didn't hospitalise him before stealing his bread.

    The nadir of the poor bastard's story is his joy at acquiring some fat to add to his otherwise featureless soup but hey, it was food at least The half-dozen or so letters at the end also provided a more "immediate" picture of Napoleon's little ego-trip, as other soldiers try to console family members that they're well or, at least, not dead and bless em not just write "I want to go home " over and over for 4 pages. Ahh, the poor bloody infantry. We normally view the war experience from the perspective of generals, great strategists, and politicians who invent euphemisms to allay our fears.

    See Paul Fussell's Wartime for more examples. There are few books showing what war was like from the perspective of the grunt most were killed for one thing. This manuscript was discovered at the University of Kansas several years ago. Walter was a stone mason who was conscript We normally view the war experience from the perspective of generals, great strategists, and politicians who invent euphemisms to allay our fears. Walter was a stone mason who was conscripted by Napoleon.

    He served in three campaigns that he describes in a reportorial fashion in this short book. The most harrowing of the three was the retreat from Moscow.

    Napoleon had developed an intricate and reliable logistical system for delivering ammunition and weapons to the soldiers at the front. Soldiers were expected to buy their own food from local merchants or sutlers who followed the army. This usually worked reasonably well especially when supplemented with occasional marauding raids. During the Russian campaign it failed miserably because of the slash and burn campaign of the retreating Russians who left nothing in their wake. Whatever food was found was given to the French Imperial Guard troops.

    Unfortunately our hero was a German conscript. His tales of searching for food and clothing during the bitter winter are heartrending. Of , troops Napoleon took with him to Russia only 25, returned. Aug 30, Stephanie rated it really liked it Shelves: This was such an interesting book to read. It was an assignment for one of my history classes but I picked it out of a long list. I was expecting this to be a book that just spouted out information that would totally just go in one ear and out the other.

    However, I am pleased to say that that was not the case. I absolutely loved this book. The fact that Walter was able to account for all this after it happened is amazing. He gives such detailed and graphic scenes that you can almost picture it r This was such an interesting book to read. He gives such detailed and graphic scenes that you can almost picture it right in front of you - as much as you don't want to.

    It was such a great insight to what it was like for Napoleon's soldiers while they traveled on their various campaigns. I would recommend this book to history lovers because it doesn't necessarily feel like a history book. It just feels like a piece of fiction but you are learning this little sliver of history through the eyes of a foot solider.

    I'm glad I was given this assignment otherwise I probably wouldn't have found such an amazing book.

    The Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier

    It's quite short and it's a very easy read. Jul 08, Margaret Breidenbaugh rated it really liked it Shelves: This account of a common soldier fighting for Napoleon is at once terrifying and illuminating. Jakob's detailed descriptions shed much-needed light on what life was like for someone who could be seen as an unsung hero or perhaps an anonymous tyrant, depending on what nationality you were at the time.


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    From Smolensk to Moshaisk the war displayed its horrible work of destruction: He married in and had ten children, of whom five were still living when he wrote a letter to his son Albert in In his later years he wrote an account of his experiences, intended for his family.

    In , a scholar at the University of Kansas , Frank E. Melvin , acquired the manuscript and authenticated it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from " https: Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 16 November , at By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.