The German Liberation War of 1813
The Memoirs of a Russian Artilleryman
Imprint: Pen and Sword Military
224 Pages, 6.1 x 9.2 in, 25 mono illustrations
- December 2023
The second of three volumes, this book represents the first English translation of the memoirs that rank among the best in the vast Napoleonic memoir literature. The author, Ilya Timofeyevich Radozhitskii, served with distinction during the wars against Napoleon and wrote down his reminisces shortly after the war based on the notes that he kept while campaigning. Born in 1788, Radozhitskii studied at the Imperial Orphanage, enlisted in the artillery unit in 1806, and steadily rose through the ranks, earning a reputation of a capable officer.
Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 changed his life. Serving as an artillery lieutenant, he saw action in virtually every major battle of that historic campaign. In 1813-1814, Radozhitskii took part in the War of the German Liberation and the invasion of France, serving with distinction at Bischofswerde, Bautzen, Katzbach, and Leipzig before finishing the war as a staff captain in Paris in 1814. Upon Napoleon’s return in 1815, Radozhitskii was assigned to the Russian Expeditionary Corps that was dispatched to France but arrived too late to confront Napoleon.
Radozhitskii offers fresh insight into the life and daily experiences of Russian officers during the Napoleonic Wars. This volume follows Radozhitskii across Germany as the Russian army, buoyed by the victory over Napoleon in 1812, marched on to liberate German states. Radozhitskii’s narrative contains striking descriptions of the wartime experiences of soldiers and officers, vivid accounts of the battles, and heartrending stories from the French retreat. When published in Russia, these memoirs garnered considerable public attention and Leo Tolstoy consulted them extensively while writing his famous “War and Peace”.
The first volume, entitled The Russian Campaign of 1812, was published by Pen & Sword in 2023.