Officers and soldiers of Napoleon's Great Army
With it's maximum size of almost 560.000 soldiers, there is a big chance that you've had a relative in La Grande Armée of Napoleon. Please add them to this project.
The first Grande Armée consisted of six corps under the command of Napoleon's marshals and senior generals.
The army grew in size as Napoleon's might spread across Europe. It reached its maximum size of 554.000 men at the start of the invasion of Russia in 1812. All contingents were commanded by French generals, except for a Polish and an Austrian corps.
The huge multinational army marched slowly eastwards, with the Russians falling back before it. After the capture of Smolensk and victory in the Battle of Borodino, Napoleon and a part of the Grande Armée reached Moscow on 14 September 1812; however, the army was already drastically reduced due to the numbers killed and wounded in battles with the Russians, disease (principally typhus), desertion and long communication lines.
Only 120.000 men survived to leave Russia (excluding early deserters). Of these 50.000 were Austrians, Prussians and other Germans, 20,000 Poles and 35.000 Frenchmen. As many as 400.000 died in the campaign.
Napoleon led a new army to the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813, in the defence of France in 1814 and in the Waterloo campaign in 1815, but the Napoleonic French army would never regain the heights of the Grande Armée in June 1812.
Click on the name for their military career. Those who were appointed as Marshal of the Empire are also added to the project French Marshals
- Charles XIV John of Sweden
- Eugène de Beauharnais
- Jérôme I of Westphalia
- Joachim Murat, King of Naples
- Jean Lannes, Duc de Montebello
- Louis Alexandre Berthier
- Michel Ney, 1st Duc d'Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa
Soldiers and noncommissioned officers
At its height in 1812 consisted of 554.500 men:
- 300.000 Frenchmen and Dutchmen
- 95.000 Poles
- 35.000 Austrians
- 30.000 Italians
- 24.000 Bavarians
- 20.000 Saxons
- 20.000 Prussians
- 17.000 Westphalians
- 15.000 Swiss
- 6.000 Portuguese
- 3.500 Croats
Please add them all to this project ;-)
The Congress of Vienna (1814-15)
During Napoleon's first period of exile, representatives of the great European powers gathered in the Austrian capital of Vienna to reorganize the governments of the continent and restore the balance of power. The leading figures at the Congress were its host
- Emperor Francis I of Austria and his foreign minister Prince Klemens von Metternich;
- Viscount Castlereagh of Great Britain;
- Czar Alexander I and Count Karl Robert Nesellrode of Russia;
- King Frederick Wiliam III and Prince Karl August von Hardenberg of Prussia; and
- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord of France.
Sources and archives
- More information about the army on Wikipedia: La Grande Armée
- A very good website about the army (in French): La Grande Armée: 1789 -1815. On this site you can find e.g. the description of the uniforms of every military unit.
- List of more than 200,000 soldiers who received the Medal of St Helena: Search engine
- Black, Jeremy. Napoleon I. The New Book of Knowledge, Vol. 13, N. pp. 11-14.
- Emblem made by Sodacan for Wikipedia
- Napoleon's Lost Army: The Soldiers Who Fell
- NAPOLEON'S LITHUANIAN FORCES
- French invasion of Russia