** The Russian Jaeger regiments and Napoleon’s Young Guard clashed repeatedly during the campaigns of 1812-14. The Russian Jaeger were light infantry who gained enormous experience and prestige during the struggle to rid Europe of Napoleon, while the Young Guard was expanded to become the main strike force of the French field armies.
During the retreat from Moscow in 1812, the Young Guard turned to confront their opponents, including Jaeger forces, in the snows at Krasnyi. They clashed again at Leipzig in 1813 during the brutal struggle for the village of Güldengossa, and then again in the bitter cold at Craonne in 1814, where newly formed Young Guard units were pitched into an attack upon Russian Jaeger regiments who then conducted a skilful fighting withdrawal. **
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
Osprey Publications Ltd has released Combat - French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger - 1812-14 by author Laurence Spring as Number 4 in their Combat series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are black and white and brown and white illustrations, color photographs, full color artwork, informational charts, first-hand accounts, strategic and tactical maps and detailed captions. It has a 2013 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-78200-362-5. As the title states, the book discusses the fighting between the French Guardsman and the Russian Jaeger in 1812 to 1814.
** Putting the reader in the shoes of the ordinary soldiers of both sides, this absorbing book traces the evolving trial of strength between Russia’s Jaeger arm and France’s Young Guardsmen at the height of the Napoleonic Wars **
** Quoted from the back cover of the book.
- The Opposing Sides
• Origins and combat role
• Enlistment and training
• Motivation, morale and logistics
• Weapons and tactics
• 17 November 1812
• 16 October 1813
• 7 March 1814
- Analysis & Conclusion
- Orders Of Battle
- Select Bibliography
The text in the book is well written and extremely detailed. Laurence Spring covers the fighting between the French Guardsman and the Russian Jaeger in 1812 to 1814 nicely and with great depth. Laurence Spring goes into great detail in all areas of the book as outlined in the introduction. As I read through the text it was easy to see that Laurence Spring spent a great deal of time painstakingly researching and collecting information on the titled area in regards to each of the militaries of Russia and France. Each subject mentioned in the introduction is well detailed down to the smallest detail. After reading through the volume I could not think of any subject in regards to the fighting between the French Guardsman and the Russian Jaeger in 1812 to 1814 that was not covered in great detail in an easy to read, nicely flowing and understandable manner. I personally feel that anyone that reads this book will find themselves well informed in all areas of the fighting between the French Guardsman and the Russian Jaeger in 1812 to 1814. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.
There are 2 color photographs featured in this volume. They are of:
- A Russian 1796-pattern 19.7mm-calibre musket.
- A French 1777-pattern Charleville 17.5mm-caliber musket.
These two photographs are clear and well-focused with nice captions both of which provide a wealth of detail which will be appreciated by the military firearms enthusiast.
There are a total of 19 black and white/brown and white illustrations as well as 33 color illustrations featured in this volume. These are all period type of paintings which range from action scenes to paintings of key individuals. One of my favorite illustrations is a military manual illustration showing the three firing postures according to the 1791 Règlement, the drill regulations that were used by the French throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The majority of the illustrations featured throughout the volume will prove to be a valuable asset to the military historian as well as the scale figure modeler.
Also included in the volume are 4 color illustration plates by illustrator Mark Stacey that are very well done and nicely detailed. They are of:
- Russian Jaeger of the 19th Jaeger Regiment, Craonne, 7 March 1814, weapons, dress and equipment. This double plate illustration shows the front and back of a young private Russian soldier of the 19th Jaeger Regiment at Craonne in full combat dress with a detail key pointing out and describing all items shown.
- French soldier of the 14th Voltigeurs, Craonne, 7 March 1814, Weapons, dress and equipment. This double plate illustration shows the front and back of a well-equipped young French private soldier of the 14th Voltigeurs at Craonne in full combat dress with a detail key pointing out and describing all items shown.
- Death in the snow at Krasnyi. This plate is a two page illustration showing both sides of the lines, French and Russian in the middle of combat. Also provided are 2 black and white illustrations of the same color illustration which point out key areas of interest.
- Mêlée in Güldengossa. This plate is a two page illustration showing fighting between Korennoi’s grenadier Company and voltigeurs of Pacthod’s Division.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.
There are 4 maps provided in this volume. All of the maps are nicely detailed and have accompanying map keys that point out specific key areas and provide a wealth of detail. The maps are of:
- Battles involving French and Russian forces, 1812-14
- The 1st Voltigeurs and Guards Jaeger Regiment at Krasnyi, 17 November 1812
- The 2nd Voltigeurs and the Finland Guards Regiment at Leipzig, 16 October 1813
- The 14th Voltigeurs and 19th Jaeger Regiment at Craonne, 7 March 1814
THE INFORMATION CHARTS
There are 3 informational charts provided in this volume. They are:
- Key to military symbols
- Key to unit identification
- Comparative officer ranks
This chart compares officer ranks between the Russian military and the French military. Enlisted ranks are not shown.
There are 5 notes included in this volume and they are:
- Author’s acknowledgments
- Author’s note
- Artist’s note
- Editor’s acknowledgments
- Editor’s note
The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the accompanying photograph. The details themselves are basically miniature history lessons as they detail what is happening, or happened, in the photographs and give specific detail as to what was done afterword and by who. They cover things such as the units shown, as well as the weapons, equipment, uniforms, dates, locations shown and other such pertinent information. As with the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors as I read through the captions. As I stated before, grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings.
Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It details fighting between the French Guardsman and the Russian Jaeger in 1812 to nicely. This volume will be of great use to anyone interested in this important time frame in European military history. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey Publishing LTD titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.
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