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Napoleons Reasons for Defeat The Campaign of 1812 should have been a another crusade for Napoleon but he now faced 2 new policies that he had never faced before the severe Russian winter and the notorious scorched-earth policy On June 23 1812 Napoleons Grande Armee over 500000 men strong poured over the Russian border An equal amount of Russian forces awaited them The result of the campaign was a surprise Two authors General carl von Clausewitz and Brett James show similarities in reasons why Napoleon had lost this campaign to Russia Napoleon believed that after a few quick victorious battles he could convince Alexander to return to the Continental System He also decided that if he occupied Moscow the Russian government would crumple and ask for peace A single blow delivered at the heart of the Russian Empire at Moscow the Great at Moscow the Holy will instantly put this whole blind apathetic mass at my mercy pg 6 1812 Napoleons Defeat in Russia This was his belief he expressed in March 1812 However when Napoleon eventually took over Moscow the Tsar still did not surrender Napoleon sent a message to the Tsar demanding a immediate surrender However the Tsar could not surrender because if he did he would be assassinated by the nobles Clausewitz replies by saying Napoleon was unable to grasp the fact that Alexander would not could not negotiate The Tsar knew well that he would be disposed and assassinated if he tried so pg 256 The Campaign of 1812 in Russia General Clausewitz said Napoleon believed if he defeated the Russian Army and occupied Moscow the Russian leadership will fall apart and the government would call for peace pg 253 The Campaign of 1812 in Russia
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