Why did Napoleon withdraw after dismissing Moscow?

Withdrawal of the remains of the GRAND ARMY from Moscow in 1812


After the great defeat of 1806, many saw that the army had to be fundamentally reformed - and not just the army, but the entire state.
The driving forces were Freiherr von Stein, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Blücher, who drew Napoleon's anger with his energy. He means to the Prussian King in Berlin, with the help of his envoy, to dismiss Blücher from military service if it should not have further consequences. The king released him on October 10, 1811 and advised him to retire to an estate in Silesia.
With regard to the continental blockade against England, Russia no longer adhered to the alliance agreed with Napoleon in the Peace of Tilsit in 1807.
On June 25, 1812, Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Njemen (Memel) to invade Russia and ultimately failed miserably due to the poor supply and the climatic conditions.
The meager remnants of the Great Army, once well over 500,000 men, were probably only around 30,000, who now arrived in Poland and East Prussia at the end of 1812, deprived, half starved and exhausted. All the countries occupied by Napoleon's troops had to provide soldiers. Of the Württemberg regiments, which had moved out with over a thousand men, only 5 men returned. Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony practically lost their entire armies.
Prussia had provided a contingent of 20,000 artillery, infantry and cavalry for the Northern Army under the French Marshal Mc Donald and the sub-command of General Yorck. When the ruins of the French army approached, followed by the Russians, Yorck and the Russian general Diebitsch agreed after long negotiations to enter into an agreement in the water mill of Tauroggen which declared the Prussian troops neutral.
To Napoleon's great annoyance, the Northern Army had shown little initiative during the entire campaign and therefore suffered no great losses.
When the defeat of the French emperor became known in Europe, the Russian tsar pushed for another coalition with Prussia and Austria to free the European countries from the Napoleonic yoke.
Prussia was arming itself. Blücher received the supreme command of the Silesian Army, one third of which consisted of Prussian line troops and newly established Landwehr and two thirds of Russian troops from the entire gigantic empire.

Material / Technique

Wood, pewter, pewter figures


17 x 11.5 cm

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