Rus Articles Journal

The Tilsit world and war of 1812 - why left as left? Part 1

24 of June - date of invasion of Napoleon and the beginning of Patriotic war of 1812. And in 5 years before, at the end of June - the beginning of July, 1807, there was one more event which became the major stage in the history of Napoleonic wars. In fact, become a prolog to war of 1812

Generally, events on July 7 (on June 25), 1807 had to bring the world to all Europe … except for England. In the city of Tilsit (East Prussia, nowadays Sovetsk) there were negotiations between emperors of two countries of Europe strongest at that time: Napoleon and Alexander I.

The Russian army suffered losses in battles at Preysish - Eylau (having drawn fight) and Friedland (it is lost by Russians); at this time the conflict with the Ottoman Empire became more active. Avoiding two-front war, Alexander necessarily made the peace with Napoleon.

On what conditions? Not so bad. Perhaps at all quite good.

The obligation of military cooperation, mutual support in any war. Recognition of the new states formed by Napoleon and run by his brothers. Concessions and losses of Russia: withdrawal of troops from Moldova and Walachia. Consent to annexation of Prussian territories. On the other hand, Napoleon claimed that he keeps Prussia as the state only out of respect for Alexander.

Concessions from the Russian side are normal! While Napoleon very much wished the union with Russia, generally, Russia (together with allies on the coalitions) lost in several campaigns.

In return France undertook not to support the Ottoman Empire in war with Russia.

Main requirement to Russia: to support continental blockade of England, the economic weapon of Napoleon against the main opponent - England. Russia - the supplier of the wood and hemp for fleet, and not only. The all-European blockade threatened England with an economy collapse which signs already appeared. Russia - serious economic losses. But they were probably surmountable. In any case, Russia already curtailed trade with England in 1799-1801, and voluntarily. Result: Paul I`s murder. Already it is sufficient confirmation of gravity of threat of continental blockade!

But to the Russian nobility serious losses threatened. For involved in patricide and not too Alexander who is still confidently feeling on a throne it is one of the main reasons not to join blockade. At the beginning of reign he, as well as Catherine II, could not neglect interests of the nobility.

And at Pavle blockade, it seems, began to make active the Russian economy! And Napoleon looked for the ally in Russia again. It was not won. And in “new Europe“ could take the worthy place!

The main factor of sabotage of Tilsit arrangements personal hostility of Alexander to Napoleon is considered. Very much unambiguously and to publicly hinting painfully ambitious Alexander on patricide.

Still Alexander was eager for glory. And after a number of defeats - and a revenge. He perceived the world (it is reflected in his letters) a respite. Napoleon in 1812 prepared plans of defense / retreat in case Russians will attack the first. Of course, military plans are always prepared on different cases, but Napoleon spoke about invasion threat somehow very seriously.

No wonder. Neighbors were up in arms against France long ago and seriously: on revolutionary, then on imperial. Neighbors - monarchs very much can even be understood! But fact: mostly, aggression proceeded from the outside. Just like that it turned out that every time Napoleon was stronger...

Napoleonic campaigns seemingly directly did not concern Russia. The general borders were not. But presence of the French fleet at the seas disturbed russko - the English trade. In the beginning Russia, as well as other European monarchy, revolution export threatened. Neighbors continued to perceive Napoleon who came to the power as threat. Then defeats of a row of the anti-French coalitions. Napoleonic gains really and directly infringed on interests of neighbors...

But Russia showed aggression long before Bonaparte`s empire approached the Russian borders! And in 1812, even before invasion, Alexander who burned in the previous campaigns obviously prepared for defense (and to retreat deep into of Russia). And Russian “society“, in particular officers, demanded approach.

Alexander since youth dreamed of recognition, glory, including military. With an ulterior motive he interfered with command, tried to direct battles. It played a considerable role in defeat at Austerlitsa; in 1812 only by means of Arakcheev Alexander convinced to leave army. Convinced that retreat under the personal guide of the tsar will even stronger strike his personal authority.

Alas, tactics Alexander did not differ in talent. “the northern sphinx“ (according to Napoleon) found itself in policy. And as war of 1812 - in strategy showed.

The talent of the politician of the Russian tsar was noted also by Napoleon. After a meeting in Tilsit …

Be continued.