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About Deviant Artist Premium Member Writes as 'aegian' in FT onlineUnited Kingdom Groups :iconfungus-and-friends: Fungus-and-Friends
Growing like a fungus
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One of the most interesting questions about Napoleon is, perhaps, why such a brilliant general allowed himself to undertake the disastrous Russian campaign. Tolstoy's version depends on his idea that Mother Russia was protected by fate and her snowy vastness. He also thought that individuals had little control over events. In Russia Against Napoleon the historian Dominic Lieven shows that the young Czar Alexander and his close advisers understood warfare in Russia more than Napoleon did. They saw through Napoleon but he misunderstood them. While Napoleon may have been a battle­field genius, Alexander showed greater diplomatic skill in gathering the coalition that eventually defeated Bonaparte. That was no easy matter, given the fear of both the French and the Russians that prevailed in German lands.

The Russians persuaded the Prussians and the unwilling Austrians to join them by showing thatNapoleon could be defeated through their management of the long and deliberate retreat in 1812, which had lured the French deep into Russia, far from their supply lines, and exposed them to constant attacks on their flanks. This retreat had needed complex administration in the provisioning of food and, above all, horses, the availability of which, as Lieven shows, could win or lose a war. Success required a cruelly efficient conscription system, which Russians accepted because of the trust between sovereign, elite and people, which was at the heart of the Russian autocratic system. This trust explains how Alexander's regime survived even after abandoning Moscow. When the Russians entered Paris, however, within hours Napoleon's supporters fled. His closest relatives vanished and Prince Talleyrand began negotiating the succession.

To Lieven Alexander was the man who “more than any other individual, was responsible for Napoleon’s overthrow.” Lieven called the Tsar’s Guards “the finest-looking troops in Europe.”

The Russian Imperial army did party and drink, have courtly intrigues and battlefield manoeuvrings. What helped them excel was the Russian ability to appraise the finely balanced strategic alternatives that presented themselves as soon as they decided on invasion.

This crucial decision was based on the understanding that if French power were eradicated, Russia would face new enemies in its place. Should they stop at the borders of the empire in 1813 and negotiate a new peace with the French, which much of the Russian military elite wanted, or force exhausted troops to march as far across Europe as it took to topple Napoleon? This was what Alexander wanted and he persuaded his unwilling generals.

If France's revolutionary armies represented modernity, Russia stood for empire.Russia at the time showed how the empire could use its resources rationally when attacked. Russia could raise armies faster than revolutionary France could and Russian equipment and provisioning matched those of the French. The French communicated in their own language, but the Russians understood captured letters in French. Russian generals could communicate in several languages — including Latvian, which helped with confidentiality. Alexander's charismatic personality also attracted fleeing Frenchmen to help bring about his downfall. Russia's intelligence operation was far superior.

Lieven shows how devastating exhaustion was. Prussia’s elderly commander, Blücher, at one point hallucinated about giving birth to an elephant. He recovered enough to be carried towards Paris in full view of his troops, wearing a lady’s green silk hat to shade his eyes.

Such stories... no wonder we're still fascinated today.

Also posted here: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d5160eac-14…


Activity


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One of the most interesting questions about Napoleon is, perhaps, why such a brilliant general allowed himself to undertake the disastrous Russian campaign. Tolstoy's version depends on his idea that Mother Russia was protected by fate and her snowy vastness. He also thought that individuals had little control over events. In Russia Against Napoleon the historian Dominic Lieven shows that the young Czar Alexander and his close advisers understood warfare in Russia more than Napoleon did. They saw through Napoleon but he misunderstood them. While Napoleon may have been a battle­field genius, Alexander showed greater diplomatic skill in gathering the coalition that eventually defeated Bonaparte. That was no easy matter, given the fear of both the French and the Russians that prevailed in German lands.

The Russians persuaded the Prussians and the unwilling Austrians to join them by showing thatNapoleon could be defeated through their management of the long and deliberate retreat in 1812, which had lured the French deep into Russia, far from their supply lines, and exposed them to constant attacks on their flanks. This retreat had needed complex administration in the provisioning of food and, above all, horses, the availability of which, as Lieven shows, could win or lose a war. Success required a cruelly efficient conscription system, which Russians accepted because of the trust between sovereign, elite and people, which was at the heart of the Russian autocratic system. This trust explains how Alexander's regime survived even after abandoning Moscow. When the Russians entered Paris, however, within hours Napoleon's supporters fled. His closest relatives vanished and Prince Talleyrand began negotiating the succession.

To Lieven Alexander was the man who “more than any other individual, was responsible for Napoleon’s overthrow.” Lieven called the Tsar’s Guards “the finest-looking troops in Europe.”

The Russian Imperial army did party and drink, have courtly intrigues and battlefield manoeuvrings. What helped them excel was the Russian ability to appraise the finely balanced strategic alternatives that presented themselves as soon as they decided on invasion.

This crucial decision was based on the understanding that if French power were eradicated, Russia would face new enemies in its place. Should they stop at the borders of the empire in 1813 and negotiate a new peace with the French, which much of the Russian military elite wanted, or force exhausted troops to march as far across Europe as it took to topple Napoleon? This was what Alexander wanted and he persuaded his unwilling generals.

If France's revolutionary armies represented modernity, Russia stood for empire.Russia at the time showed how the empire could use its resources rationally when attacked. Russia could raise armies faster than revolutionary France could and Russian equipment and provisioning matched those of the French. The French communicated in their own language, but the Russians understood captured letters in French. Russian generals could communicate in several languages — including Latvian, which helped with confidentiality. Alexander's charismatic personality also attracted fleeing Frenchmen to help bring about his downfall. Russia's intelligence operation was far superior.

Lieven shows how devastating exhaustion was. Prussia’s elderly commander, Blücher, at one point hallucinated about giving birth to an elephant. He recovered enough to be carried towards Paris in full view of his troops, wearing a lady’s green silk hat to shade his eyes.

Such stories... no wonder we're still fascinated today.

Also posted here: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d5160eac-14…


and the next object is... A Shirley Poppy! by aegiandyad
and the next object is... A Shirley Poppy!
It's been well over a century now since a horticultural vicar in what is currently part of Croydon bred this delicate strain of picotee poppies. Actually, Shirley poppies come in a large variety of colours from white, through many shades of pink including salmon pink, to deep crimson.

Er, this is a cross eye viewable stereoscopic pair, by the way. And now, a song... from BLOSSOM TOES! www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO4Jj6…
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Sumer Is Icumen In by aegiandyad
Sumer Is Icumen In
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMCA9n… England's first recorded [only in the sense of 'written down'] folk song!
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aegiandyad
Writes as 'aegian' in FT online
Artist
United Kingdom
We are passionate artists and art lovers with wide ranging tastes and interests. Our long range project is the creation of 'aegian' as an aesthetic hermaphrodite, trying to express the many facets of their being. It has since emerged that we are a couple with four grown up children each of whom has contributed to this joint enterprise

While his better half prefers to remain mysterious and spends most of her time writing our journal entries, Mr A admits to having a London degree in Botany & Zoology and owning a succession of film and digital cameras. I am the man behind the lens, so there may not be many images of me submitted. We love beauty and I search for it amongst the mundane backgrounds of everyday reality as well as at fabulous gardens like the ones seen in some gallery pictures. We correspond with the Guardian as well as the Financial Times.

There will be no puckish, looped video 'web cam'; no 'fake' ID. If you want to see picture's, then this
The Revented Intagliated Sichultian Lededje Y'breq by aegiandyad is Mrs a* and this Another Green Man Self Portrait by aegiandyad is me, or was it this one Self Portrait As 'Green Man' by aegiandyad /

NO, it's this one An Aegiandyad Dogwood Dryad by aegiandyad .


Official DAA Supporter stamp by Dark-Arts-Asylum
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:iconloloalien:
loloalien Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you:happybounce: 
Reply
:iconscheinbar:
scheinbar Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:happybounce: :happybounce: deviantART    thanks DeviantArt
:happybounce: deviantART :happybounce:
deviantART :happybounce: :happybounce:
Reply
:iconserassphoto:
SerassPhoto Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Many thanks for faving my photo :D Heart 
Reply
:iconaegiandyad:
aegiandyad Featured By Owner May 28, 2015
That would be WebCity? I have copied the display image version and seek your permission to post-process it. The personal watermark would be retained clearly. No prints offered from my gallery without your permission, full attribution, no reproduction outside dA, etc. etc?
Reply
:iconserassphoto:
SerassPhoto Featured By Owner May 29, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, you have my permission to do watherever you want with the WebCity, just tag me (or write under that it was made by me ) in your photo after reproduction :D 
Reply
:iconaegiandyad:
aegiandyad Featured By Owner May 29, 2015
Thank you, I think I have the display version saved somewhere...
Reply
:iconluke-the-spook:
Luke-The-Spook Featured By Owner May 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for faving So Long Old Friend. That building meant a lot to my city.
Reply
:icondanneamu:
DanNeamu Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015
Thank you for the fave and watch!
Reply
:iconplumita1:
plumita1 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015
:iconheartsignplz: Thanks a lot! :iconforyouplz:....Food express by plumita1
I'm glad you can focus on other things now :woohoo:
Reply
:iconsenhart:
SenhArt Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
 ....Thank you kindly for faving, my dear!  Rose
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