No GNW (or “Peter goes South”)

Well this is interesting, normally alliance with the Ottoman's, influence in Naples and Russian access to the Est.Med would ring a bells in London, but given that British are kinda isolated and recent (still existing) French scare and rise of French influence probably counter's that nicely, it also helps that Russia is being friendly power and is not interested in India , plus all those nice acquisitions in Med and around the world help. Now when we are by the Ottoman's, Serbian uprising will happen soon, at the start it wasn't anti Ottoman and Rebels even worked together with the Ottoman's against rebellious Janissaries only rebelling later over Russia guaranteeing their autonomy.
With Russia out of the way Austria could potentially take that role. Now a lot depends on Russian position and how this is handled, if Russia stick's to it's existing policy of allowing Austria to claim the N. Balkans then Austria invades and probably wins, if Russia decides to press Austrian weakness from coalition wars then Austria will back off (it doesn't stray from existing position, but it plays at Austrian weakness, not to mention Austria doesn't get a habit of seeking recompense on the Balkans, they already got it in Venice and some German lands, Prussia could be a ready ally in this, otherwise there's really no use in appeasing Austria in the Balkans as they'll always want more, especially when Russia can enjoy trade concessions there ) , in that case with Austrian support uncertain Serbia probably will accept autonomy with Sultan as guarantee , this will in turn butterfly away second serbian uprising and potential excuse for Austria to intervene a down the line.
Well, so far the Russian policy is boiling down to let the Austrians and Ottomans having their wars on the Balkans but the sympathies are rather on the Ottoman side. Supporting uprisings against a long-time ally and trade partner just by the religious reasons is not a reasonable policy especially if the rebels can work out a compromise with the Ottomans.

Austria just got Venice and, in a process of figuring out the “compensations” in the HRE, is going to annex Salzburg. However, it does not mean that it does not look for getting something else as well and a relative success in a recent war (until very end the Austrians were doing just fine) and the mild peace conditions by which they did not lose anything are almost doomed to make them excessively self-assured. Some period of recuperation is needed but after that they may try to claim what they think is their and what they almost got twice.

Keep in mind that at this time Russia is not really scary enough for Austria to just say “No”: it clearly lacking recent experience of the major European wars and even its most reputed general, Suvorov, did not fight anybody remotely “European” except the Poles and, unlike OTL, does not have an impressive list of victories over the Ottomans. OTOH, Austrian army fought the most powerful army of Europe and scored some noticeable successes. So, if Russia says “no” the answer is going to be “up yours”. And even more so if Austria has a meaningful ally.

Well, I’m seemingly getting ahead of myself: as of now, everybody is solving his domestic problems… 😉
Control of Heptanesian Republic could be very valuable if there is a war with Ottomans in the future as the foundations of an independent Greece.
ITTL, just as in OTL, the republic is under a joined control and, at least formally, it is kind of a successor to Venice, not anything Greek. Then, why ITTL would Russia want to rock a boat by supporting anti-Ottoman rebellions? In OTL Russian participation had been based upon a different framework and what Russia was trying to reach by its involvement, ITTL it is pretty much “doomed” to have without moving a finger. In that sense the diary of general Muraviev describing his communications with the Sultan and rebellious Mehmed Ali of Egypt are quite revealing but here this state of the affairs will be reached earlier.

Not that, AFAIK, Russian Empire got any tangible benefits from helping to liberate Greece, it was just an expensive demonstration of a muscle, which is not needed ITTL.
With this milestone of the not-Napoleonic Wars ending, would it be possible to write an overview of how things have changed for Russia by this point in the timeline compared to our own history? I feel like I understand most of the big-picture stuff, but there are probably many nuances I'm missing.
Organizing a peace
169. Organizing a peace

It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize a peace.”
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein
“Any military reform must be consistent with the economic capabilities of the country, otherwise it will lead to inconsistent waste of material resources and waste of time.”
Unknown author
And what now do we, the military, have left, if not women, to drink, eat well and fight.”
Jukums Vācietis [1]​



Military situation.

Seemingly generous proposal made to general Bonaparte was, indeed, generous but it was not altruistic. The ongoing wars between the French Republic and its opponents were viewed carefully and conclusions had been made. And conclusions were not all cheerful. For years following the last Polish War Russian military thinking and practice had been dominated by “Suvorov’s school” which was pretty much ideal for the tasks at hand but its straightforward application against the modern European armies may not work well. The problem was that after Sovorov’s death in 1800 most of the leading Russian generals were either Suvorov’s former subordinates or his colleagues who were, with various degrees of success, to imitate him both in behavior and in fighting style but mostly in a very superficial way. The most dangerous resulting tendencies were:
  • Disregard to the enemy’s numbers. While Suvorov always kept in mind a “quality factor”, his followers tended to ignore it assuming that an attack will always win a day no matter what [2].
  • Excessive stress on a bayonet charge as the universal answer to all questions.
Any attempt to deal with the problem from inside had been doomed: there was nobody “inside” willing to go against the flow and if such a person was found, he would have to go against those senior by the rank and/or seniority [3]. Having a major European celebrity with an overwhelming track record of victories would be a big bonus. Of course, some of the top level Russian commanders could and would make noises but, based upon experience of the Italian campaign, it looked like general Bonaparte had been quite efficient in forcing the generals senior to him to obey his orders. And being backed by the Emperor personally was “ultima ratio” in the Russian Empire: of course, there was no guillotine but being kicked out of a service was a very serious threat.

Now, how the old and new “schools” looked like:

Suvorov and Bonaparte's views on strategy, tactics, training of troops reveal many similarities. Both gave unconditional priority to the offensive. Defense was recognized by them only as a forced means necessary only to then go on the offensive. Both commanders saw in a decisive attack with the aim of completely defeating the enemy as the only way to victory. Both Suvorov and Napoleon attached the most important importance to the speed and initiative of action, the stun of the enemy, and especially to the factor of surprise when attacking the enemy.

Both sought to achieve a quick victory and did not like long military campaigns. This was not because of some humanity and desire to win with "small blood." Not at all. Neither Suvorov nor Bonaparte were burdened with such sentiments. They were well aware that caring for the minimal losses was the right way to defeat and, as a result, to the greatest losses. They knew that at the decisive moment of the battle it was impossible to think about the "price of victory", but it was necessary to achieve it at any cost. At such moments, they did not spare the soldiers. In other times, they took care of them as a tool that must always be in good working order to achieve victory.

“Observation, speed, onslaught" - Suvorov outlined his offensive tactics in such an aphoristic form. Napoleon could well sign these words. He himself expressed about the same maxim somewhat differently: "Simplicity is the first condition for a good maneuver."

Both commanders attached great importance to the endurance of the troops and nurtured their ability to make long marches. Both recognized the possible and even necessary separation from the rear, from bulky trains. This was also one of the most important conditions for their victories.

Suvorov attached decisive importance to the attack where the enemy is the weakest. Bonaparte, on the contrary, sought to massive his forces to crush, first of all, the strongest place in the enemy's defense.

Suvorov stressed the need for the military commander to think and make decisions quickly, and having taken it - to execute immediately. Bonaparte tried to weaken the enemy's forces, consistently attacking one of his flanks or the other, and then trying to suddenly break through the center. Both sought to concentrate forces in the direction of the main blow.

Suvorov’s and Bonaparte’s armies had advantage in maneuverability over their opponents. However, this was achieved in different ways: in the French army - self-supply directly on the ground, in the Russian army - at the expense of the unpretentiousness of the Russian soldier.

The armies themselves also had been different. Suvorov's army consisted of conscripted professional soldiers serving for 10 years while army of the Republic - from (theoretically) temporarily summoned sons of peasants and small bourgeois
[4]. A strong motivation point in the Republican army was a realistic perspective of an open promotion while in the Russian army such an opportunity was restricted.

Then, as far as the tactical styles were involved:

  • Suvorov tended to consider artillery strictly as an auxiliary tool supporting the infantry charge while Bonaparte made it a very important component of his tactical system greatly increasing its numbers, improving its maneuverability and concentrating it on what he considered a critical point to “soften” enemy prior to the decisive attack.
  • More or less the same goes for cavalry. Suvorov, who rarely had a lot of it and even then mostly medium and light cavalry, considered it mostly as a tool for chasing a defeated enemy while Napoleon was using the big masses of the heavy cavalry as an important attacking tool.
So the task facing lieutenant-general of the Russian Imperial Army Napoleon Bonaparte was formidable but not impossible and he considered himself being up to the challenge. Of course, the Russian would have to be learned but this did not look like a major problem: quite a few emigres already managed and for a while the French would do: most of the officer corps and definitely its top tier spoke at least some French [5]. And he did not came alone. With him sailed from Egypt and had been imprisoned generals Berthier,



and Marmont

His former aids-de-camp and then brigade generals Lannes, Marmont and Murat expressed a wish to come with him: it did not look like the close association with the disgraced commander was going to promote their careers in France. At least two of them already proved to be good subordinated commanders and Murat was extremely loyal, brave and dashing, which could endear him to the Russian cavalry establishment.
Berthier did not have too much of an option: a person against whom he was quite openly intriguing since the Italian campaign was now one of the rulers of France and even assuming that he is ready to be forgiving, it would be too much to expect that he is also ready to provide him with a military employment. The problem was that in his present state of a health he was not too useful to Bonaparte either and the general tended to be quite pragmatic. Fortunately for him, Bonaparte expected that after release he would recuperate at least to a degree allowing to conduct some useful desk work so he was taken as well. They were supposed to be a part of reform committee responsible for modernization of the imperial army. Besides them the committee included some Russian officers who already demonstrated their ability to use head not just for eating and wearing a hat but for the thinking as well: major-general Michael Barclay de Tolly, commander of the 4th Jaeger Regiment,

lieutenant-colonel Alexey Yermolov, commander of the horse artillery company, who already got reputation of one of the best artillery commanders in the Russian army

and major Karl Wilhelm von Toll, a promising quartermaster officer.

Not that the proposed changes had been met with the universal excitement but, OTOH, why would anybody object to having more artillery and cavalry? After all, the obsession with a bayonet in its present form was a reasonably new phenomena and the glorious victories of the previous reigns tended to have strong artillery and cavalry as a part of the winning schema and if this schema was recently neglected, it is just because there was no need in it. However, the structures created by Peter and Alexey were still there, at least on paper. Not that anybody tried to deny a military genius of a deceased fiedmarshal or disparage his methods: he was duly glorified and used as a reference point where it was and even where it was not appropriate. Adding to this a fact that Paul tended not to be the most tolerant person to those who dared to disobey his explicit orders, the work was going quite smoothly.

Of course, there was a rather obvious question that general Bonaparte did not risk to ask at his first meeting with Paul during which he and his retinue were congratulated on his arrival (the promised cookies being officially delivered) and introduced to the Empress, Emperor’s sons and his favorite dog (a mongrel that followed its master everywhere and even was permitted to sit on a train of empress’s dress; the dog definitely approved of Lannes).

However during the first business meeting Paul answered not asked question on his own initiative: why did you bother? After all, so far Russian army was quite adequate for the challenges it was facing and the policy of un involvement kept the empire out of European entanglements so why is the need for the upgrades that are going to require money and effort?

The picture was not as rosy at it looked. Of course, there was a peace now but it did not mean that everybody was satisfied with the status quo.
  • Emperor Francis did not forget that Russia refused to fight on Austrian side and blamed a peace by which Austria did not extend its foothold in Italy and lost its influence in the Switzerland upon the Russian non-cooperation. Salzburg and few other small pieces of territory it got in a process of distributing “compensation” were not enough to satisfy the Austrian appetite and it wanted an additional compensation elsewhere with the only “elsewhere” meaningful economically being Poland.
  • Frederick William III of Prussia also considered himself a victim: there was no compensation for a small piece of land West of the Rhine and the Prussian military had been unhappy with the fact that FWIII continued policy of his father and did not join the 2nd coalition to get revenge for offset in the 1st one. With king Stanislav of Poland dead and being succeeded by Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, wouldn’t it be just and reasonable to have Prussia “compensated” (no matter for what) either by a piece (or the whole) of Saxony or by a piece of Poland or both? And perhaps at least a part of the Swedish Pomerania or at least Danzig region?

As a result, there were ongoing secret discussions (well, very few secrets could not be obtained with enough skill and money and the Russian spy service had both) regarding arranging the next partition of Poland and, if Russia and Sweden object, to use this as an excuse for Prussia to grab the Swedish enclaves. Not that Paul was excessively fond of the Poles and their state but its elimination would strengthen Austria and Prussia while Russia, if it choses to participate, will get territories of a little value with a lot of pissed off Poles as the disloyal subjects. Francis and FWIII were seemingly ready to call the usual Russian bluff in a year or two and, unfortunately, Gustav III of Sweden was spending too much money on the domestic needs neglecting his army and fortifications on the Baltic coast. Unfortunately, improved Swedish navy would be rather useless in a land war.

So the time is limited and the Russian army has to be brought up to the top quality level with the plans being draw for the future campaign, the armies formed, commanders chosen, and logistics prepared. Weaponry is not a problem: armory factories are producings annually 1,200-1,300 guns and more than 150,000 poods of bombs and cannonballs, over 100,000 muskets per year, in addition, the arsenals can repair almost the same number of weapons and have in storage over 200,000 of them. As of now Russian army in European part of the empire amounts to 405,000, 75,000 cavalry and 40,000 artillerymen with 1620 field guns. In addition, it is realistic to deploy 25-30,000 irregular cavalry (Cossacks, Kalmuks and native contingents from the CA and Northern Caucasus).

Probably the Poles will be ready to defend their independence and King Gustav is going to at least defend his possessions. Participation of the Ottomans as a distracting factor is possible but don’t count on it.

There is no obvious reason for either France or Britain to be involved and actually it would be better if France stays out of it because otherwise the balance achieved by the recent treaties is going to be destroyed with and not easy to repair. Some minor German states may join Austria and Prussia but they are of no great importance. So it was along the lines of “go, general, and have everything prepared to the victorious war”.

In a due time a newly-appointed French ambassador, Armand-Augustin-Louis, Marquis de …oops… just Citizen Caulaincourt
arrived to Moscow bringing with him Josephine with her children. The rest of a family remained in France, for now:


Lucien was sent as ambassador to the court of Charles IV of Spain, (November, 1800), where his diplomatic talents won over the Bourbon royal family and, perhaps as importantly, the minister Manuel de Godoy. Joseph was a Senator and as Minister Plenipotentiary, recently signed a treaty of friendship and commerce between France and the United States. Mother, sisters and younger brothers lived with him either in Paris or in the Château de Villandry which was present to him by the consuls grateful for the services rendered.

Relations with Consul Bernadotte remained cordial: he and his wife had been considered family members. Future of Louis and Jerome still had to be defined but, with the family connections, something will be figured out, etc.

Besides the letters, ambassador brought with him money for the salary due to general Bonaparte and his aids for the time spent in Egypt and proceeds from the sale of general’s house in Paris as well as his considerable funds in gold so, together with what he got from Paul, general was a very wealthy man and could concentrate on the task ahead of him.

Josephine was welcomed at the court and when the Emperor was publicly nice to somebody, it meant that everybody must follow the suit.

[1] Jukums Vācietis (Иоаким Иоакимович Вацетис) - the first commander-in-chief of the Red Army (RKKA), a member of the Revolutionary Military Council (2 September 1918 – 3 July 1919)
[2] This “disease” survived not just all the way to the Finnish War of 1808-09 but was plaguing Russian army all the way to the RJW and perhaps even to WWI.
[3] In OTL Barclay’s speedy promotion to a full general raised a lot of hackles because he was one of the most junior lieutenant-generals.
[4] In OTL these French soldiers had been turning into the de facto life-long professionals but by 1801 the process only started and it was Napoleon who finalized it. So now he is getting as a well-established system what in OTL he was going to build.
[5] What kind of French they had been speaking is a separate issue. Here is a conversation between Alexander I and Count Louis Alexandre Andrault de Langeron (serving in Russia since 1790):
- Count, what these two generals are talking about?
- Your Majesty, I can’t understand them: they are speaking French.
So i assume that Saxony is once again in personal union with Poland? That's interesting and has a lot potential ...

And cold!
Napoleon, russian armies and winter enters europe...
Habsburg dominion will be limited to the island of Saint Helena!
Russia really has nothing to gain from Habsburg dominion a territorially and full dissolution of the Monarchy would throw European peace out of the window and unite much of Europe against Russia and potentially alienate some members of Baltic league and expanding Poland to much wouldn't do it good.

Now on other hand Galicia as a vassal, or just East Galicia if territorial exchange for Polish Eastern territories can be arranged (third partition lands +East Galicia) in exchange for Polish Galicia with member of the Romanov family on the throne would be interesting thought. It keeps Unitates out of the Empire, but still helps expand Russian influence.
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So i assume that Saxony is once again in personal union with Poland? That's interesting and has a lot potential ...
King Stanislaw is dead and as per the constitution the succession goes to Saxony.
Russia really has nothing to gain from Habsburg dominion a territorially and full dissolution of the Monarchy would throw European peace out of the window and unite much of Europe against Russia and potentially alienate some members of Baltic league and expanding Poland to much wouldn't do it good.

Yes, and this is a BIG dilemma. So far I did not figure a completely satisfactory solution.

Now on other hand East Galician, or Ruherian (with some territories exchange with Poland) state as vassal to Russia with member of the Romanov family on the throne would be interesting thought. It keeps Unitates out of the Empire, but still helps expand Russian influence.
The problem is that the area is poor, relatively small and the local Ukrainians have little in common with their Eastern “brethren” and hardly a pro-Russian. In other words, being ruler of the area is a questionable gift for the Russian Grand Duke. OTOH, as an Austrian possession it is a serious handicap for its owners: it has to be defended but defense is difficult because communications with rest rest of the Austrian Empire are limited to few mountain passes.

Pretty much the same goes for Prussia: returning too much of it (or of the Austrian part) to Poland means strengthening Poland with the inevitable ideas of getting everything back; Kościuszko is not the only one who is dreaming about a complete restoration, practicality be damned. Expecting a lasting gratitude is naive but alliance with Austria and/or Prussia with a goal to get the Russian and Swedish shares is quite realistic. IIRC, at some point prior to the 3rd Partition there was an alliance with Prussia against Russia (of course, eventually Prussia got out of it).

Then, to begin with, the war has to be won on two almost unrelated theaters and there is only one Napoleon. So there must be one more front commander and I have to figure out a realistic candidate: so far an idea of Kutuzov is unappealing, the elder Kamenski is out of his mind, Buksgevden is a nincompoop and most of the younger generation are rather junior (but have to check).
Pretty much the same goes for Prussia: returning too much of it (or of the Austrian part) to Poland means strengthening Poland with the inevitable ideas of getting everything back; Kościuszko is not the only one who is dreaming about a complete restoration, practicality be damned. Expecting a lasting gratitude is naive but alliance with Austria and/or Prussia with a goal to get the Russian and Swedish shares is quite realistic. IIRC, at some point prior to the 3rd Partition there was an alliance with Prussia against Russia (of course, eventually Prussia got out of it).

How about rewarding Poland -Saxony with Prussian Pozan (basically area from otl second partition) or conclaves in Saxony? In exchange taking Belorussian area's from third partition as vassal state (it doesn't have to be a Grand duke inheriting it) ? Otherwise if Belorussian area is unavailable then just don't expand Poland and reward Saxony with conclaves while adding reparations (if Russia isn't getting any territorial expansion why should they, saving their state is enough ?).

Otherwise there are some Prussian conclaves in North near Swedish Hamburg that could be given to to Sweden , maybe even give some Austrian conclaves to Prussia as recompense . Basically make it somewhat like Bigger Big Foolish War with benevolent peace and no big territorial changes (but make sure to milk Austrian and Prussian treasury dry so Russia can finance it's reforms).

Generally idea is that if territorial expansion is costly affair and could cause future trouble then it's better not to do it and make it a cabinet war with reparations, trade concessions (with Ottoman debt to Russia maybe something regarding Danube trade could be arranged with Austria) and lots of Prestige.
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How about rewarding Poland -Saxony with Prussian Pozan (basically area from otl second partition) or conclaves in Saxony?

Strictly speaking, why should they be rewarded for being saved? Of course, the Poles have some (justifiable) desires but let’s look at the situation from Paul’s perspective:
  • Poland agreed to cede parts of its territory to Russia, Sweden, Prussia and Austria. There is a treaty duly ratified by all sides involved.
  • Austria and Prussia were trying to violate this treaty, which was a wrong thing to do and Russia is fighting with a sole purpose to maintain a legally established status quo.
  • They are being defeated but why their punishment should involve violation of the existing treaty? What’s their should remain their, that’s what the treaties are for. Of course, Poland will be entitled to some compensation for the losses incurred due to the aggression so, taking into an account that all realistic reparation money will go to Russia (and Sweden), some minor territorial adjustments are reasonable but that’s it.
In exchange taking Belorussian area's from third partition as vassal state (it doesn't have to be a Grand duke inheriting it) ?

Not too much of the Belorussian territories left after the Partition and they do not worth trouble economically. Not to mention that their acquisition will result in having massive Pripyat Marshes at the rear.

Otherwise if Belorussian area is unavailable then just don't expand Poland and reward Saxony with conclaves while adding reparations (if Russia isn't getting any territorial expansion why should they, saving their state is enough ?).
How about a simpler schema: take reparation and don’t give anything to anybody?
Otherwise there are some Prussian conclaves in North near Swedish Hamburg
IIRC, while ago there was a discussion of the possible Swedish expansion into Germany. In the early XIX wouldn’t they be a liability rather than an asset?

that could be given to to Sweden , maybe even and give some Austrian conclaves to Prussia as recompense .
Recompense for fighting against Russia? They should be happy with getting away with the minor territorial concessions to Poland.

Basically make it somewhat like Bigger Big Foolish War with benevolent peace and no big territorial changes (but make sure to milk Austrian and Prussian treasury dry so Russia can finance it's reforms).

Exactly. As it was said, “only a bad ruler takes away something which is of no use to himself”.

Generally idea is that if territorial expansion are to costly affairs and could cause future trouble then it better not to do it and make it a cabinet war with reparations, trade concessions (with Ottomans debt to Russia maybe something regarding Danube trade could be arranged with Austria) and lot of Prestige.
As a mind reader you are doing so well that it is scary. 🤗
Then, to begin with, the war has to be won on two almost unrelated theaters and there is only one Napoleon. So there must be one more front commander and I have to figure out a realistic candidate: so far an idea of Kutuzov is unappealing, the elder Kamenski is out of his mind, Buksgevden is a nincompoop and most of the younger generation are rather junior (but have to check).
Bagration may have some clout as Suvorov's associate, though TTL his track record is of unknown value so far. But he's of right age and near right birth for the promotion.
Bagration may have some clout as Suvorov's associate, though TTL his track record is of unknown value so far. But he's of right age and near right birth for the promotion.
He is a good tactician but also is an idiot as a strategist, even AI understood this. And ITTL he does not have the OTL record. There are couple acceptable candidates.
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Joys of peace
170. Joys of peace

“In difficult times, fashion is always outrageous."
Elsa Schiaparelli
People will stare. Make it worth their while."
Harry Winston
“You can’t be more luxuriously undressed”
Talleyrand [1]
Madame, you are naked. Go and get dressed”
Napoleon [2]


France. Things in the order of importance.


Finally, Europe was at peace, at least for now, and “everybody” could visit Paris, the uncontested center of the fashions and things elegant.
Count Vorontsov, Russian Ambassador in London and the leading Russian anglo maniac: “I heard that our gentlemen make extravagant purchases in Paris. This fool Demidov ordered a porcelain set, each plate of which costs 16 gold luidores.”

For those who could not get there, Helmina von Schesy collected her impressions in a series of vignettes published in the magazine Französische Miscellen, and John Carr was one of those who introduced curious English readers hungry for impartial stories about "a people influenced by political change that had hitherto no analogues... In ten years of separation, we have received very little information about this unusual people that could be relied on," Carr said in his foreword.

In the second half of 1802, British guests from the upper class gathered in Paris. William Herschel took this opportunity to consult with his colleagues at the Observatory. The third exhibition of French goods was held in pavilions and temporary arcades in the courtyard of the Louvre from September 18 to 24. Among the visitors was Charles James Fox, to whom Minister Shaptal personally conducted a tour.

Of course, the process was not one-sided. French guests also came to England. Wax artist Marie Tussauds came to London and arranged an exhibition similar to the one in Paris. Balloonist André-Jacques Garnerin staged performances in London and made a balloon flight from London to Colchester in 45 minutes.

But all this was secondary to the most important thing, the female fashions. And in this area the visitors were up to a cultural shock. With the instigation of the fashionistas of the Merveilleuses period, Teresa Tallin, Josephine Beauharnais, Mademoiselle Lange, what was previously considered indecent has become fashionable. Parisian witters laughed that Parisians only need a shirt to be dressed in fashion. This fashion was called a la sauvage ("a la sauvage" - naked) and it became the rage under the Directory:

“Everything in a women's suit was aimed at drawing the shape of the body. A transparent batiste shirt made it possible to see the entire leg decorated above the knee with gold hoops. If a woman couldn't make visible her legs from shoes to her buttocks, they said she couldn't dress. When the lady walked, the dress, flirtatiously picked up in front and behind, tightly showed the whole play of her buttocks and muscles of her legs at every step.”

As presented by a British caricaturist, the fashionably dressed French women looked like that.

But, seriously, as a byproduct of the “Directorie” fashion, the French fashion industry had been decimated because these dresses required the thin cotton and the best cottons originated in Britain and India. Fortunately for France, none of the Consuls had excessively fashionable wife and all of them had been reasonably conservative in their tastes.

Interlude. The wives
  • Jean-Baptist Jourdan Jourdan married Jeanne Nicolas Avanturier, a sister of the wife of fabric merchant called Michel Avanturier who, in late 1784, employed a poor ex-soldier by the name of Jean-Baptiste Jourdan. Jourdan clearly went on to be on very good terms with his employer and must have interacted fairly frequently with the family to be able to propose to his boss’ sister in law. There seems to have been a little hesitation on the part of Jeanne’s family – at the time the orphaned Jourdan had no money, no prospects and would suffer life-long health problems after his overseas service – but eventually their consent was given. Jeanne and Jean-Baptiste were married at the church of Saint-Michel in Limoges on the 22ndof January 1788. Shortly after their marriage the young couple set up a haberdashery business in the town. Unfortunately, there is practically no information about her except that they lived a long life together and had six children.
  • Jean-Victor Moreau married Eugénie Hulot, born in Mauritius[2] and friend of Joséphine de Beauharnais, an ambitious woman who gained a complete ascendancy over him. She was trying to be a hostess of a political salon but did not have any ambitions in a fashion world.

  • Jean-Baptist Bernadotte married Desiree Clary, a daughter of a rich fabric merchant, a former fiancé of general Bonaparte (and not only) and a younger sister of Julie Bonaparte, Joseph's wife, which made him a “member” of Bonaparte family. Prior to marrying Bernadotte Desiree lived with Joseph and Julie. The Bonaparte family sided with her against Josephine after Napoleon had broken off their engagement. She herself did not like Josephine either, as she has been quoted calling her an aged courtesan with a deservedly bad reputation, but she is not believed to have shown any hostility toward Josephine as did the members of the Bonaparte family. In general, she was a kind and good-natured person not interested in politics (In OTL both Napoleon and Bernadotte both used her to influence each other and to pass messages during the periods when they were at odds). indifferent to social position but to please her husband was taking lessons of dances, etiquette and music to be up to her elevated social status. She lived in the circle of the Bonaparte and Clary family and also participated in high society, where she enjoyed music, theater and dance, while she spent her summers at spas or her country villas at La Grange and Auteuil.

Her closeness with her sister was an additional factor solidifying friendship between Bernadotte, Joseph and the rest of the Bonaparte clan, which was benefitting both sides. (Painting below shows her and Julie).

So nothing extravagant was expected from any of three highest ranking females of France and their husbands did not have noticeable problems with shaping appearance of the Consular France along less revolutionary and more conventional lines. Also, while all three Consuls were staunch republicans, none of them was considering poverty as a merit and the Consulate style, while preserving a general “classic” style (mostly based upon the misunderstandings regarding the Greek and Roman cultures), allowed it to become more luxurious in architecture, furniture and clothing. As a result, besides getting less revealing, the female dresses were becoming more lavish.

Well, and of course there were the interests of the French economy to consider as well. So, in their care for the national economic (and public moral), they gave the French silk industry a much-needed boost in a consular decree that French silk be worn at formal ceremonies and event went as far as to forbade the wearing of foreign cotton in order to stimulate French manufacturing and in a correct expectation that, besides the domestic market, these fabrics will be a popular export item being “true Parisian” rather than a local imitation.

What they could not completely eliminate was the most important accessory that was made necessary by the light muslin gowns that did not provide much protection from the cold, the shawls, the best of which were Indian kashmiris/cashmere. Not only did they provide warmth, they added to the classical draped effect.

Well, of course, being enormously expensive, they were also a social statement. European weavers quickly began to create cheaper imitations, most notably in Paisley, Scotland, and that city’s name would become synonymous with the pine or buta/boteh motif: even the Brits could be useful for something. Speaking of which, in the male attire the British influence, especially in the area of cravats, became prevalent to such a degree that Emperor Paul issued a special decree which explicitly forbade “excessively big” cravats (by whatever reason Paul was under impression that this fashion came from the Revolutionary France and not from apolitical Brummell ).

Other smaller female accessories also mark the era, such as swansdown boas and large fur muffs. Notably, the reticule, a small drawstring handbag, became a standard element of a woman’s outfit. Reticules became essential as the era’s narrowly-cut skirts prevented the wearing of pockets beneath the dress.

Vendee. The colonnes infernales ("infernal columns") killed a lot of people and caused a lot of a destruction but after a death of anything between 117,000 and 450,000 it was still a problem with the Chouans looting the coaches, disrupting travel and terrorizing the republican loyalists. A new approach was necessary and the Consulate appointed general Suchet a commander of the Army of Vendee: besides being a capable commander, he was also a reasonable person who understood well how to apply both stick and carrot. His instructions were [3]:
  • Strict military discipline. The soldiers are not to be permitted to oppress the civilians and to treat the region as a hostile area.
  • General amnesty to everybody willing to lay down the weapons.
Population of the region by that time was pretty much fed up with the uprising and had been suffering from the Chouans’ activities (they had to eat and have all types of supplies and where they had to get them from? ) and with the government’s troops finally behaving as a protecting rather than oppressing force, the movement died out by the “natural causes” with few stubborn Chouans led by Cadoudal escaping from France.

Army. Three former generals who now ruled France were well aware of a danger which can come from the disgruntled generals backed up by the grumpy troops. Now, at the time of peace, France did not need an army as big as it had but the professional officers and soldiers were of a great value because who knows for how long this peace is going to last.
The latest bunch of the conscripts who served for less than two years had been demobilized (with a bonus paid) with an option for the volunteers to remain in the army. For those who served for a longer time and could be considered “professionals” it was other way around: the volunteers could retire with the bonus paid and a priority in getting the state and communal jobs. Or they would sign a contract for serving for the next 10 years.
The generals were a different story and any solution had to start with the most problematic figure, Andre Massena.

The second, after Moreau, most reputable general (with Bonaparte out), a brilliant tactician nicknamed l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire (the Dear Child of Victory). His genius needed the presence of the enemy to stimulate it, but once it sprang to life Massena became an ideal leader, absolutely brave, resourceful, unrelenting and indefatigable. He was a great master of the strategy of forces in immediate contact. For the planning of a whole perfect campaign he had neither knowledge nor inclination. But outside of his military greatness he was also indolent, greedy, rapacious, stingy, ill-educated and morose. Greediness was outstanding even by the prevailing standards and during a war was, as much as the circumstances were allowing, an unrestricted looting of everything down to the shirts and tableware. Which meant that at the time of peace he could not be trusted, both by education (or rather its absence) and character, any serious administrative position, a stealing boss being bad example for the subordinates, and anyway not that he was interested.
But he could not be simply brushed aside both because of his undeniable talent and because of his popularity (successful commander rather lax on a discipline and allowing looting). Fortunately, he had no ambition beyond a desire to live well and to have plenty of money to spend. He was presented with a big estate, given a big amount of money as a bonus and retained his rank (and salary). Of course, the more money he was getting, the stingier he became but in general he was happy.
Charles-Pierre Augereau. Shortly after Castiglione, Bonaparte tersely summed up Augereau's military qualities: "Much character, courage, steadiness, activity; is used to war, liked by the soldiers, lucky in his operations." The important thing, however, was that he was deeply involved in the Brumaire events and had to be awarded so he was made Inspector-General of the Infantry.
The less important figures had been given various rewards (usually estates and money grants for the generals and just money for the officers), retained their positions and did not have reasons to be unhappy.

State awards. After a long and rather tedious discussions two Jean-Baptists managed to convince Jean-Victor that introduction of the state awards is not a return to the Old Regime and that the “baubles” can be a powerful stimulus for the military and civilians. How the people would know that a person deserves a respect for his service to the Republic? Only the generals have names of their victorious battles engraved on their swords and even then, you are not going to brandish that sword on a street. But what about the lesser personages? Do they deserve a respect for the outstanding deeds? Eventually, Moreau’s wife was contacted and easily convinced that a high state award will look great on her husband’s uniform.
It was decided to start with 3 awards:
  • Legion of Honor - military :
    • Grand-croix
    • Grand-officer
    • Commandeur
    • Officer
    • Chevalier
  • Order of Merit - civilian (the same degrees as for Legion of Honor)
  • Military Medal - military
Haiti [4]. The triumvirs decided to do as little as possible and the best way was, seemingly, to acknowledge status quo. François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture who was both pro-French, the biggest plantation owner and, after defeating all rivals, proclaimed Governor-General for Life by the constitution acknowledging in Article 1 that it was a single colony of the French, got an official recognition of his title from Paris.

As a side note, constitutional assembly, composed chiefly of white planters, came with a document abolishing slavery. Article 3 of the constitution states: "There cannot exist slaves [in Saint-Domingue], servitude is therein forever abolished. All men are born, live and die free and French." The constitution guaranteed equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law for all races, but confirmed Louverture's policies of forced labor and the importation of workers through the slave trade. The reason was simple: the plantations were already using the paid labor and this model proved to be quite profitable.

There were some “issues” potentially damaging to France: the absence of provision for French government officials, the lack of trade advantages, and Louverture's breach of protocol in publishing the constitution before submitting it to the French government. However, the triumvirs opted to ignore the protocol breach, minimize an issue of the officials and concentrate on negotiations regarding the trade advantages [5]. As a result, the agreement was reached regarding having a single French Commissioner as a liaison officer with Paris and the lesser tariffs for the French imports/exports. After which he was left alone.

Louisiana was a much greater potential problem because most of it was French only on paper. In the territory of 2,140,000 km2 non-native population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were enslaved Africans and so far the French did not want to move there. Commercial value in the terms of exports was rather low: some tobacco, indigo and furs. Plus some of the agricultural production had been sent to the French West India colonies. It was tempting to get rid of it but decision was not made, so far.

Quasi War with the US had been ended in 1800 by Convention of 1800, also known as the Treaty of Mortefontaine. The Convention signed on 30 September contained 27 clauses, the majority of which related to commercial affairs; these protected each other's merchants from having their goods confiscated, and guaranteed both sides most favoured nation trading status. An issue of compensation for the claimed damages was postponed indefinitely [6] and principle of the unrestricted neutral trade (there was still a war going on) prevailed.

[1] When meeting Theresa Tallien at the theater
[2] To the excessively fashionably dressed woman at the state occasion.
[3] More or less what was Bernadotte’s policies in OTL when he was in charge of the Army of the Vendée.
[4] Seems to be excessively popular place, judging by a number of posts mentioning it. 😜
[5] Aka, behave 180 degrees opposite to the OTL Napoleon’s attitude.
[6] The whole Quasi War had been triggered by the US reneging upon the agreements with the Kingdom of France arguing that the French Revolution made them null and void but during the treaty discussion being reluctant to accept the French argument that all measures taken by the Directory against American commerce also had been annulled by the new government.
Busy times
171. Busy times

The fact that you have an innate flat foot didn't convince me. Some, in order not to serve in the army, are specially born girls!”
“- Ivanov, you're a moron! - But Comrade Ensign!!! - It's an order!!!

In ancient times, when primitive people hunted mammoths, one of the savages offered to surround them and trap them. That's how the commanders appeared. When all the people ate and there was still some meat left, one offered to put it in a cold cave. That's how deputies in the rear appeared. But when people came every other day, they didn't find any meat. That's how ensigns appeared.”
“The young soldier asks the sergeant a question: - Why on the command "Step march! "Do they start moving with your left foot forward? "Because you can’t put both your legs forward," answers the sergeant.

General observations about military service​

1801 - 1804

In his assessments Emperor Paul proved to be excessively pessimistic: while the “Polish itch” was great, neither Austria nor Prussia was, yet, ready to press the issue all the way to a serious war so, while preparations to a potential conflict were going, there was a prolonged period of the low intensity diplomatic talks and testing of the diplomatic waters outside the potential “conflict zone”.

Prussia was considering itself absolutely prepared to any eventuality and nobody in its military establishment had any serious doubts about readiness of its army to get to the war.

The Prussian army had made but two campaigns in 45 years and these were only partial wars. The principle of promotion by seniority had resulted in filling the high grades with old men…. the following extraordinary measures should have formed a part of the preparations for war [1]:
1. The assembling of a considerable sum of money, either through a loan or through war contributions.
2. The raising of 100,000 men as soon as the war was decided upon to organize the reserve battalions.
3. The organization of field batteries in numbers corresponding to the number of bronze guns withdrawn from forts and replaced by iron guns.
4. The purchase of 200,000 muskets in Austria and England.
5. The transfer of all military stores from undefended towns into fortresses.

6. The construction of bridgeheads over the Elbe, the Oder, and the Vistula.
7. The retirement of those generals, field officers and captains who were too old; the promotion of some young men to high grades; the assignment to command of forts, of some young men who would have had to determine their fate.
8. Finally, an amicable but powerful action on the little German states which could provide additional contingents

From these eight measures, prescribed by sound reason, if one thought on the dangers of the time, not a single one was taken, because it was the custom to think of nothing else except mobilization.”

The Prussian army had a strength of about 200,000 men. It could be foreseen that hardly 150,000 of these would appear on the field of battle and even this was a paper number because most of the regiments were below their reported strength: considerable numbers of men had been detached on various special duties, then there were routine desertions, big numbers of sick, etc. “Thus of the famous Prussian army of 220,000 men all to be ready for battle, only one-half was actually present and ready* for the most decisive battle which it was possible to undertake.”

The Prussian army was organized into fourteen divisions of various sizes including all arms. The cavalry had been distributed between the divisions, 10 - 15 squadrons in each, without having any cavalry reserve. However the main weakness was in the fact that the Prussian army got stuck in “Frederick’s tradition” in theory and fell well below the Frederick's level in practice. Training was limited to the parade ground exercise, the linear tactics was still in place and in a battle the troops would be suffering high losses from the enemy’s skirmishers and artillery. An idea of having tactical reserves was not there and the thin lines had been vulnerable to the flank attacks, had problems of fighting anywhere except the open flat terrain, etc. The same goes for the cavalry: times of Seidlitz were gone and all its training was limited to the parade ground maneuvers.
The Prussian army had at that time a complete camp outfit, tents, large cooking utensils and bread wagons. This made an immense baggage train which had to be separated from the troops at times of danger. But its presence on the road during this rapid retreat, caused a hundred halts without it being able to obtain the slightest use from them. The troops were then without cooking utensils. They were also without overcoats, and the bedding with which they were to protect themselves from cold nights in the tents was naturally with the tents. In addition the troops were without means for individual cook ing. All this was considered by the Prussian Generals as a primary reason for putting the troops in billets each day even at the most dangerous times, and these quarters were not concentrated, as it was necessary that the soldiers be subsisted by their hosts. As a result the marches were greatly shortened, during the night, evening and morning the troops were never assembled and it was difficult to change the predefined plans. All of that greatly increased the rate of desertion.

But probably the greatest problem was with its officers and generals: Frederick held his subordinate commanders under a tight control, giving them the detailed orders and demanding a precise execution. The initiative was not encouraged. Now, the people in charge were the survivors of this school and exercised the same attitude toward their subordinates. The leaders were not used to make decisions of their own and almost everything was to be decided “by a committee”. When this was impossible, a standard solution was to march forward “not looking to the right or left” and the main function of the officers was to march ahead of their troops showing example of a personal bravery. “Some resolute young men at the head of the army would have obtained some counsel from their good sense; but some old men, shriveled in spirit during a long peace, with some ideas bound up with red tape, could find no solution.”

Well, an icing on the cake was shortage of funds: starting from the last years of FII’s reign Prussia kept accumulating the debt regardless the ever-growing taxes. The whole economic policy of the Old Fritz was a failure and his successors were not willing or capable to change it. Taking into an account that the usual cash cow, Britain, was an unlikely participant in the expected conflict, this was going to be a problem for anything but a short victorious war with the good looting possibilities. Of course, economic situation in whatever was left out of Poland slightly improved since the last war but Prussia was already sucking up a big part of its wealth thanks to the high taxes the Old Fritz put on the Polish exports, except for those coming through Danzig. Which meant that the future war will be doomed to include attack on the Swedish possessions in Poland and Pomerania and, also invasion of Saxony, which always was a good source of “income” and this meant that the Prussian army will have to be split three ways.

Edit (07/10):
Prussian army consisted of 200,000 men: 133,000 infantrymen, 39,600 cavalrymen and 10,000 artillerymen and few thousands of engineers, garrisons, reserves etc.
. . . . . . . . . 2 Guard infantry regiments (2 battalions each)
. . . . . . . . . 58 infantry regiments (2 battalions each)
. . . . . . . . . 1 jager regiment (3 battalions)
. . . . . . . . . 27 grenadier battalions
. . . . . . . . . 24 fusilier battalions
. . . . . . . . . 13 cuirassier regiments (5 squadrons each)
. . . . . . . . . 14 dragoon regiments (10 x 5 squadrons and 2 x 10 squadrons)
. . . . . . . . . 9 hussar regiments (10 squadrons each)
. . . . . . . . . 1 'Towarzysze' regiment (10 + 5 squadrons)
. . . . . . . . . 4 foot artillery regiments (36 12pdr batteries of 8 guns)
. . . . . . . . . 1 horse artillery regiment (20 6pdr batteries of 8 guns)
. . . . . . . . . reserve (2 10pdr mortar batteries, 1 light mortar battery, 4 7pdr howitzer batteries 8 6pdr batteries)

Austria. Experience of the last wars clearly indicated that there was a need of some reforms.

The key feature of the army of the Austrian Empire was that, due to the multi-national nature of the territories, regiments were split into German units (which included Czech-troops recruited from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, Polish and Ruthenian units recruited from the territory of Galicia, Flemings and Walloons territory of the former Austrian Netherlands, and Italians) and Hungarian units (which included troops from Croatia and Transylvania). Conscription resulted in elements of untrained men in every battalion, a problem exacerbated by incoherent training across the regions. The army was beset by constant government frugality and several reorganisations. A Militär-Hof-Commission sat for six years from 1795 (known as the Nostitz-Rieneck commission and from 1798, Unterberger) to overhaul the kit, producing the simpler 1798-pattern uniform, the famous crested helmet and a standard musket, copied from the French 1777 pattern.

On 20 March 1801, Feldmarschalleutnant Duka became the world's first peacetime Generalquartiermeister at the head of the staff and the wartime role of the Chief of Staff was now focused on planning and operations to assist the Commander. Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen himself produced a new Dienstvorschrift which divided the staff into three: 1) Political Correspondence; 2) the Operations Directorate, dealing with planning and intelligence; 3) the Service Directorate, dealing with administration, supply and military justice. The Archduke set out the position of a modern Chief of Staff: “The Chief of Staff stands at the side of the Commander-in-Chief and is completely at his disposal. His sphere of work connects him with no specific unit”. “The Commander-in-Chief decides what should happen and how; his chief assistant works out these decisions, so that each subordinate understands his allotted task”. This was a big step forward, in theory. Finding a suitable chief of staff and his subordinates was a completely different issue.
Recruitment in the German areas was by voluntary enlistment and a scheme of conscription, which was for lifetime service. All able-bodied men between 17 and 40 were liable, although the many exemptions for the nobility, skilled trades, most townsfolk and married men, meant the bulk were drawn from the younger sons of rural peasants and the urban proletariat. Recruits for Hungarian regiments were organised by the Hungarian Assembly of Nobles Diet of Hungary by quotas in each county. Each regiment had its own zone of recruitment within the Empire. The only exception to this was the Poles of Galicia, who were recruited in 'Aushilfsbezirke' (supplementary recruitment districts).

Most officers were recruited as cadets or appointed from within the regiments. Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen emphasised education of the troops and officers in particular. He also issued a number of regulations covering all imaginable eventualities so the only thing the officers and soldiers needed was to memorize all of them and then to figure out which instruction to follow in a specific situation.

The army numbered fifty-seven line regiments, including two grenadiercompanies each. Seventeen Grenzer light infantry regiments, three garrison regiments and the Stabs Infanterie Regiment for HQ duties. In addition, irregular Frei-Corps light infantry battalions were raised in wartime. a line regiment typically consisted of two field battalions – Leib- and Oberst-battalions – each of six fusilier companies; also, a grenadier division of two companies, which were normally detached to form composite grenadier battalions with those of two other regiments. In addition, it included one garrison battalion (Oberstleutnant – Battalion) composed of four companies which served as a source for reserves at the regiment depot. The established strength of a 'German' line regiment in theory was 4,575 men, though this number was rarely above 2–3,000, especially in peacetime. With three battalions, 'Hungarian' regiments had a nominal strength of 5,508.

Edit (07/10):
Cavalry included 8 Cuirassier regiments, 6 Dragoon regiments, 6 Chevaulégers regiments, 12 Hussars regiments, 3 Uhlans regiments.
Artillery - 4 Feldartillerie regiments.
Engineers Corps or Ingenieur Korps: 4 FML, 5 GM, 6 colonels, 8 Lieut.colonels, 12 majors, 64 captains, 47 lieutenants.
Miners or Mineur Korps: 1 Colonel, 1 Lieut.Colonel, 1 major, 4 captains, 4 lieutenants, 4 Second lieutenant, 1 adjutant, 4 companies of 100 men. Generalquartiermeister Staff: (GM Mayer), 4 colonels, 6 lieutenant colonels, 14 majors, 23 captains, 13 lieutenants scattered in the territory, fortresses, major cities, the military border, and sometimes named when needed.
Pontooners (Battalion Czaikisten): 1 colonel, 5 captains, 6 lieutenants, 6 second lieutenant, 11 Oberbrückenmeister (a kind of sergeant major), 6 companies each with 100 men.
Military Train (Militärfuhrwesens Korps): 1 colonel, 1 lieutenant colonel, 1 major, 6 Premier-rittmeister (first captain), 9 second-rittmeister (2nd captain), 26 lieutenants, 34 second lieutenant, 11 adjutanten scattered in the train (Fuhrwesens) divisions of the major cities.
Kriegskommissariat (War Commissioner): 22 Oberkriegskommissäre, 72 Feldkriegskommissäre, 74 Kriegskommissariat officers (scattered in countryland, provinces).
Militär-Ökonomie-Commissionen and Depots (Commissioners for Military Economy and Depots): at Stockerau, Prague, Alt-Ofen (now Budapest), Brünn, Podgorze, Jaroslaw, Marburg, Karlsburg and Vienna (each with 1 Staff officer, 1 captain and 2 lieutenants).

The introduction of new regulations did little to disrupt the traditional three-rank line formation of battalions in action, and the use of the 'battalion-column' for movement. Austrian army aways was strong in the skirmishers and strengthening of these troops continued.

On a strategic level, somewhat disregarding his own (successful) practices, he kept repeating the advice that nothing should be hazarded unless one's army is completely secure. Strategic points, he says, not the defeat of the enemy's army, decide the fate of one's own country, and must constantly remain the general's main concern. Charles attached more value to ground than to the annihilation of the foe. In his tactical writings the same spirit is conspicuous. His reserve in battle is designed to "cover a retreat."

In 1803 Austrian army was 310,000 strong and needed few more years to implement modernization of its army.

Russia. General Bonaparte, now was routinely called “general Bonapartov” with his first name being considered by the troops as a good omen [2]. The task entrusted to him was both straightforward and complicated.


Straightforward part was physical implementation of the modernization because in most of its tactical organization it was, at least in theory, quite up to date. The remaining part was to rollback the de facto changes of the last decades caused by the specifics of the small-scale wars Russia was conducting and by somewhat excessive zeal of the late Minister Milutin who abolished the corps organization based on that experience. Other than that, the columns and loose formations tactics already was there and even a major proponent of the bayonet supremacy, Suvorov, had been using his jagers quite efficiently. The same goes for the army level institutions: they were already there and could be used with the relatively minor modernization. Which left massive artillery and cavalry deployment and practical training.

Complicated part was in the commanding cadres. On the top level Russian army had over a dozen of full generals (aka, those superior to him in a rank) but most of them were either too old for an active service or, due to the generally peaceful times of the last five decades, reached that rank just due to the long service, often in the mostly administrative capacity of a governor-general. So, with the very few exceptions, like Ivan Michelson (a very energetic cavalry commander who raised from the ranks and was not making an issue out of seniority), he had mostly to rely upon the younger generation, the lieutenant- and major-generals who would serve as the division and corps commanders. As long as Paul was approving of his activities, he could ignore the unhappy grumbling.
On his insistence, one more conscription round had been conducted producing additional 150,000 recruits put into the intensive training and in a meantime used to replace the troops located everywhere in the European Russia and now gradually moved toward the borders.

A very serious problem was intendancy: formally, all the necessary structures were in place but in a reality, due to the time of peace and small wars, they got lax. The magazines were deep inside European Russia, the supplies had been carried by the mobilized peasant little wagons and very little had been done to organize the effective communications with an army. Changing this was a truly herculean task but with the active help of Yermolov, whom “Bonapartov” picked as his chief of staff and who was both knowledgeable and quite resolute person [3] , the change happened. Army got standard supply wagons managed by the soldiers assigned to intendancy department. A chain of the supply depots had been created close to the Western border and each regiment got a supply officer with a subordinated team responsible both for the communication with depots and for provisioning “from the land”. The same additions had been made on the higher levels of command chain with Proviantmaster-General on the army level.

Poland and Saxony. Poland managed to create army of 60,000 reasonably well-armed and trained. It was under command of Joseph Poniatowski, nephew of the late King Stanislaw.


Saxony had between 18 and 20,000 troops.

Sweden had between 30 and 40,000 troops and planned to raise that number to 50,000.

[1] As pretty much everything related to the Prussian army, stolen from Clausewitz. 😉
[2] “Na pole on” (На поле он) means in Russian “he is on the field”.
[3] As Suvorov put it, “if someone served in intendancy for three years, that person can be shot without a trial”. Of course, things did not went that far but after few figures had been fired in a disgrace with the property confiscated, things started moving in a right direction.
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I wonder would it be possible for Thomas Cochrane to somehow make his into the service of russia in this world, after all they guy in our world is one of the most successful sailors ever
I wonder would it be possible for Thomas Cochrane to somehow make his into the service of russia in this world, after all they guy in our world is one of the most successful sailors ever
Let me figure out what to do with those I already brought in before introducing the new ones. 😂
Anyway, his window of opportunity is post 1814.
Well given that it's 1804 first Serbian uprising (against Janissaries for now) should be happening soon , so either that distracts Austria, or actually encourages them to act rashly in Poland as Ottomans will be facing internal unrest, not to mention victory over Russia would actually give them enough diplomatic cloth to press Ottomans for concessions.
Even busier times
172. Even busier times

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Benjamin Franklin
It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.”
J.F. Kennedy … or Clausewitz [1]
“…those who rule by force speak most copiously about peace until they have completed the mobilization process.”
Stefan Zweig
To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
George Washington
No other's sacrifice in the name of peace can be considered too big.”
Karel Čapek​

Reorganizing Russian army one more time…
It could be argued that by giving his chosen military leader carte blanche Emperor Paul did not quite understand with whom he is dealing. What expected to be mostly a cosmetic change and shaping up what was already there turned into something much bigger: general Bonapartov had quite a few ideas which he did not have chance to implement back in France and now he got an almost ideal opportunity to turn theory into practice.

The first “victim” was Russian artillery, which was not a big surprise taking into an account Bonaparte’s profession. The material part was good and in some aspects even better then one of the expected opponents but its organization was amorphous: the small-scale wars of the last decades were not requiring the big masses of artillery and each specific detachment was usually supplied with it on ad hoc basis and only temporarily so that the officially existing structures were more administrative than tactical. In anticipation of a major European war this had to be changed.
By 1804 the field and regimental artillery had been organized into 28 brigades plus there were 10 brigades of the reserve artillery and 4 depot brigades (for personnel training) and 25 separate artillery companies.

The Guards Brigade consisted of 2 battery, 2 light and 2 horse artillery companies
The field brigade - 1 battery and 2 light companies.
The reserve brigade had 1 battery and 1 cavalry artillery company, plus 4 pontoon companies.

  • Battery (heavy) company had 14 guns: 6 half-pood (20 pounds) unicorns, 4 twelve-pound guns of big proportion and 4 twelve-pound guns of medium proportion. In addition, each brigade was given 2 three-pounder unicorns. Composition of a heavy company caused a serious controversy. There were no objections regarding number and caliber of the guns but there was an argument in favor of having the guns of a medium and small proportion because they could provide a higher rate of a fire comparing to big and medium composition . This argument was correct for the previous wars when the opponent had rather weak artillery but in a coming confrontation situation was going to be different and a strong long range artillery was going to be needed.
  • The light company had 12 guns: 4 twelve-pounder unicorns and 8 six-pounder guns.
  • Cavalry company also had 12 guns: 6 twelve-pounder unicorns and 6 six-pounder guns.

To achieve greater maneuverability and independence, each artillery company had its own train for transporting ammunition and a field forge. 120 ammunition pieces was carried to each gun: 80 cannonballs or grenades, 30 buckshot and 10 brandscugels (incendiary shell). There were 10 people per light gun and 13 per heavy gun. There was an non-com officer for every two guns.

Each artillery brigade included a “pioneer” (sapper) company.

In total, field artillery had 1,620 guns: 60 Guards artillery guns, 648 battery guns, 648 light guns and 264 horse guns. In addition, there were 180 siege artillery guns. The artillery personnel numbered about 40,000 people.

There were 2 pioneer regiments, each composed of 3 battalions of 4 companies (2 miners and 10 pioneers) and a pontoon regiment of 2,000 people. The regiment consisted of two four-company battalions, had 16 depots of 50 pontoons each.

In cavalry structure of the regiments did not change. The cuirassier and dragoon regiments had 5 squadrons each, two companies in the squadron. The Hussar and Uhlan regiments had 10 squadrons, 5 squadrons each in the battalion. Only added one reserve (training) squadron to the cuirassier and dragoon regiments and two reserve squadrons to the Hussar and Uhlan regiments. In 1802, the cuirassier regiments had 787 combats and 138 non-combats; dragoon regiments had 827 combatants and 142 non-combatants; hussar and uhlan regiments had 1,528 combatants and 211 non-combatants.

There were 65 cavalry regiments with the main stress being made on “strategic” cavalry (one providing an overall superiority on a theater of war) at the expense of “tactical” (providing a direct support of the infantry). Number of the cuirassier regiments had been cut down to 5 but a number of dragoon regiments increased to 36, hussars to 11 and uhlans to 5. Total size of the regular cavalry was 76,000.

The cavalry division had three brigades, two regiments in each brigade. In 1804 16 cavalry divisions were formed: 3 cuirassier (two brigades each), 4 dragoon, 2 horse Jaeger, 3 Hussar and 4 Uhlan (three brigades each). In practice, some of these divisions remained purely administrative units because their regiments had been distributed between various army corps.

The total number of the irregular cavalry (including the Cossacks, Oirats, Kalmyks, and contingents from the CA) was approximately 120,000. These troops had been organized into regiments 500 each and had some horse artillery organized the same way as one of a regular army. Most of them had been used for a border service so, by a distance and absence of other duties, the bulk would come from the Host of the Don (which included the Kalmyks) but few Oirat regiments had been called as well: service of the well-trained (and for all practical purposes “regular”) lancers could not be disregarded.

In many ways, the combat capability of the cavalry depended on its cavalry. The irregulars had been coming with their own horses but the regular troops had to be supplied by the state. In 1798, it was decided to purchase 120 horses annually for each dragoon and cuirassier regiment, and 194 in the hussar regiment. The service life of the horse was 7 years. 7,000 horses were required for the annual replenishment of 4 guards and 52 army regiments. To provide horses for the increased numbers of a cavalry the government raised the purchasing prices. In 1803 the cuirassier horse cost 171 rubles 7 kopecks (in 1798 it was 120 rubles), dragoon horse - 109 rubles 67 kopecks (in 1798 - 90 rubles), hussar horse - 99 rubles 67 kopecks (in 1798 - 60 rubles). By the beginning of 1804, the cost of horses had increased even more - to 240 - 300 rubles.

Infantry included 6regiments of the Guards, 14 grenadier regiments, 98 infantry regiments and 50 jager regiments. All regiments had 3 battalions by 4 companies, one of which grenadier. 2nd battalion of each regiment was a depot battalion used for training of the new recruits. In the process it was found out that, besides the garrison troops, there are numerous battalions of a mysterious “strategic reserve” the purpose of which nobody could explain coherently [3]. So they were just added as the 3rd active battalion to the existing regiments or used to bring the existing units up to the required strength. In a time of war infantry regiment had 2,156 combatants and 235 noncombatant soldiers. In total field infantry (including the Guards) had over 400,000.

Above the regimental level there were brigades of 2 regiments. Above them there were 28 divisions of 3 brigades each (one of them jagers brigade except for the grenadier divisions). Each division included an artillery field brigade.

An army corps included 2 infantry divisions with the attached cavalry. In theory, there should be a cavalry division but in practice it varied from 1 cavalry regiment to 1 cavalry division. There was no special corps level artillery unit, just brigades attached to the divisions.

Reserve cavalry corps in theory consisted of 2 divisions with attached reserve artillery brigade but in a reality number of the cavalry units could vary from 2 brigades to 2 divisions.

The field army included 14 army corps units and 5 cavalry corps units.

In the terms of education the officers corps was not too impressive because the existing military schools made an emphasis on a general education. Majority (over 50%) could only read and write. However, many officers were fluent in several languages, with 30.4 per cent speaking French and 25.2 per cent German. Only 2.9 per cent studied military sciences and even fewer (0.3 per cent) had been taught military tactics [4].

The artillery branch, naturally, fared better in this respect and many artillery officers were competent in arithmetic (23.2 per cent), geometry (10.6 per cent), algebra (6.5 per cent) and trigonometry (3.5 per cent). Over 67 per cent of the Russian artillery officers were graduates of institutions offering a higher military education, compared to 10.5 per cent in the Guard cavalry and 10 per cent in the regular cavalry [5]. On a higher note, 21.6 per cent of the regular infantry officers studied in cadet corps and 21.2 per cent of Guard infantry officers studied at some of the highest military institutions. Non-commissioned officers, many of whom were promoted from the rank-and-file, still had a relatively high level of literacy at 38 per cent.

Although the popular stereotype portrays Russian officers as wealthy serf owners and spoiled aristocrats, in reality most Russian officers lived in poverty, without any property or serfs. Young officers from the gentry often had nothing but a simple bundle of clothes when they joined a regiment. Records of service show that 77 per cent of the Russian officers at Borodino did not own any property or serfs and another 20 per cent had shared ownership of serfs and property with their respective families. Furthermore, 95.6 per cent of foreign officers in the Russian Army held no assets in Russia and depended on their salaries. Naturally, the Guard units had the most affluent officers, with 38 per cent of them owning serfs and property. The cavalry officers were less well off at 22 per cent, followed by infantry officers at 20 per cent and artillery officers at 15 per cent. It is also surprising to discover that that among 295 generals, the majority (160 or 54.2 per cent) had no serfs or property, 13 owned less than 20 serfs, 34 possessed between up to 100 serfs and 79 owned over 100 serfs.

Which meant that the officers corps was almost completely dependent upon the government and will be doing what is ordered. The Guards were, of course, in a better financial and social situation but this was fully dependent upon their loyalty and bad behavior could negatively impact position of their family.

Anyway, so far there was no reason for the military to be unhappy because expansion meant promotions.

The modernized army units had been passed through the intensive drill and maneuvers but this was to a great degree tradition established by Suvorov who emphasized importance of training in the “real” conditions as opposite to the popular formal parade ground exercises. In a war that Bonaparte was planning, the long marches and fast redeployments from a marching to the battle order were of a critical importance. Well, of course the military parades were not forgotten either.

Enjoying peaceful life while it lasts…
Reforms or no reforms, “everybody” wanted to have a good time so there were frequent balls, masquerades and other entertainments. Why not if there was a peace in Europe, the estates were producing steady incomes (well…. ) and the all-important French goods of all types became available again.


And not just physical goods and the albums of fashions. Well, these also. The gilded bronze was all rage and so were the antique cameos from Italy (and their imitations) incorporated into a new fashionable style of a jewelry. The female fashions became less outrageous and easily acceptable in a more conservative Russian court.

Paris under the Consulate seemingly became an interesting place, again, and the Russians visiting it (and leaving big amounts of money there) had been coming back with a lot of the interesting stories about the “court of three Jeans”, its habits, intrigues and gossips. Everybody knew that Consul Jordan is a serious one, Consul Moreau is a dedicated hunter and a very nice man and Consul Bernadotte is absolutely charming and brilliant (who would dare to argue against opinions of Mmes de Staël and Recamier?) and his wife is a very kind but a little bit shy person. And the sisters of our dear general Bonapartov are real beauties! He absolutely must to invite them to visit Moscow! Well, of course, nobody can compete with our Mme Bonapartova who seemingly manages to dictate Parisian fashions from Moscow….

The last part was true and, strange as it may sound, probably for the first time in her life and to everybody’s surprise, Josephine turned from being a financial liability into an “economic asset” on a national scale being instrumental in discovering and promoting a brand new item of the Russian export… [6]

[1] As often the case with our politicians, this seems to be a plagiarism from Clausewitz, “to secure peace is to prepare for war”. OTOH, this assumes that either JFK or his speechwriter had been reading Clausewitz (how likely would it be?) so the option is “the great minds think alike”. 😂
[2] Actually, this was the case in 1812 and as a result the Russian troops suffered serious losses from the heavy French artillery which had a longer range. Only when the French did attack the advantage of a higher rate of a fire was on the Russian side but by that time their troops and artillery already had been seriously depleted. ITTL Nappy is ordering the music.
[3] The idea of such a reserve had been criticized by the military thinkers as different as Clausewitz and Jomini. It proved to be useless in Prussian army in 1806 and in 1812 all Russian “reserve divisions” had been sent piecemeal to the fighting army to compensate the losses.
[4] Not sure if this was such a big problem. The Austrian officers tended to be well-educated and still routinely beaten by the less educated Ottomans and French Revolutionary armies.
[5] IMO such a comparison is plain silly: who and to which practical purpose would need a cavalry lieutenant with a knowledge of geometry? 😏
[6] You can make a guess. 😜