Uniforms of 1812
Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow

Philip Haythornthwaite, Michael Chappell

Uniforms of 1812, Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow, Philip Haythornthwaite, Michael Chappell.

Immortalised in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Napoleon’s Russian campaign of 1812 is best known for the Retreat from Moscow which destroyed his huge, multi-national Grande Armée and began his downfall.

No book has previously been written on the uniforms worn during the campaign, both the magnificent full dress worn at the outset and the ragged costume adopted from necessity during the Retreat. In addition, many of the troops involved (of both sides), did not wear the uniforms specified by official regulations, but either earlier patterns or modifications designed for the rigours of campaigning, including such bizarre items as muffs and fur ear-protectors!

In order to portray accurately the uniforms actually worn (instead of what should have been worn), the drawings of over twenty contemporary artists and the accounts of more than forty eye-witnesses, of all nationalities, have been consulted; over 150 uniforms are shown in full colour, including the armies of France, Russia, Austria, Baden, Bavaria, Cleve-Berg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Italy, Naples, Poland, Prussia, Saxony, Westphalia, Württemberg, the British contingent, and the Dutch, Swiss, Spanish, Portuguese and Croatians serving in the French army; black-and-white illustrations show further uniforms and flags. The book is completed by a Historical Introduction recording the events of the campaign, and by Orders of Battle listing both the Grande Armée and the opposing forces at the Battle of Borodino.

Philip Haythornthwaite’s stature as both military researcher and writer grows steadily with each new book from his pen. His work is further enhanced by Michael Chappell’s artistic flair and meticulous attention to detail.


  • Title: Uniforms of 1812
  • Period: 1812 Russian Campaign
  • Type: Uniformology
  • Author: Philip Haythornthwaite
  • Illustrator: Michael Chappell
  • Format: 204-page Book with 64 Colour Plates
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blandford Press Ltd., Poole, Dorset
  • ISBN: 071371283X
  • Published: 1976


  1. Acknowledgements
  2. Author’s Notes
  3. Historical Introduction
  4. The Colour Plates
  5. Organisation and Strengths
  6. Uniforms of the Retreat from Moscow
  7. Text to Colour Plates
    • The Grande Armée
    • Russia
  8. Black-and-White Illustrations
  9. Text to Black-and-White Illustrations
  10. Appendix I – Ordre of Battle, Grand Armée
  11. Appendix II – Russian Army at Borodino, 7 September 1812
  12. Appendix III – Some Uniforms not Illustrated
  13. Sources and Bibliography

Uniforms of 1812 is an excellent resource for figure painters, diorama builders, and wargamers interested in raising miniature armies for Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Michael Chappell’s beautiful illustrations have inspired generations of figure painters and collectors to create their own scale model of the Grande Armée or Russian army. The Order of Battle included in the appendix lists the battalions, regiments, brigades, divisions, and corps of the Grande Armée involved in the Russian campaign, as well as the Russian army engaged at the Battle of Borodino.

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