Land of Enchantment

Albrecht Adam made an interesting observation about how the army viewed the poor conditions in a new light because they were the conquerors:

Kroni, Headquarters
1 July 1812
by Albrecht Adam

Kroni, Headquarters

“No sooner had we crossed the river than we seemed to exist in another atmosphere.  The roads were as bad as they had been, the forests just as sad and the villages even more deserted, but we, animated by the imagination of conquerors, beheld everything with enchantment.”

“After a two-hour march across muddy terrain we arrived at the village of Kroni with its wooden chateau and houses.  That might be the last time I make such an observation because all Russian villages were so constructed.  We found brandy in the village and the soldiers pillaged it with avidity.  As there were no Jews here, the place was deserted and this fact made us realize that the enemy were intent on creating a desert of the region we were passing through – man and beast had been evacuated.”

Source:
Napoleon’s army in Russia; The Illustrated Memoirs of Albrecht Adam, 1812, Edited by Jonathan North

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