Eylau, 8 février 1807 : La Campagne de Pologne, des boues ed Pultusk aux neiges d'Eylau
In 1806, Napoleon had to face a new coalition of European powers, the fourth. England, Sweden, Russia, and Prussia were determined to destroy French influence in Germany and, perhaps, to put an end to the Emperor of the French. In a blitzkrieg in October 1806, Napoleon crushed the Prussian troops, obliterating at the same time the memory of the army of Frederick II. His debris was swept away in a memorable pursuit and the Grand Army triumphantly entered Berlin. Yet the war was far from over.
Despite his defeat at Austerlitz and the sad fate of his ally, Russia was determined to continue the fight. His army waited for the French behind the Vistula. At the end of October, Napoleon decided to march to meet him. The Polish campaign began. It was going to prove to be one of the most difficult he had to lead until then. His soldiers knew mud, snow, cold, hunger and face a determined adversary.
After several indecisive encounters, Napoleon finally hoped to win this decisive victory over the Russians around a small village on the eastern edge of Prussia, Eylau. Fights on this snowy plain and under a gray sky would be very different from those of the battlefields of Jena and Auerstaedt, with autumnal colors.
Author: Frédéric Naulet