The strange tale of the French cossacks

Nicholas Kotar has written an interesting post about one of the lesser known stories concerning Napoleon’s ill-fated invasion of Russia.

He suggests that after Napoleon’s defeat, 100,000 French soldiers were still alive in Russia as prisoners, and that of these 60,000 eventually became Russian citizens (though, perhaps “subjects” would be a better term?)

Some of these French soldiers, he says, joined the Orenburg cossack host from choice, while others were later drafted, in the face of a threat from a nearby Kazakh sultanate.

It’s an interesting article – take a look: The strange tale of how Napoleon’s soldiers became Cossacks.


Image credits: Russia_3569 – Napoleon in Egypt by user Dennis Jarvis on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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