An IX De Cavalerie
The fourth gun of “10 years collection” project will celebrate the battle in Friedland and the peace made in Tilsit. Two moments of the French expansion which showed the great strategist Napoleon Bonaparte at his peak of success. In The Battle of Friedland Napoleon crushed the Russian resistance against the French in the only region of Europe where it might have been possible to put an end to French battlefield successes. As a result, the French gained control over the largest region of land by displaying brilliant tactical maneuvers and defeating numerically superior forces.
At Friedland the action of the Napoleon's cavalry was again the determining factor in the French victory.
Therefore the Davide Pedersoli company for the 2007 commemorative musket, proposes the Cavalry musket AN IX, one of the most representative guns of the Napoleonic army, equipping all troops riding horses (hunters, light cavalrymen, grenadiers, lancers, carabineers and crusaders) including the Hussars, who however continued preferring their typical lighter and shorter 1786 musket.
Adopting some modifications the gun was distributed also to some infantry and gendarmerie corps and to the navy. Due to such a wide diffusion, the cavalry musket was produced until 1816 and about 225.000 units were manufactured in the various arsenals. The fame and the quality of that exact model spread in all Europe, such that other States imitated it to arm their corps such as, from 1814 the Royal Horses Carabineers of the Sardinia Reign.
This commemorative version will be limited to 500 units addressed to the French, German and Italian collectors, marked with the three distinct numbers series.
The medal inlet into the stock reproduces the one minted for the Tilsit peace celebration. Shown are three faces: Napoleon, Alexander the 1st. and the Prussian King Fredrerich Wilhelm III.
The Tilsit peace (25 and 26 June 1807) followed the signature of the armistice on the 21st of June ending the battles started months earlier, including an inglorious battle for the French at Eylau, February 8 and 9, 1807. The Russians, used to the worst weather conditions were close to a victory with the very good work made by their artillery pieces, until the French cavalry led by Marshall Murat overcame the battle, even through sustaining heavy losses.
After the victory Napoleon did not show any enthusiasm and revealed tiredness and depression possibly due to several desertions which suggested that the French needed to recover their strength and spirit.
It was necessary that allies and opposing forces should not become aware of the weakness of the French army, therefore when on May 27 General Lefebvre conquered Danzica while occupied by twelve thousand Russians, Napoleon entered the Baltic republic capital with the usual triumph, obtaining a strong propagandistic effect both for France and the opposing Russians. Nobody understood how weak were Napoleon's troops in that moment.
Napoleon needed just two weeks to get re-organized and to wait the most favourable moment to move against the Russians who on the 13th of June made the first attack in the villages of Posthenen and Heinrichsdorf, not far from Friedland, East Prussia.
In spite their inferior numbers and the suggestions from his generals to postpone the battle, Napoleon reminded them that this was the anniversary of his great win at the Battle of Marengo and this was certain to be a lucky day for another success on this same date.
During the afternoon of June 14, Napoleon needed just two hours to defeat the Russian forces.
The treaty signing ceremony was directed by Napoleon with great political skill and ability as well as a singular attention to showmanship and aristocratic formality. The meeting was organized on a boat moored on the Niemen river.
The agreements ended with the creation of the Warsaw Great Dukedom (Napoleon's stronghold inside Russian territory), giving Finland and Sweden to Russia with Czar Alexander renouncing control of the Mediterranean islands and surrendering a part of Prussia (Westfalia reign creation, where Napoleon named his brother Girolamo as King) and with Czar Alexander agreeing to accept the peace with Turkey after years of wars and to block the Russian ports to the English, breaking the alliance with Great Britain, favouring the old project Napoleon had in mind, the Continental Blockade, which in reality worked only in a theoretical manner.
The 2007 commemorative gun is supplied with a couple of modular racks, equipped with an Authenticity certificate, certifying the limited series.
The collectors who purchased the first three commemorative models have the pre-emption to reserve the same series number also for the 2007 model dedicated to the Great Strategist.