Blue Ribbon Campaign
Some 600 kilometres south to Cairo, a little bit beyond the First Cataract, is located the Philae island, known for its complex of ancient Egyptian temples. There, on the doorway of the first pylon of the temple of Isis, a keen tourist can find the inscription reading:

L'an 6 de la république, le 12 Messidor, une armée Française, commandée par Bonaparte, est descendue à Alexandrie. L'armée ayant mis, vingt jours après, les Mamelouks en fuite aux pyramides, Desaix, commandant la première division, les a poursuivis au delà des cataractes, où il est arrivé le 13 ventôse de l’an 7.

(On 13 Messidor in year VI of the Republic, a French army commanded by Bonaparte landed at Alexandria. The army having, twenty days later, put to flight the Mamelukes at the Pyramids, Desaix, commanding the first division, pursued them beyond the cataracts where he arrived on 13 Ventose of the year VII.)

And below, with different character style and handwriting:

Les généraux de brigade Daoust, Friant et Belliard, Donselot, chef de l'état-major, Latournire, commandant, l'artillerie, Eppler, chef de la 24e légère, le 13 ventôse an 7 de la république, 3 Mars de J.-C. 1799. Gravé par Castex, sculpteur.

(Brigadier Generals Davout, Friant, and Belliard, Donzelot, chief of staff, Latournerie, commanding the artillery, Eppler, head of the 21st brigade, 13 Ventose, year VII of the Republic - March 3rd of the year of our Lord 1799. Graven by Casteix, sculptor.)

That is one of the remainders of the great storm that ravaged Europe for almost a quarter of century - from Valmy to Waterloo, and which engulfed almost the whole Europe, as well as Middle East, Caribbeans, southern Africa and European possessions in the Indian Ocean.

On the battlefield of Borodino, some 60 kilometres west to the walls of the Kremlin, on a granite obelisque, erected in 1912 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the greatest battle of the epoque, a modest inscription reads: Aux morts de la Grande Armée (To the dead soldiers of the Great Army). Inside the Kremlin itself,  along the walls, on concrete pedestals, rest dozens of bronze canons, which the Great Army brought to Russia, and left behind in the disastrous retreat.

On the opposite end of Europe, in the plains surrounding Cadiz, are scattered ramparts called "French trenches" - the remnants of the siége laid there for nearly two years under the command of Marshal Nicolas Soult.

One of the chapels of the cathedral of Oliwa contains the tomb of French Colonel Nicolas Imrecourt, who was killed in 1807 when Marshal François Joseph Lefebvre besieged Danzig.

On the battlefield of Austerlitz, on the slopes of the Pratzen (Prace) Hills, which became the focal point of the battle, has been erected a 26m-tall Peace Memorial with the inscription "In the memory of the soldiers fallen here on 2 December 1805" in four languages: French, German, Russian, and Czech. Inside the memorial there is an ossuary, which contains bones of the killed French, Russians and Austrians, whose remains are still being unearthed every spring by the peasant plough.

Throughout the whole Europe one may spot numerous houses with memorial plaques claiming that Napoleon lived there, or stayed, or dined, od did something else more or less important to the History, and all that regardless whether Napoleon indeed had or had not ever been in those places.

In the War History Museum in Vienna - the shrine of the Austrian army - one can see an 8-pounder gun with the inscription on the barrel made in Polish: "Taken by Dąbrowski's soldiers at Tczew in 1807". That Prussian gun, captured by the Poles, served them till 1809 when it was used against the Austrians. Captured once again in the battle of Raszyn, nowadays testifies in an Austrian museum to the amazing fates of a weapon that used to change hands in that great historical turmoil that Napoleonic wars were.

Another museum - Les Invalides in Paris - exhibits a cuirass of an officer of the 2nd Carabinier Rgt., or rather what has remained of it. The officer was killed in a charge in the battle of Waterloo as an English canon-ball hit him right in the chest, and went through his body, leaving in the steel plates two orifices matching the calibre of a four-pounder gun.

Events small and great, epochal and meaningless, the fates of the masses of the troops and human individuals - all that is amalgamated in those relics of the past, in the monuments and tombs, in the banners exhibited in the musea, and pieces of arms excavated in the battlefields.

The Great French Revolution and the First Empire have rich literature. Many a historians treated those events as a chain of military campaigns, full of dramatic descriptions of the battles and skirmishes, focused mainly on the personality of Napoleon Bonaparte, his marshals, and more prominent generals. Such a way of seeing that epoque dominated so far, from the first monographies of the Moscow campaign written by Eugene Labaume [Labaume E. (2002).] and Georges de Chambray [Chambray G de (1838).], to the multi-volume work of Adolphe Thiers [Thiers A. (1839).], to the almost modern ones of Henri Houssaye, Henry Lachouque, or Marian Kukiel.

The Great Army can be perceived as a certain society as well. One can analyze it's social composition, place, and role in the society. One can research the ways of making careers to individual officers, as well as development of the officers' corps as a whole, the life of recruits, and interaction between the army and the civilian life. There are fewer works of such a nature, and they have been written relatively lately; the most significant being the works of Jean Tulard, and Jean-Paul Bertaud.

Soldiers and officers of the Great Army were the bearers of new ideas. Through their campaigns and victories they were instilling European countries with revolutionary transformations, which happened earlier in France. So, it is worth to have a closer look at the instrument of those transformations: from the revolutionary armies composed of volunteers, to the perfect war machine that the Great Army was.

What was their organization, weapons, and uniforms? How were organized marches and bivouacs? And the most important - how did they fight the battles, and what were the factors on which their outcome depended?

It is worth analyzing, what were the merits of Napoleon himself in his victories, and what did he owe to his marshals and generals, officers' corps, and files and ranks. It is worth considering the contribution of the foreigners, and analyzing if only the French won those battles, or did they owe, and to what degree, their successes to other nations.

And finally, what is of great importance, it is worth discussing what were the sources of the final defeat of the Great Army, and consequently - temporary reversal of the of the fruits of the Great Revolution. Apart from the political, economical, and social factors - what were the military, "technical" factors embedded in the structures of the Great Army, from its organization and the chain of command, to errors in tactics and supplies, to the exhaustion of the human and materiel resources.

Article 19 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.