“The Angel Faces Destruction”


The Angel Faces DestructionVolume 2 of the Brandt Family Chronicles

By Oliver Fairfax

It’s high summer in 1812 and Bonaparte has launched his invasion of Russia. He will, and expects to, defeat the Tsar in pitched battle.

He is not there to help the Poles or enforce his Continental System, as he has claimed. His giant army contains half a million Frenchmen, but his spear-point is made up of nearly a quarter of a million conscripts from his conquered territories, Prussia, Austria and Poland.

In the great battle he dreams of, he will sacrifice his attacking spear-point. It, and the Russian defenders will be slaughtered and only French troops will survive. Bonaparte’s French army will be victorious and intact and he will reign over his conquered lands.

Lands that will stretch from Portugal to the Pacific. Lands that are easy to oppress, suppress and pillage because their menfolk are dead.

But hatred for Bonaparte and his continual warmongering has generated a better stratagem. Better minds than his are at work. Carl von Clausewitz, August von Gneisenau, Hermann von Boyen and David von Scharnhorst have devised a strategy that will lead to the defeat of the invader.

They will reverse Bonaparte’s plan. The conscripts will survive and the French soldiers will die. The Russian army will not fight, but retreat, and it will survive as a result. But His Imperial Majesty, The Tsar of All the Russias, Alexander I, must learn patience.

Paul Brandt, the Angel of Jena, must join the Prussian Auxiliary column conscripted into Bonaparte’s army, as part of his spear-point, where he will serve under the command of General Yorck. Paul, who may discover that he and the Tsar have a common interest, will be responsible for the implementation of part of General Yorck’s Convention of Tauroggen.

But it must be obvious that the components of the Convention were operating well before the Prussians were anywhere near Tauroggen. There are fourteen hundred kilometres to march – twice and General Yorck wants to spare Prussian lives as much as Bonaparte wants to spend them.

Before he can take one step on the road home Paul meets an English diplomat, snake-in-the-grass and fop, Boyd-Francis, and is instructed to bring him out of danger. If only he knew!

The defeat of Napoleon’s Grand Army was a carefully laid strategy brought about by superior thought and careful planning. It was not bad luck and it wasn’t ‘General Winter.’


The series, at the time of writing, comprises eight books ranging from the Napoleonic Wars (Vols 1-4), through The Franco-Prussian War (Vols 5,6), to the Cold War (Vol 7) and the present day (Vol 9). (Volume 8 is to come soon.) They start when Germany was conceived and develop through its birth to modern times. (1950).

The thread is the Brandt Family and their adventures. The environment is German history. History is written by the winner and, from ace to knave, it’s a pack of lies. These books are not German history. They are a unique view of German history and the stories are told from this deserted and neglected standpoint.

This, so-far, unilluminated emphasis discloses both a disguised truth and a hidden one. Germany is not the warmonger it has been painted and, as the series develops, readers’ curiosity may be piqued into checking to see if they agree with the author’s conclusions.


Oliver Fairfax is a nomad. A Scot by birth, he has wandered from England to Hong Kong and back – twice. He has lived in France and now in New Zealand. He worries that a generation is rising who cannot tell the difference between a citizen and a subject.

He is concerned about the pervasive growth of regulation that cannot be afforded, cannot be complied with, but that seeks to remove free choice. He worries also about political correctness and the suppression of dissonance being two policies that misinform ordinary people’s decision-making processes.

But those irritants aside, life’s great! – and remember, you should never have joined if you can’t take a joke.

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