Scorched Earth

continuation of “Napoleon Bonaparte”

See Bottom Of Post For CreditsQUESTION: How and why was Napoleon Bonaparte and his half-million man army defeated by the Russians?

One hundred years before the Grand Armée of Napoleon Bonaparte initiated its fateful campaign against Czar Alexander of Russia; another Czar—Peter the Great—defeated an advancing Swedish Army with what is known as the scorched earth policy. Although this strategy is hardly original to Russia, the immense size of the country coupled with the cold hell of its winters, makes it the logical choice to vanquish aggressors.

The scorched earth policy can be defined as “destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while withdrawing from an area.” It is a gambit that trades space for time. Not only is the advancing foe unable to reap the fruit of its spoils, logistically it becomes much harder to resupply itself as the distance from home grows longer.

A student of war, since the age of nine, these facts were not lost on Napoleon. Instead, he devised a four-week campaign to split and surround the main body of the Russian Army in eastern Europe. It should also be noted, that the Grand Armée was simply a show of force, chastising Czar Alexander for not honoring their treaty to boycott Great Britain. Napoleon fully expected that the Russians would “come to their senses”, and new peace agreements would  result. Allowing him to continue in his quest to annihilate all things British.

Road To MoscowSix months later, the Grand Armée finds itself destroyed, with 85% of the men dead. How did one the “greatest” military leaders in history squander half a million men? See for yourself by clicking on the picture to the right.

Photo Credit
The title picture is a compilation
of the following images:
woodleywonderworks, sektordua,
NASA Goddard, & Jacques-Louis David
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2 Responses to Scorched Earth

    Noreen Cilento
  1. Noreen Cilento

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  2. Dolores
  3. Dolores

    Your site is so interesting … keep up the excellent work! Also, is your wordpress theme a free one? and if so..can i have it? :) Best wishes, Dolores.

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