Napoleon Bonaparte is greatly remembered for his impact on history of the 19th century. His hand was in every event that occurred in Europe during this dispensation. Napoleon underestimated and miscalculated his Russian expedition. He was able to capture most part of Russia with a large army. The sheer neglect of advice from the Generals and the harsh conditions compelled him to retreat. His army was almost wiped out as they surrendered back to France[ CITATION Cof02 \l 2057 ].
The Napoleonic regime which had banned trade between Russia and Britain inflicted a lot of pain on the Russians, and made them to suffer driving them to bitterness and resentment. Napoleon with his Western Civilization ideologies had decided to invade Russia. The epic War of 1812 in which Napoleon led a contingent of about 500,000 to attack Russia was the greatest turning point in his career as an enigmatic commander and military genius. The Russians decided to defend their motherland led by General Bagration and Barclay de Tolly. The French armies and allies swarmed into the battle front on River Niemen as the Russians receded on June 24th 1812.
There was a major fight at Vulantino and Solemsk as Russian troops combined to buy time and open up for space. The retreat stopped 110 kilometres from Moscow. They set up a strong fight back with 120,000 men under General Mikhail Kutusov at Borodino. When Bonaparte’s men approached the fight was very fierce. Ignoring Marshal Davout’s advice to manoeuvre around the defence, Bonaparte swung his troops into brutal and deadly attack on Russian strongholds. The battle became tricky now that Russia had lost 44,000 and French 30,000, Napoleon avoided risk remaining in Moscow for five days anticipating that Russia would surrender[ CITATION Ruc99 \l 2057 ].
Napoleon again ignored Davout’s advice, send men on a plundered Solemsk territory. To worsen the situation snow came early in 1812, the cold, the hunger and Cossack attack led to the great defeat. The French were almost wiped out and Bonaparte left the battle front on 5th December back to France. The 20,000 residual contingents dragged themselves across River Niemen out of the Russian territory[ CITATION Liv93 \l 2057 ].
Coffin, et al. Western Civilizations. New York : W. W. Norton Company, 2002.
Livesey and Anthony. Great Commanders and Their Battles. Philadelphia: Courage Books, 1993.
Richard, Moore. The Russian Campaign of 1812. 20 March 1999. 03 May 2011 <http://www.napoleonguide.com/campaign_russia.htm>.