Why did Napoleon manage to capture all of Europe, but failed to defeat Russia?


Napoleon Bonaparte is an outstanding military leader in the history of France and all of Europe. Until 1812, the army of the French emperor did not know defeat and turned France into the main power of the entire continent. But with the invasion of Russia, Napoleon was in for a complete defeat.

Unlike other European states, the Russian Empire possessed a vast territory, allowing the use of tactics of strategic retreat.

The general principles of the future war between Russia and France were prepared several years before the conflict, and in 1811 Alexander I

The advantages of this tactic were described by Karl von Clausewitz, a 19th century military leader who laid the foundations of modern war strategy. He believed that a retreat would lengthen supply lines and require more and more soldiers from the advancing army.

The enemy has to spend people on the occupation of the conquered regions, create garrisons and cover detachments there. In 1812, this is exactly what happened: out of the 600-thousandth army of Napoleon, only 90 thousand soldiers entered Moscow. These forces were not enough to continue the war.

In addition, the French army did not take large quantities of food with them. Thanks to this, she was able to conquer Europe, where she fed from local villages and cities.

However, in Russia, Napoleon’s plans were thwarted by scorched earth tactics and partisan detachments. The latter attacked the French convoys and forced the French to allocate more people to guard the lines of communication.

The advancing army was also constantly attacked by army flying detachments specially created by Kutuzov from the Cossacks. Moreover, in September 1812, the French emperor

At the beginning of the war, peasants from the western provinces of Russia often joined Napoleon’s army, because they hoped that he would abolish serfdom and free them from landlord oppression. But Bonaparte never did this, having lost his authority among the people.

By the fall of 1812, the starving and frozen French army had lost discipline and began to loot. Peasants

According to Napoleon Bonaparte himself, the main reason that led to his defeat,

However, few people pay attention to the fact that frost does not pinch people selectively, Russian soldiers also suffered from cold weather. Sanitary losses of the Russian army

Thus, General Frost only finished off the Great Army, but did not become the main cause of its death. Napoleon suffered the greatest losses from the climate on the way back to Europe, and not vice versa.

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