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Poster of the march to and from Russia

 
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Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/21/2010 11:35:05 AM   
delatbabel


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http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/posters

"... this map by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812. Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band shows the size of the army at each position."

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/22/2010 1:01:40 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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Sobering ... to say the least!
When will people learn to leave Russia to herself!





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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/24/2010 4:53:46 PM   
DCWhitworth


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I've always been slightly sceptical of the figures quoted for this campaign. The common figures quote 600,000 troops entering Russia and 10,000 leaving, but this doesn't seem right to me.

I assume that the 10,000 covers organised troops still under arms and doesn't cover stragglers. I'm also assuming that various 'allied' corps (Austria for instance) are not counted in this figure as they left separately.

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/24/2010 11:08:45 PM   
Mardonius


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I'm with Dave. Too neat and precise. Reminds me of Herodotus and the 1,000,000 Persians drinking the rivers dry...

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/25/2010 12:18:31 PM   
pzgndr

 

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It was more like 30,000 that made it out. Leaving about 570,000 casualties. Mostly heat exhaustion and disease on the way in, and frostbite and starvation on the way out. Way to go, Nappy.

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/25/2010 12:37:11 PM   
DCWhitworth


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But the whole things gives the impression of a huge body of troops all in one group which wasn't the case. The stats seem to cover all the troops that entered Russia but only the 'Grand Armee' portion that left.

Figures I have seen suggest the Austrian contingent was c.35000 troops who left Russia with relatively light casualties, I believe the same was true of the 23,000 Prussian (who in fact made a pact with the Russians on the way out), these units were not with Napoleon when he recrossed the border and would most likely come to more than 30,000 on their own.

Adam Zamoyski (who has done a lot of new research on the campaign) estimates 550-600,000 troops entering Russia of whom 400,000 died.

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/29/2010 10:00:40 PM   
DCWhitworth


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Also if you think about it, this poster suggests he lost 322,000 troops on the way into Russia but only 70,000 on the way out.

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 3/30/2010 1:26:26 PM   
Mardonius


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Its poppycock. Though I do love the presentation...

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"Yes, you will win most battles, but if you loose to me you will loose oh so badly that it causes me pain (chortle) just to think of it" - P. Khan

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 4/29/2010 10:23:48 PM   
Bearcat2

 

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I forget the name of the book; but it was one I read 30 years ago about the invasion of France, the author was a German and described the conditions at the start of the march into Russia. In it, he claimed that his unit started losing people immediately due to lack of supply with the foraging by his unit being inneffective due to the fact they were last in line of march and all the foodstuff's were taken by the units in front of them. He also described the deaths from heat exhaustion and suicides. He claimed that his unit was at overstrength at the start of the campaign and about 30% at the time of Borodino, the first time they saw action. He mentioned that the Russian peasants had it worse.
Basically, they had no logistical support, the first units grabbed whatever was available and those units bringing up the rear were screwed. I am still amazed that even at the start of the campaign, they had no supplies[at least this unit], you would think they would have had a haversack full.

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RE: Poster of the march to and from Russia - 4/30/2010 2:36:43 PM   
Marshall Ellis


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Lack of food would certainly my decision to stay or go LOL! Run to food!

I think its safe to say that the logistical capability of the 19th century infrastructure could never have supported ~600,000 troops! It was still difficult to do in the 20th century! 600,000 of anything is a lot!


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