If a dictator was overtaking your land, would you burn it to spite him?
That’s just what happened in 1812 when Napoleon was on an aggressive campaign through Russia.
The Russians assumed a unique but mutually harmful defense strategy: burn down villages, towns and crops, preventing Napoleons troops from living off their land.
They killed many of Napoleon’s troops from starvation, malnutrition or killing them during the night as they searched for food in desperation.
But even with those significant barriers, Napoleons troops eventually make it to Moscow, the crown jewel of Russia.
Only to find its remains are reduced to blackened walls and ashes.
With no resources to fuel his troops this forces Napoleon back through Russia in a bitter cold, with temperatures dropping below -21 fahrenheit.
Although I’m certainly glad Napoleon’s conquests were subdued I wonder if the strategy the Russians deployed was worth the cost.
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash.