Saturday, August 15, 2009

Liveblogging Napoleon's Russian Invasion:
Napoleon Makes a Fateful Choice

Perplexed that the Russians have eluded him and immobilized in the summer heat, Napoleon makes a fateful choice:
The Emperor was not the least of the sufferers from the heat, but when he had been refreshed by rest and still did not see any deputation arrive from Alexander, and when all his first orders had been carried out, he became impatient. We noticed that he was restless either because as with all men of his nature, inaction lay heavy upon him and he preferred danger to the poredom of waiting; or because he was excited by the hope of gain which, in most men, is stronger than the plesure of keeping or the fear of losing.

It was then that thee image of a defeated, subjugated Moscow began to obsess him. There lay the end of his fears, the fulfillment of his hopes. Possessing it, he would have everything. From that moment, it could be predicted that this fiery, restless genius, accustomed to short cuts, would not wait eight months when the final destruction was in his grasp, so close that it could be reached in only twenty days. ... It was very important to him that his decision should not displease his staff. But every one of tthe men opposed him in some way, each according to his character ...
On rhe thirteenth of August, he left Vitebsk.

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