Thursday, November 5, 2009

Napoleon and Hitler - The Gripping Parallels

Against the advice of his generals, Napoleon invaded Mother Russia on June 24, 1812.
Against the advice of his generals, Hitler invaded Mother Russia on June 22, 1941.
Napoleon invaded with over 600,000 men; a number he was sure large enough to overwhelm Mother Russia.
Hitler invaded with some 3,000,000 men; a number he was sure large enough to overwhelm Mother Russia.
Napoleon felt confident that this campaign could be measured in weeks.
Hitler felt confident that this campaign could be measured in weeks.
In the 1812 campaign, the sweltering heat of summer was a harbinger of disaster - Napoleon lost about 150,000 soldiers.
In the 1941 campaign, a winter of unprecedented cold was a harbinger of disaster - Hitler lost entire army groups.
Both Napoleon and Hitler lost their way in Mother Russia.
Student did not learn well from Teacher - the case for History is the failure to learn from itself. It seems that learning from history, as George Will put it, is "like trying to plant cut flowers."
Perhaps this is why War is Man's most faithful companion.

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