Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. –Edmund Burke
200 years ago today, on October 19, 1812, Napoleon began evacuating his starving army of nearly half a million men from Moscow. His failed invasion of Russia was one of the greatest military blunders of all time and proved that the Grand Armée was not invincible. It’s estimated that the French army lost about 400,000 men in the campaign. Another failed attempt to take Moscow began 129 years later, when Hitler’s army of 4 million men began entering Russian territory on June 22, 1941. Code-named operation “Barbarossa,” Germany’s invasion of Russia is ranked as the deadliest military operation of all time. After things turned out badly for the German army in Russia during the winter of 1941-42, Winston Churchill mocked Hitler in a speech by pointing out that had the Führer studied history he might not have made the foolish attempt to invade Russia. “Even Herr Hitler makes mistakes sometimes…he forgot about the winter, there is a winter you know in Russia … he must have been very loosely educated.” Hitler’s ill-fated decision to attack Russia was a turning point in the war, what Winston Churchill termed “the fourth climacteric.”
Winston Spencer Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. As Prime Minister of Great Britain he refused to capitulate to the Nazi onslaught even while others thought the German army was unstoppable. Churchill was a source of unwavering strength. He inspired the English people to fight on through one of the darkest periods of world history until victory could be achieved. Many of Churchill’s speeches can be read here winstonchurchill.org or better yet you can actually listen to the speeches by signing up for free here winstonchurchill.org.
See how one thing leads to another!