The ill-fated invasion of Russia by Napoleon Bonaparte saw not
only the destruction of his Grande Armee of some 600,000 men, but
also the death of his ability to maintain control over Europe.
Road to Moscow follows the campaign from its causes - growing
rivalry and differences between France and Russia - the preparations,
the rival armies, the advance on Moscow, its occupation and then
the horrendous retreat.
documentary examines how Bonaparte's initial plan to trap the Russians
close to their border with Poland was ruined by key subordinates
failing to take advantage of the situation and how successful were
the Russian scorched-earth policy and strategy of retreat in denying
food and shelter to the French.
key battle of Borodino is well covered and, like the rest of this
series involving Russia, benefits from excellent use of War and
nice mix to the information presented is by having an actor play
the famous Sergeant Bourgogne while the narrator gives extracts
from the soldier's memoirs. The changing looks of the veteran -
from eager starter to frozen survivor - add weight to the marvellous
eyewitness account that Bourgogne's memoirs offer.
theme throughout the programme is Russia's utter defiance of the
all-conquering French emperor and that reaches its peak with the
evacuation of Moscow and the decision to burn the capital to the
ground to deny it to the French.
tragic French retreat from Moscow again is boosted by film footage,
more of Bourgogne's experiences, and shows the horrendous conditions
and enemy attacks the French had to survive.
Road to Moscow is
a must for people who want to understand how the war started, how
it went awry for Bonaparte and what caused the destruction of one
of the biggest and best-prepared fighting forces history has ever