The Campaign of 1812
Significant battles apart, history contains a number of epic military marches that have caught the imagination of posterity. But no military epic can rival the gripping fascination of Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Russia in June of 1812; a military adventure that took the greatest soldier of modern history, at the head of an army that eventually totaled over 600,000 men, to the Kremlin. It was an achievement that only proved to be the precursor of possibly the most terrible defeat ever recorded. Barely 93,000 woebegone, exhausted, tattered and verminous soldiery survived to re-cross the river Niemen in mid-December 1812, just five months after the launching of the French offensive.
Much has been written and visualized in art about the destruction of the French Grande Armee by the Russian winter. "White Misery" brings to the viewer the suffering endured by the Russian Army, who lost 150,000 men and untold civilian lives.