My history podcast, Second Decade, has been on a roll lately. Last Sunday afternoon, Episode 11 of the show went up on Libsyn, iTunes and the various other places you can find it. This new episode is the second of a three-part series, which began with the January 15 episode, delving into the amazing and tragic story of Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1812 invasion of Russia. In this new episode the saga continues, and I think perhaps this is some of my best podcast work to date!
Second Decade is on iTunes, here; it’s on TuneIn, here; you can access it directly on the Libsyn page for it, here; or, perhaps the easiest way, click this link for an embedded player that will open in your browser.
With Episode 10 having been the background and the run-up to France’s massive invasion of Russia in late June 1812, Episode 11: Napoleon in Russia, Part II, picks up the night before the army crossed the river Niemen into Russia, with a minor accident involving Napoleon that some interpreted as a bad omen. In reality no one should have needed supernatural signs to see what was coming. The French Army was so massive and consumed so many resources–most of which were difficult to obtain or transport to the front lines–that Napoleon’s troops were in deep trouble even before they started. Nonetheless, the French conqueror pressed on deep into Russia, finding himself ever more entangled as the forces of Tsar Nicholas retreated before him. After one massive battle at Borodino in September 1812, Napoleon somehow allowed himself to be drawn into the ill-advised occupation of Moscow…which promptly went up in flames. Few stories from the 1810s are as dramatic or spectacular as this one, and I hope I did it justice!
The story of the French invasion of Russia is one of the most fascinating aspects of this world-changing decade, and as I said last week, it’s one of the reasons why the 1810s are so interesting to me. Judging from the response to Episode 10, you, the listeners, think so too. If you haven’t already done so, leaving a star rating and a review for the podcast on iTunes would be especially helpful in increasing its reach. And obviously stay tuned for Part III of the series, next weekend, dealing with the tragic and horrifying retreat from Moscow.