Second Decade, my history podcast, has had a very good month! In addition to turning up on a very prestigious list of must-hear history casts, if you’ve been keeping track, the past two episodes, Episode 10 and Episode 11, have been part of a series detailing Napoleon’s war with Russia in 1812. The newest episode, which went live on Sunday afternoon, is Part III, the conclusion of that story, and it details one of the most epic, tragic and deadly events of the decade between 1810 and 1820.
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.
Episode 12: Napoleon in Russia, Part III, starts in the immediate aftermath of the disastrous fire of Moscow in September 1812. Napoleon, whose army was already in fairly desperate straits even before reaching Russia’s spiritual capital, continued to be baffled by the Russians’ tactics and simply couldn’t understand why Tsar Alexander I didn’t just ride out to meet him and surrender. This, despite the fact that Napoleon’s own advisers had warned him of how the Russians would respond. Nevertheless, after dallying in Moscow several weeks, Napoleon finally began withdrawing his army. What followed was a disaster that inflicted almost unimaginable suffering on his own troops, tens of thousands of civilians, and many Russians as well. The bitter cold, lack of food, dying horses, continual attacks by Cossack raiding parties and Napoleon’s own short-sighted hubris made the retreat from Moscow one of the deadliest and costliest military disasters of all time. Why did it happen? And why was Napoleon himself, even to the end of his life, unable to face the truth about what happened? These are some of the fascinating questions posed in Episode 12.
The Napoleon in Russia series has been extremely popular and it’s turned out to be, I think, my finest work yet on the podcast. Second Decade is now accumulating very high star ratings on iTunes as well as some good reviews–if you’d like to help spread the visibility of the show, please leave a rating and review yourself! Thanks to everyone who continues to support the show week after week. It’s very gratifying to know that my work is appreciated.