Before he stood in the courtyard of the Kremlin, watching Moscow and his hopes go up in flames, Napoleon Bonaparte had lost three-quarters of his Army in the weary march from the Russian border and in the costly Battle of Borodino, just before Moscow.
This week, the fifth of Adolf Hitler's invasion, the new conqueror, having won the battle of the border, was heavily engaged in his battle for Moscow.
Napoleon won at Borodino, but not without heavy losses. It looked as if Hitler's battle for Moscow might be the same story, writ large.
"The Russians showed the utmost tenacity," wrote Napoleon's General...