Napoleon's 1812 Campaign

Minard's Napoleon Graphic

(From Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information)

The terrible fate of Napoleon's Russian campaign of 1812 is shown in this classic picture, by Charles Joseph Minard (1781-1870). The combination of map and time series shows the losses suffered during the campaign.

The width of the band indicates the size of the army, starting on the Russian-Polish border with 422,000 men. In September, the army reached Moscow, sacked and deserted, with 100,000 men. The path of Napoleon's retreat is indicated by the dark, lower band, which is linked poorly to a temperature scale and dates at the bottom of the chart.

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