The downfall for the Nazi Empire and Hitler is largely owed to Russia. So on behalf of the entire world, we thank you mother Russia for helping to destroy an evil empire. The term mother is used because it was actually Mother Nature that did most of the work, just as it did for Napoleon. Thankfully Hitler had the good sense to not learn from Napoleon.
On this day June 24th, in 1812, Napoleon begins the invasion of Russia. Napoleon was hailed as the greatest military conqueror of his generation and he entered Russia with over 400,000 troops. The invasion began when his troops crossed the Neman river.
The Russians used the tactic of scorched earth. Which means that they razed everything to the ground that could possibly be used by Napoleons forces, whether it be for shelter or food. After that the French forces were forced to endure a freezing Russian winter, with barely any food. The French may have been used to starving, but they were not used to the temperatures below -20 degrees, if not even lower. It is said only 10,000 troops returned from this invasion, 380,000 killed, and the assumption is that the rest deserted. Napoleon had returned to Paris earlier to defend his position, but by then had lost most of his force and eventually was deposed.