Napoleon's 1812 Russian Defeat

The following describes this figure, and roughly corresponds to the text on its bottom:

This map drawn by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812. Beginning at the left on the Polish-Russian border near the Nieman, the thick band shows the size of the armyu (442,000 men) as it invaded Russian. The widgh of the band indicates the size of the army at each position. In September, the army reached Moscow with 100,000 men. the path of Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold winter is depicted byu the dark lower band, which is tied too temperature and time scales. the remains of the grande Armee struggled out of Russia with 10,000 men. Minard's graphic tells a rich, coherent story with its multivariate data, far more enlightening than just a single number bouncing along over time. Six variables are plotted: the size of the army, its location on a two-dimensional surface, direction of the army's movement, and temperature on various dates during the retreat from Moscow. It may well be the best statistical graph ever drawn.

Last modified: Wed Apr 9 20:12:57 PDT 2003