Losses of the French Army during the 1812-1813 Russian Campaign

I’ve always been a sucker for maps, so it’s no surprise that a diagram in a recent issue of the Economist got my mind-juices flowing. It shows in graphic detail Napoleon’s disastrous campaign into Russia: how an initial army of over 400,000 men got whittled down to a mere 10,000 desperate men over the course of the savage winter of 1812. This map is regarded by Edward Tufte as “the best statistical graphic ever drawn”.

In looking for more details about this graphic I came across an article about it on the Strange Maps blog, and I was hooked immediately. Recent entries contain gems such as Papua New Guinea as linguistic superpower, a caricature of Europe in 1870, and a Blonde map of Europe.

Also, as an aside, Truce mentioned an Edward Tufte book “Envisioning Information” to me some while back, that she recommended I read. What with this map and the Hans Rosling presentation capturing my imagination so recently, I’ve decided to buy the book on Amazon today.