Returning form the campaign in Russia in 1812 soldiers spoke of never-heard-of sufferings in the icy deserts of the north, of the cruelty of the Cossacks, of the atrocious acts of the Moushiks and the peasants of Lithuania, and, worst of all, of the infernal acts of the people of Wilna. From Wikipedia, " By 1812, advisers to Alexander suggested the possibility of an invasion of the French Empire and the recapture of Poland. On receipt of intelligence reports on Russia's war preparations, Napoleon expanded his Grande Armee to more than 450,000 men. He ignored repeated advice against an invasion of the vast Russian heartland and prepared for an offensive campaign; on 23 June 1812, his invasion of Russia commenced. The Russians avoided Napoleon's objective of a decisive engagement and instead retreated deeper into Russia. The Battle of Borodino resulted in approximately 44,000 Russian and 35,000 French, dead, wounded or captured, and may have been the bloodiest day of battle in history up to that point in time." The French army eventually left Russia with only 10% of the original troops."