Following in Napoleon's Footsteps

History aficionados from across Europe gathered in Vilnius in late April, before setting out on an epic trek following Napoleon's 1812 retreat from Russia.

Led by Dutch enthusiast Joost van Hvell tot Westervlier, the participants are raising money for the Gichon Foundation, which is focused on the toxic fall-out from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

The journey from Vilnius to France takes in some 1250 miles. Thankfully for the participants, they will be carrying out the feat in comparatively pleasant weather.

Napoleon's army was compelled to march amid heavy snows. It is estimated that during the entire 1812 campaign, some 380,000 of Bonaparte's soldiers perished.

The defeat marked a nail in the coffin for Napoleon's Empire, and he was finally vanquished at Waterloo, Belgium in 1815.

Those keen to sponsor the participants who are following in Bonaparte's footsteps can contact the organisers at their official website:


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