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Unit 1 Text A: The Icy Defender. Pre-reading exercises. What does “the icy defender” refer to? What did Napoleon expect when he assembled his army to attack Russia? What did the Russians do in the face of Napoleon’s offensive? What strategy did the Russians adopt?

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unit 1 text a the icy defender
Unit 1

Text A: The Icy Defender

pre reading exercises
Pre-reading exercises
  • What does “the icy defender” refer to?
  • What did Napoleon expect when he assembled his army to attack Russia?
  • What did the Russians do in the face of Napoleon’s offensive? What strategy did the Russians adopt?
  • What did Napoleon discover after he occupied Moscow?
  • What happened to Napoleon’s army when it was retreating from Moscow?
  • How many soldiers were there left after the army limped to Vilna?
  • What did Napoleon do when Paris was captured?
slide3
Keys:
  • The “icy defender” refers to the severe winter of Moscow.
  • He expected a quick victory, predicted the conquest of Russia in five weeks.
  • The Russians treated eastward, burning their crops and homes as they went.
  • He found that the occupation of the city was an empty victory.
  • The Russians launched hit-and-run attacks on the French.
  • Less than one hundred thousand were left.
  • He abdicated and went into exile.
cultural notes
Cultural Notes

Background Information

1. Throughout the history of mankind, there have been many conquerors. Chengis Khan spent his entire life conquering neighboring peoples and expanding the Mongolian Empire. Many Roman Emperors did the same for the Rome empire—so much so that at one time they ruled modern-day Great Britain.

Both the Mongolian and Roman Empires had their rise and fall in the distant past. Yet if we want to examine conquerors, there is no need to go back that far.

This text will focus on Napoleon and Hitler.

2 napoleon bonaparte 1769 1821
2. Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Emperor of the French, who consolidated and institutionalized many reforms of the French Revolution. One of the greatest military commanders of all time, he conquered the larger part of Europe.

During 1802-1815 Napoleon tried to gain control of the whole of Europe. He had great success against all his enemies except Britain, whose navy under Nelson defeated the French navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

3 adolf hitler 1889 1945
3. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945)

German political and military leader and one of the 20th century’s most powerful dictators. He converted Germany into a fully militarized society and launched World War II in 1939.He hoped to conquer the world, and for a time dominated most of Europe and much of North Africa. He instituted sterilization and euthanasia measures to enforce his idea of racial purity.

4 joseph stalin 1879 1953
4. Joseph Stalin (1879-1953)

General secretary of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Under his leadership the USSR was built into a modern economic and military power that repelled Hitler’s armies in World War 2 and rivaled the United States during the Cold War period.

5 world war 2 1939 1945
5. World War 2 (1939-1945)

A war whose European operations took place between the Axis powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) and the Allies (Britain, France, and later the USSR and the USA).

The picture on the right is a map indicating the situations in this period.

outline

Outline

The author quotes two historically well-known military campaigns against Russia, in both of which the severity of the Russian winter played a decisive role in defeating the invaders, to illustrate that in any military campaign, the elements of nature must be taken into consideration.

structure
Structure
  • Paras.1-2
  • Introduction: Both Napoleon’s and Hitler’s military campaigns failed because of the severity of the Russian winter.
  • Paras.3-11
  • Napoleon’s military campaign against Russia.
  • Paras.12-20
  • Hitler’s invasion into the Soviet Union.
  • Para.21
  • Conclusion: the elements of nature must be reckoned with in any military campaign.
discussion
Read the quotations on the right column. Try to learn them by heart if you can. And think about the question that human being and nature, which one is more powerful, then air your viewpoint in the class.

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.—Francis Bacon

Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part; Do thou but thine.—John Milton

The first casualty when war comes is truth.—Hiram Warren Johnson

Discussion
slide12

Text Analysis

A Comparison-and-Contrast Analysis of the Two Invasions

Invading country

France

Country invaded

Starter of war

Napoleon

Starting time of invasion

Strength of invading

force

Prediction

slide13

Text Analysis

A Comparison-and-Contrast Analysis of the Two Invasions

Initial resistance strategy

Capture of the

Russian capital

Major battles

Truce offer

slide14

Text Analysis

A Comparison-and-Contrast Analysis of the Two Invasions

Biggest enemy for the invading force

Turning point

Fate of the invading force

War-starter’s fate

ad