"the broad river Oka, which cannot be crossed early in winter"

 It took Napoleon five weeks to decide what to do after the invasion of Moscow did not prove to be the decisive blow he thought it would be. By the time the Grand Army was on the move again in mid-October, the Russian winter was underway. The weather was not wholly responsible for the disastrous nature of Napoleon's retreat, as is often said, but it certainly exacerbated the woes of the poorly supplied, depleted army.

Strangely enough, the French Army was clad in British-made greatcoats. Napoleon ordered a million woollen greatcoats from a company in West Riding, Yorkshire, which provided a tremendous, if somewhat treacherous, boost to the economy at a time when Britain was fighting both against Napoleon and against America.